What does "lean" mean?

According to the USDA, a 3.5-ounce cooked serving of beef designated as “lean” contains:

  • 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat
  • Less than 10 grams of total fat
  • Less than 95 mg of cholesterol

Based on this definition, there are many beef cuts that are considered lean, including 7 of the 8 Beef Alternative Merchandising (BAM) cuts. On average, a 3-ounce serving of beef is about 170 calories, and an excellent source of six nutrients (protein, zinc, selenium, niacin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12), and is a good source of four nutrients (phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and choline).

Check out this infographic to learn more about the nutrients in beef.

 Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26, 2013

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