Ground Beef Calories (Should You Eat This Type of Meat?)

Arianna Foster
Published by Arianna Foster
Last Updated On: December 4, 2023

I’ve been on a carnivore diet for ten years and eat ground beef at least once a week.

Being extremely health-conscious, I checked the online information and talked with a nutritionist to find out the number of calories in ground beef.

Here are my discoveries.

Quick Summary

  • Ground beef is high in calories.
  • The daily value of calories is 2000 for women and 2500 for men, which is one to two hamburgers a day.
  • You can choose lean or grass-fed beef for fewer calories.

Ground Beef Nutrition Facts

An image of ground beef on a paper

Below, I will list the nutrition facts for 3 oz of lean ground beef, according to the USDA [1].

  • Calories: 218
  • Fat: 13g
  • Sodium: 75.6mg
  • Protein: 23.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g

Calories

A close up image of ground beef on a plate

The amount of calories in beef depends on the kind of beef you’re having. For example, 1lb of beef has 1506 calories.

However, 80% lean beef will have significantly fewer calories — 1152. Moreover, a big part of these calories goes to fat. If your beef is even leaner, for example, 97% lean, it’ll have 548 calories [2].

Keep in mind recommended daily calorie intake is 2000 calories for women and 2500 for men. This means beef has a high percentage of daily calorie value.

Fat

One pound of beef has about 130g of calories. However, if you eat beef that’s 80% lean, you’ll have 90g of fat [3].

Most of the calories in beef come from fat. 3 oz ground beef has 13g of fat.

Out of this, 5g is saturated fat, which is an unhealthy fat. Too much saturated fat leads to an increased risk of cholesterol and heart disease.

American Heart Association recommends limiting how much saturated fat you have. Ideally, you should have about 13g of saturated fat daily, which includes fatty acids.

“Ground beef can be purchased with different levels of fat content, depending on the cut or cuts of beef that were used. The less fat in the finished product, the more expensive the cost. In order to be labeled ground beef, it must be at least 70% lean, containing no more than 30% fat. Ground beef labeled as lean cannot contain more than 22.5% fat.”
- Recipe Tips

To put this into perspective, a hamburger is usually 1/4 pound and has 6.7g to 10g of saturated fat per serving. This means you can eat a max of two burgers a day.

Luckily, ground beef also has some healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fat (6g) and polyunsaturated fat (0.4g).

Protein

An image of ground beef on a bowl

Ground beef is a good source of protein. One pound of ground beef has 25% protein, which is 77.88g. But, the leaner your beef, the less protein it has. 85% lean cut of beef has 24g of protein per serving.

The recommended daily value of protein allowance for adults is 0.8 per kg of body weight or 0.36g per pound. This means that an average man needs 56g of protein a day, and a woman about 46g [4].

However, your daily value of protein intake depends on your calorie requirements, muscle building, and more.

4 Health Benefits of Ground Beef

A detailed image of ground beef

Here’s how your body can benefit from ground beef.

1. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Ground beef has:

  • Iron: 8.8
  • Selenium: 18.1μg
  • Calcium: 82mg
  • Potassium: 1225mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.35mg
  • Vitamin E: 1.86mg
  • Vitamin C: 0

Iron is especially important because it makes red blood cells. Iron comes in two forms: non-heme iron and heme iron, which are found in beef. It helps avoid anemia and other problems that accompany low iron stores.

2. Boosts the Immune System

Beef also helps you have a healthy immune system. It contains B vitamins, such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and others. These vitamins boost the immune system.

Moreover, the body can’t store or make B vitamins on its own, so you need to consume them throughout your diet, and ground beef is a great solution.

3. Aids Hormone Production

Ground beef has selenium and B vitamin that increase the production of sex hormones, and selenium also regulates thyroid function [5].

4. Builds Muscle

Beef is rich in protein, and protein helps you maintain existing muscle tissue and build new muscles.

Protein also helps build bones, skin, and cartilage.

FAQs

How Many Calories in Cooked Ground Beef?

Cooked ground beef has 325 calories per 125g serving. This includes 21g of fat, 32g of protein, and 0 carbohydrates.

How Many Calories are 100 Grams of Cooked Ground Beef?

There are 217 calories in 100g of cooked ground beef.

Is Ground Beef High in Calories?

Yes, ground beef is high in calories. This red meat comes with health risks, so you should have it in moderation. Choose grass-fed beef as it’s healthier than grain-fed and has healthy polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat.

Is Ground Beef OK on a Diet?

Yes, ground beef is OK on a diet. Choose a lean version of beef for fewer calories.


References:

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174034/nutrients
  2. https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Beef%2C_raw
  3. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=76&content
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/how-much-protein-do-you-need-every-da
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6150850/
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About the author

Arianna Foster
Nutritionist/Editorial Director
Arianna is a nutrition expert with unmatched management skills and a love for steaks. The only thing she enjoys more than educating people on how to improve their diet and live a healthier life is cooking and hiking.
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