Beef & Veal: Calories & Nutrition Facts

Beef & Veal

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If you check the calorie counter for various cuts of beef, you will see that each cut has a different content listed for fats and protein. Beef contains no carbs but the protein and fat content varies greatly depending what type of beef or veal you choose. Below you will find nutritional insight into the different cuts of beef as well as the differences between grass-fed and commercially-raised beef.

Nutritional Value by Cut

The “cut” of a piece of beef or veal simply refers to the part of the animal the meat is taken from. Cuts taken from the legs and neck are the toughest since those muscles do the most work – the further the cut is from the “hoof and horn,” the tenderer it is. Sirloin steaks, for example, are very lean – they are low in fats but high in protein and flavor. Filet mignon, on the other hand, is considered the tenderest cut and it has roughly three times the fat content of sirloin.

Grass-Fed vs. Commercially Raised

Commercially-raised cattle are fed a diet of corn and other grains – they are also frequently treated with antibiotics and growth hormones to produce bigger, fattier animals. Grass-fed cattle, on the other hand, are raised on forage, a diet closer to what they would naturally consume. If you refer to the calorie counter for grass-fed versus commercially-raised beef, you will find that grass-fed beef has slightly less saturated fat and significantly more omega-3 fatty acids. Grass-fed beef also tends to be higher in vitamin and mineral content, containing more Vitamin A and E than commercially-raised beef.
Beef and veal have no carbohydrate content, but they are rich in protein and various types of fat. In this section you will learn the specifics about the protein and fat content of various cuts of beef. Refer to the calorie counter for each item in this category for specific nutritional information.

High in Protein

Beef is a good source of complete protein – it is also the most significant source of carnitine, a compound that plays an essential role in the metabolism of fatty acids. The fact that beef is a source of “complete protein” means that it contains an adequate amount of all nine essential amino acids.

Fat Content of Beef

The amount of fats in beef and veal varies greatly depending not only on the cut but also on how the animal was raised. Grass-fed cows produce meat that is lower in saturated and monounsaturated fats but higher in omega-3 fats than commercially-raised beef. Both contain similar amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, however. Veal is typically lower in fat content than most cuts of beef because the animals have not yet been transitioned onto a grain-based diet.