Choosing the right protein sources when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about lamb, is it good for weight loss or fattening?
Lamb meat is the meat from a sheep under one year old. It is considered to be red meat (1). Lamb is not one of the most popular meats but it is widely available.
When talking about the nutritional values of meat you have to keep in mind that different parts of different animals have different values. And not only that, meat from the same area from an animal in the same species can have different nutrition contents because of what they ate and genetic differences (2, 3).
That being said by looking at nutrition values examples you can get a general view of how healthy a certain kind of meat is.
There are better meats for weight loss but like most protein sources, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more lamb if they stick to healthy recipes. Find out just how good lamb is for weight loss and how it compares to other popular types of meat.
Micronutrients in lamb
The first thing to look at are the micronutrients in lamb.
Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.
100 grams of cooked ground lamb provides you with approximately (4):
- Vitamin B12: 43% of the DV (Daily Value)
- Selenium: 40% of the DV
- Niacin: 34% of the DV
- Zinc: 31% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 20% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 15% of the DV
- Iron: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 7% of the DV
- Thiamin: 7% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 7% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
- Copper: 7% of the DV
- Folate: 5% of the DV
And a few other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. The amount of vitamins and minerals in 100 grams of ground lamb is very great.
If you have trouble eating enough vitamins and minerals, lamb can benefit you a lot.
Protein in lamb for weight loss
Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.
Cooked ground lamb contains about 24.7 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, salmon contains around 25.4 grams per 100 grams (5).
That is a good amount of protein per 100 grams compared to many other protein sources.
Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Since muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day this is a big plus for protein and lamb for weight loss.
Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.
Will lamb help you lose weight?
To know whether or not lamb will help you lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in lamb.
Cooked ground lamb contains around 283 calories per 100 grams. All of these calories come from fat and protein.
This makes lamb a great option for low carb diets like the keto diet. Keep in mind that too much protein can also kick you out of ketosis.
The amount of calories in lamb is on the high side compared to a lot of other meats for weight loss. Most vegetables and fruits are lower in calories.
Even with that in mind lamb can be a good food option when trying to lose weight. It will help you feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet. This will help you avoid higher-calorie foods. On top of that protein is such a valuable nutrient for weight loss.
In theory, you can overdo it with lamb in terms of calories, in that case lamb could be fattening. In reality, you will likely feel too full before you reach that point.
Lamb vs other popular meats for weight loss
You now know how good lamb is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other meats? Find out how good lamb is for weight loss vs beef and chicken.
Again keep in mind that the actual nutritional values of the meat you buy vary from animal to animal. These examples are great to get a general view of the differences but they are likely not exactly the same as the actual meat you buy.
Lamb vs beef
The first comparison is between lamb and beef. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that ground beef contains slightly less. Ground lamb contains around 283 calories per 100 grams vs the 273 calories per 100 grams of ground beef (6).
Ground beef contains around 25.4 grams of protein per 100 grams, lamb 24.7 grams. These two foods are similar when it comes to the amount of vitamins and minerals.
The difference will not be very big but beef will be slightly better than lamb for weight loss.
Lamb vs chicken
The amount of protein in these two types of meat is closer. Ground lamb has about 24.7 grams of protein per 100 grams vs ground chicken with 23.3 grams. The amount of vitamins and minerals in these two types of meat is similar but slightly in favor of lamb.
All in all, chicken will very likely be better for weight loss than lamb.
Chart of lamb vs beef vs chicken
The meat that really stands out for weight loss is chicken. When making the choice between lamb and beef you are mainly deciding with personal preference.
The amounts of vitamins and minerals in the types of meat do matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for lamb (4), beef (6), and chicken (7) to compare.
|Values Per 100g||Ground Lamb||Ground Beef||Ground Chicken|
|Calories||283 calories||273 calories||189 calories|
|Protein||24.7 g||25.4 g||23.3 g|