You already knew that beef was packed with flavor but did you know it is also packed with nutrition in every bite? Calorie for calorie, beef is one of the most naturally nutrient-rich foods. Beef is an excellent source of protein, not to mention may other nutrients as well.
Lean Beef is also one of the most readily available and easily absorbed sources of zinc and iron – two nutrients that are key to mental development in children.
Click here to see the nutrients your body gets from 3 oz. servings of some of your favorite beef cuts.
Many people believe that the fat in beef is all bad. The truth is that there is only one more gram of saturated fat in lean beef cuts than in a skinless chicken breast. If you are leading a healthy lifestyle, you need to eat foods from a variety of sources to meet your energy and nutrient needs.
Click here to learn more about the new USDA dietary guidelines and food guidance system.
Lean on Beef
Beef is leaner today than ever before. Because of the nutrients provided in one serving of beef, it can be a great choice for a healthy diet.
The Beef Council has some great information available as a general Lean Beef 101 to answer some of your top questions.
Click here to see a chart of 29 lean cuts.
Still think chicken is the better choice?
Click here to see a comparison on lean points between chicken and beef (Courtesy of The Beef Council).
A Guide to Beef Nutrients
You need protein to support growth and maintenance of your bones, muscles and tissue, and to regulate metabolism.
Beef is the number one food source for zinc in your diet. Zinc is vital to the body's growth and development, maintenance of the immune system, wound healing and appetite control. Studies also show that zinc plays a beneficial role in cognitive development and function.
Vitamin B12 aids in the formation of red blood cells and helps maintain normal functioning of the nervous system. With folate, vitamin B12 may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cardiovascular disease.
Selenium is a trace mineral that is essential to good health. Selenium has important antioxidant properties and helps regulate thyroid function and plays a role in the immune system.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that is required by every cell in the body for normal function.
Niacin helps produce energy in the body's cells and helps release evergy from food. Niacin also promotes healthy skin, nerves, and digestive system and fosters normal appetite.
Vitamin B6 is vital in maintaining brain function and forming red blood cells. It supports the immune system and aids metabolism of amino and fatty acids.
Iron helps in the production of red blood cells and helps carry oxygen from the lungs to the blood cells and tissue, including your muscles. Without iron, your muscles wouldn't work. Iron is also important for brain development, intellectual performance, healthy pregnancies, and it supports the immune system.
Riboflavin is needed for healthy skin, nails, hair growth and general good health, including regulating thyroid activity. Riboflavin also helps in the prevention or treatment of many types of eye disorders.