Beef Nutrition Facts

Calories in Beef and Health Benefits

beef for weight loss
Andrew Scrivani/Getty Images

When you think about the best foods for health or weight loss, you may not think about steak. But steak can be part of a healthy diet to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight. However, there are healthy ways and not-so-healthy ways to choose and prepare steak if you want to stay lean. 

 

Beef Nutrition Facts

Beef Tenderloin Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 3 oz (85 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 179 
Calories from Fat 77 
Total Fat 8.5g13%
Saturated Fat 3.2g16%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g 
Monounsaturated Fat 3.2g 
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 54mg2%
Potassium 356.15mg10%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 0g 
Protein 24g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 1% · Iron 17%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

A single serving of beef is three ounces. That's about the size of a deck of cards. The calorie and fat content can vary significantly, but a single serving of top sirloin contains about 158 calories, just over 5 grams of fat, zero carbohydrates and a whopping 26 grams of protein. 

But many people don't eat a single serving of beef when they enjoy a steak. It is very common for a steak to be four ounces, six ounces, eight ounces or even more. A typical T-bone steak, for example, can weigh 16 ounces and provide approximately 704 calories, 30 grams of fat, almost 12 grams of saturated fat and 102 grams of protein, according to the USDA.

A filet mignon, or beef tenderloin steak (shown on the label),  is usually much smaller and leaner. Calories in a filet mignon are much lower and the fat content is lower, as well. But the way you prepare the filet can add fat and calories, too. In a restaurant, beef is often cooked with butter to enhance the flavor.

You'll need to add roughly 100 calories and 12 grams of fat for every tablespoon of butter used during cooking.

Health Benefits of Beef

Eating the right amount of protein is essential for a healthy diet. Beef is an excellent source of protein. Protein helps you build muscle to maintain a healthy metabolism and eating protein at meal time can help you to feel full for a longer period of time.

Beef is also a good source of vitamin B12, niacin, selenium, and zinc.

The downside to beef is that it is high in cholesterol and can be high in saturated fat. Currently, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that your saturated fat intake should be no more than 7-10 percent of your total daily calories. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your saturated fat intake to 5-6 percent of your total calories.

That means that if you eat 2000 calories each day, then you should consume only 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat, according to the AHA guideline. Some dieters may be told by their doctors to eat even less saturated fat than that. Most of us consume more saturated fat than is recommended.

So what is the best way to eat steak and stay within healthy guidelines? There are some cuts of red meat that are better than others. 

Choosing and Storing Beef

If you love red meat and you're trying to slim down or maintain a healthy weight, your best bet is to avoid higher fat ground meat and choose a high-quality steak.

John Kennedy is the Food and Nutrition Manager at Omaha Steaks.  He offered a few tips for buying beef when you're trying to lose weight.

"Try to look for the cuts with the least amount of visible fat. Some of the leanest cuts include the top sirloin, beef tenderloin, and filet mignon." He points out that Omaha Steak's 5-ounce serving of filet mignon has 220 calories and 10 grams of fat.

He adds, however, that the fat (marbling) is what gives beef it's flavor. "T-bones and ribeyes tend to have more marbling than some of the leaner cuts of beef," he says. So those cuts should be enjoyed by dieters in moderation.

When you purchase beef at the grocery store, beef experts recommend that you visit the butcher right before checking out so your meat stays cold and fresh. Then refrigerate or freeze your beef as soon as possible after purchase.

When you prepare beef, cook according to your preferences. A rare steak should be cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, a medium steak should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and a steak well done will reach 170 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Cattleman's Beef Board.​

Healthy Ways to Prepare Beef

Once you've chosen your cut of beef, the best way to eat steak and keep your calorie and fat intake in control is to use a healthy preparation method. Kennedy offers a few tips to keep your meal healthy.

  • Trim any visible fat off of the beef before you begin prepping. You can also ask your butcher to trim fat or buy steaks that have the fat removed.
  • Choose a lean cooking method to keep the calorie and fat content in control. Broil, grill, or roast meat on a grill or pan that drains away fat.
  • Keep portion control in mind. Remember that a single serving is only three ounces.

You can also keep your weekly fat and calorie count in control by balancing beef meals with meals that include other healthy sources of protein.  Other nutritious protein sources include tuna, salmon chicken breast, bison or swordfish.

Beef Recipes

Try a beef recipe to prepare steak in your home.

Continue Reading