Beef: The Other Protein

Beef frequently gets a bad name in the protein world. You often hear reports that eating beef is bad for you. In fact, in moderation, beef can be a good and nutritious source of protein. A serving size of beef is 3 ounces, the approximate size of a deck of playing cards, and in those 3 ounces, there are many nutrients that are good for your body. Three of the most important ones are zinc, iron, and protein (ZIP), but there are so many more.

In just those 3 ounces of beef you get 14 percent of your daily value (DV) of iron. Iron helps the body use oxygen efficiently. The same size serving also provides your body with 13 percent of the daily value of choline, a nutrient that supports the development of our nervous system. Protein is the most common nutrient attributed to beef. In just 3 ounces, we receive 51 percent of our daily value. Protein helps maintain and build muscle tissue. Beef is also rich in vitamins B6 (24 percent DV) and B12 (41 percent DV), which help maintain brain function and give us energy.

One serving of beef contains 20 percent of our daily value of phosphorus, which helps build bones and teeth. Zinc is one of the power players in beef, coming in at an impressive 39 percent of our daily value per serving. Zinc is instrumental in helping to maintain a healthy immune system. Twenty-five percent of our daily value of niacin (a B vitamin) comes from just 3 ounces of beef. This vitamin is used by the body to support energy production and metabolism. Riboflavin (another B vitamin) helps our body convert food into fuel for the body. A single serving of beef contains 14 percent of our DV of this vitamin. And just those 3 ounces of beef provide 38 percent of our DV of selenium, which protects our cells from damage.

As you can see, just 3 ounces of beef can provide our bodies with many important nutrients to keep us healthy. To make these choices even healthier, make the decision to select the leanest cuts. There are several to choose from such as tri-tip roast, strip steak, flank steak, tenderloin steak, chuck tender roast, brisket flat half, and filet mignon. All of these selections come in at less than 2.8 grams of saturated fat per 3 ounce serving. But there is even better news. When you select a sirloin filet, eye of round, top round steak or even 95 percent lean ground beef you are only getting between .6 and 1.5 grams of saturated fat per 3 ounces.

Many people believe they need to stay away from the beef counter to say healthier. In reality, we can be healthy while still enjoying that juicy hamburger, as long as it’s in moderation. Go out and support your local Florida beef producer and enjoy some Florida Fresh Beef today.


Posted: April 23, 2020

Category: Agriculture, Health & Nutrition, Livestock
Tags: Christa L. Kirby, IFAS, Livestock, Manatee County, Pasture, UF

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