How Much Protein Is In a Pound of Ground Beef?

Arianna Foster
Published by Arianna Foster
Last Updated On: June 20, 2024

I’ve been on a carnivore diet for more than a decade. I’m a huge meat lover, and I eat beef at least a few times a week.

As a nutrition coach, I often meet many clients concerned about the amount of protein content in ground beef. To help answer their concerns, I talked with a nutritionist friend and checked studies done on beef to find out how much protein beef has.

Today, I’ll explain beef’s protein content and how much ground beef you should eat.

Stick around as we dive deeper into this topic.

Quick Summary

  • A pound of ground beef contains about 77.88g of protein, with lean ground beef offering slightly less.
  • Ground beef is calorie-dense, with 1 lb containing approximately 1506 calories, and 80% lean beef having fewer at 1152 calories.
  • Ground beef is rich in vitamins and minerals, boosting the immune system, aiding in the production of hormones, and helping build cells.

How Much Protein Does 1 lb of Ground Beef Have?

Ground beef in a container

One lb of ground beef has about 25% protein, which amounts to 77.88g of protein [1].

However, this changes if you opt for lean ground beef. Lean ground beef is also a good source of protein; you don't need much of it to get your protein.  5% lean beef has about 24 g of protein per dish. For example, 3 oz of lean beef is 22g of protein.

“The definition of ground beef is chopped fresh and/or frozen beef from primal cuts and trimmings. Trimmings are defined as the small pieces containing both lean and fat that come from a beef carcass as the carcass is cut or “fabricated” into beef primals, subprimals, or individual cuts. The maximum fat content in any ground beef is 30% (70% lean) by law.”

- Davey Griffin, Professor & Extension Meat Specialist 

An average adult's recommended daily protein allowance is 0.8 per kg of body weight, or 0.36 g per pound [2].  In other words, an average man should have 56g of protein per day, and a woman should have about 46g. This should be about 2 meat portions per day.

However, daily values of protein intake also depend on your calorie requirements.

How Many Calories are in 1 lb of Ground Beef?

There are 1506 calories in 1 lb of ground beef. However, beef that’s 80% lean has significantly fewer calories — 1152, and a fair amount of these calories is attributed to fat [3].

Recommended calorie daily values are 2000 for women and 2500 for men, so beef has a high percent daily value of calories.

How Much Fat is in 1 lb of Ground Beef?

Ground beef on top of vegetables

There is about 136g of fat in 1 lb of ground beef. However, if you have beef that’s 80% lean, it’ll have fewer fats — about 90.72g of fat.

Most of the calories in ground beef come from fat. A 3 oz serving of beef that’s 85% lean has 13g of fat.

Out of these, 5g is saturated fat, which isn’t very healthy, and the American Heart Association recommends limiting the intake of total saturated fat from 5 to 6 percent daily values. This also includes fatty acids.

To put it into context, a quarter-pound hamburger has about 6.7g to 10g of saturated fat per serving size.

Trans fat also belongs to unhealthy fats. 1 lb of ground beef has about 8g of trans fat, while 80% lean has 5.88g of trans fat.

However, ground beef also has healthy fats, such as monounsaturated fat (6 grams) and polyunsaturated fat (0.4 grams).

Health Benefits of Ground Beef

Ground beef being kneaded

There are several benefits of ground beef. One such benefit is that this type of meat is rich in vitamins.

For instance, 80% of ground beef provides the following vitamins and minerals:

  • Iron: 8.8
  • Selenium: 18.1μg
  • Zinc: 5.5g
  • B6 Vitamin: 0.36mg
  • Vitamin C: 0mg
  • Vitamin E: 1.86mg

Other than being a rich source of vitamins, ground beef also does the following:

  • Boosts the immune system — Ground beef has several vitamins, such as Vitamin C, E, A, and more. These vitamins help your body maintain a healthy immune system together with zinc.
  • Boosts iron — Your body needs iron to make red blood cells, and ground beef is rich in heme iron [4]. Eating heme iron helps avoid anemia and low iron health issues.
  • Helps production of hormones — Selenium and B Vitamin help produce sex hormones and thyroid function [5].
  • Builds cells — Protein helps build and maintain muscle tissue and builds bones, muscles, skin, and blood.

Related Articles:


How Much Protein Should I Eat a Day?

You should eat 50 to 175g of protein a day. This depends on your overall daily calorie breakdown.

What Are the Nutrition Facts of 80/20 Ground Beef?

Nutrition facts of 80/20 ground beef are 0g carbs, 24g fat, 20g protein, and about 290 calories.

What Is the Nutritional Information For 1LB Ground Beef?

Nutritional information for 1lb ground beef include:

  • 1152 calories
  • 0 sugar
  • 0 dietary fiber
  • 81.65mg calcium
  • 71.11mg magnesium
  • 1224.72mg potassium
  • 303.91mg sodium
  • 0 Vitamin C
  • 322.06mg cholesterol


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About the author

Arianna Foster
Nutritionist/Editorial Director
Arianna Foster is the editorial director and senior reviewer at Carnivore Style. She loves sharing her passion for nutrition, diverse cooking techniques, and the many health benefits of a meat diet with readers.
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