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Is lamb healthier than beef? For those who get confused which is the better, lamb or beef, let BestLifeTips draw a bigger picture for you with pros and cons for both kinds of meat.
Lamb nutrition vs beef
Before picking any of them to be the better to eat, let take a closer look on their nutrition facts and benefits on human health first.
Beef nutrition facts
Beef is an excellent source of high quality protein, a source of 14 essential nutrients, and lean cuts are low in calories. Besides of that, Fresh, lean beef is rich in various vitamins and minerals, especially iron and zinc.
Therefore, nutrition experts recommend beef as a part of a healthy diet.
Here are beef nutrition facts for a 100g of beef according to the USDA:
- Protein: Amino acids are important for health because they are the building blocks of proteins. Their protein content varies greatly depending on the nutritional source.Meat is one of the most full protein sources in the diet, with an amino acid composition that is almost similar to that of your own muscles.As a result, consuming meat — or other animal protein sources — can be particularly beneficial following surgery and for healing athletes. It also aids in the maintenance and growth of muscle mass as combined with strength training.
- Fat: The amount of fat in beef is determined by the amount of trimming as well as the animal’s age, breed, gender, and feed. Processed meats, such as sausages and salami, are rich in calories.Lean meat has a fat content of 5–10%.Beef is mostly composed of saturated and monounsaturated fat, which are found in about equivalent proportions. Stearic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid are the three main fatty acids.
- Vitamins and minerals: Beef also provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, which is vital for blood formation and brain, zinc, iron and so on.
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Benefits of beef
- Blood health: Beef is a significant source of iron. Beef contains iron, which aids in the production of hemoglobin, a protein that helps the blood transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of the body. Iron deficiency anemia, which occurs when the body does not receive enough oxygen, will occur if you do not consume enough iron. You can feel exhausted, listless, weak, and mentally foggy.People who are at risk of iron deficiency anemia will benefit from eating beef.
- Immunity and healing: Beef contains zinc, which the body requires to regenerate weakened tissue and maintain a stable immune system. Children and adolescents also need adequate zinc levels to grow and develop.
- Muscle function: Protein is essential for muscle health. It rebuilds muscle tissue that is normally lost because of daily wear and tear. Protein also aids in muscle growth, which is particularly beneficial if you are focusing on strength training.A single serving of beef contains the recommended daily amount of protein, which aids in the prevention of muscle mass loss. Loss of muscle mass will make you feel weakened and make it difficult to maintain your balance, especially if you are 55 or older.
Lamb nutrition facts
Lamb is a flavorful and tasty red meat. It’s common in the Mediterranean and American diets. If you’re looking to maintain a healthy cholesterol intake, lamb should be consumed in moderation.
- Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a waxy substance formed by the liver and found in cells. It assists metabolism, hormone processing, and the synthesis of vitamin D. While we need cholesterol, the body is capable of producing all of its own. A high consumption of trans and saturated fats can raise cholesterol levels in the body.Lipoproteins, which are protein-covered fats, are responsible for the transport of cholesterol in our bodies. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) are the two forms of lipoproteins (HDL). For good health, we need healthy amounts of both.
LDL cholesterol is known as “poor” cholesterol. It can build up in large numbers in the arteries of the body. This causes your arteries to constrict, restricting blood flow to and from your heart and brain. This may result in a heart attack or stroke.
HDL cholesterol is referred to as “healthy” cholesterol. It carries cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver.
- Saturated Fat: Limiting saturated fat and dietary cholesterol is important for good health, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). All of these things have the ability to raise your cholesterol levels. As a result, having high blood cholesterol increases the chances of having a stroke or contracting heart disease.
Because of the amount of fat and cholesterol in an average serving of lamb, it should not be consumed more than twice per week.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, rib roast is not recommended for heart health (USDA). At 10 grams of saturated fat and 80 grams of cholesterol, a single serving provides about half of the saturated fat and one-third of the cholesterol that you will eat for the day.
According to the USDA, lamp contains at least one-quarter of the daily recommended dose of saturated fat and cholesterol. Roasted shank lamb meat contains the lowest amount of saturated fat and cholesterol, with just 4 grams of saturated fat and 75 grams of cholesterol.
Benefits of lamb
- Heart disease: Grass-fed lamb is a good source of omega-3 fats, a vitamin whose intake is linked to a lower risk of inflammation and, likely, a lower risk of heart disease. Furthermore, the omega-3 to omega-6 fat ratio of grass-fed lamb is much superior to that in the average American diet.
- Immune system: Lamb is high in zinc, which helps the immune system. Only 3 ounces of lamb contains 4.4 mg zinc, which is 30% of our daily value. Zinc is vital for proper immune health, wound healing, DNA and protein synthesis, and growth and development of kids.
- Anti-inflammatory assets: While lamb contains fat, a large portion of that fat is anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Grass-fed lamb meat contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is beneficial to consumers (CLA). CLA has been shown to assist in weight reduction and the development of lean muscle mass.
Is lamb healthier than beef?
To answer the question, it’s better to ask what you need when choosing to eat meat first. Once the purposes are clearer from your side, it’s time to pick what you want to eat.
It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all healthy diet or meat choice.
Each person has different health risks or preferable meat choice. However, according to The Washington Post, here is the list of healthiest to least healthy animal proteins when it comes to nutrient factors:
- Fish/seafood/shellfish: Wild Alaskan salmon, oysters and sardines are highest in healthy fats; white fish such as cod or flounder are leaner.
- Pork: Loin cuts like tenderloin or top loin are typically leaner.
- Beef: T-bones, rib-eyes, and New York strip steak are richer in saturated fats than most cuts of steak.
- Lamb: The leanest cuts of lamb are loin, shank, and leg; certain cuts of lamb are marginally higher in calories than beef, but you can usually shave fat off the sides to make them leaner.
Is lamb good for weight loss?
Lamb is one of the top nine healthiest things to consume to lose weight and feel better, according to Healthline.
Furthermore, the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend rising vegetable intake and consuming 65g of red meat a day or 130g on other days because it is one of the best sources of iron and zinc in the Australian diet.
Eating beef and lamb three to four days a week with plenty of vegetables is not only in accordance with the Australian Dietary Guidelines, but it is also what the majority of Australian families eat for dinner.
Many people will lose weight by eating a higher protein diet. More protein can keep you fuller for longer stretches of time, making it possible to eat less.
Lamb meat contains L-carnitine, which is beneficial. L-carnitine is an amino acid that carries fatty acids into mitochondria, where they are converted into energy, resulting in fat loss. Eating lamb meat can help you burn fat since it is high in L-carnitine.
Furthermore, L-carnitine development decreases with age. L-carnitine can help improve athletic performance in people who feel they aren’t losing weight as fast as they used to.
Healthy lamb recipes
These recipes lift your lamb dishes to new heights. To keep it healthier, make sure to trim the lamb of any visible fat before you cook it.
Lamb & squash biryani with cucumber raita
- 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
- 170g brown basmati rice
- 320g diced butternut squash
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 lean lamb steaks (about 400g), trimmed of all fat, cut into chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 8 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- 3 tsp ground coriander
- 4 tsp rapeseed oil
- 4 onions, sliced
- 4 tbsp chopped mint, plus a few extra leaves
- handful coriander, chopped
- 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
- 20cm length cucumber, grated
- 100ml bio yogurt
- Combine the lamb, garlic, 2 tsp chopped ginger, and 1 tsp ground coriander in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- In a nonstick pan, heat 2 tsp oil. Stir in the onions, remaining ginger, and chilli for a few seconds over high heat to soften them. Stir in the rice and squash for a few minutes over medium heat. Stir in the remaining spices, followed by 500ml boiling water and the bouillon. Simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
- In the meantime, make raita by combining the cucumber, yogurt, and mint in a bowl. Half of the mixture can be chilled for later use.
- Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick frying pan about 5 minutes until the rice is finished, then add the lamb and stir for a few minutes until browned.
Lamb dopiaza with broccoli rice
- 2 medium onions, 1 thinly sliced, 1 cut into 5 wedges
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot)
- 200g tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 50g dried split red lentils, rinsed
- 1/2 small pack of coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
- 100g pack baby leaf spinach
- 225g lamb leg steaks, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2.5cm/1in chunks.
- 50g full-fat natural bio yogurt, plus 4 tbsp to serve
- 1 tbsp medium curry powder
- 2 tsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
For the broccoli rice
- 100g wholegrain brown rice
- 100g small broccoli florets
- Season the lamb with ground black pepper in a big mixing dish. Stir in the yogurt and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder until well combined.
- In a big nonstick saucepan, heat half of the oil. Fry the onion wedges for 4-5 minutes on high heat, or until lightly browned and only soft. Transfer to a tray, set aside, and then return the pan to the heat.
- Add the remaining oil, the sliced onions, garlic, ginger, and chilli, and fry, covered, for 10 minutes, or until very smooth, stirring periodically. Remove the lid, raise the heat, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are tinged with brown– this will add a lot of flavor, so be careful not to burn them.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the tomatoes and remaining curry powder. Cook for 1 minute, then add the lamb and yogurt to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently over medium-high heat.
- Pour 300ml cold water into the tub, mix in the lentils and coriander, cover with a lid, and leave to cook for 45 minutes on a low heat – the sauce should be softly simmering, and you should add a splash of water if the curry becomes too dry. Remove the lid and mix the curry every 10-15 minutes.
- Cook the rice in plenty of boiling water for 25 minutes, or until just tender, with half an hour of the curry cooking time left. Cook for 3 minutes more after adding the broccoli florets. Drain thoroughly.
- Remove the lid from the curry, add the reserved onion wedges, and continue to cook for another 15 minutes, or until the lamb is tender, stirring often. Stir in the spinach, a handful at a time, just before serving, and allow it to wilt. With the yogurt, coriander, and broccoli rice, serve.
Fruity lamb tagine
- 600ml chicken stock
- 400g can chopped tomato
- 400g can chickpea, rinsed and drained
- 200g dried apricot
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500g lean diced lamb
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, quartered lengthways and cut into chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp ras-el-hanout spice mix
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. In a casserole, heat the oil and brown the lamb on both sides. Transfer the lamb to a pan, then add the onion and carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Cook for 1 minute more after adding the garlic. Season with salt and pepper after mixing in the spices and tomatoes. Return the lamb to the pan with the chickpeas and apricots. Pour in the stock, whisk, and bring to a boil. Place the dish in the oven for 1 hour, covered.
- If the lamb is still a little rough, cook it for another 20 minutes untill tender. When it’s over, set it aside to cool so it’s not boiling hot, then top with pomegranate seeds and herbs and serve with couscous or rice on the side.
Lamb & spinach one-pot pasta
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 6 cups chopped spinach
- 1 (14 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
In a big pot, combine the spaghetti, beef, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, garlic, tahini, cumin, oregano, and salt. Pour water and mix well. Get the water to a boil over high pressure.
Boil, stirring regularly, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the water has almost evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes, stirring periodically. Serve with feta cheese on top.
Slow-cooker lamb stew with artichokes & white Beans
- 8 shallots, ends trimmed and peeled, but left whole
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 8 cups chopped escarole
- 1 15-ounce can artichokes, drained and quartered
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 cup dry small white beans or navy beans, soaked
- 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cubed (1-inch)
- 4 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
- The soaked beans should be drained. In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the rice, beef, broth, shallots, and garlic. Cook for 4 hours on high (or on Low for 8 hours).
- In the slow cooker, combine the escarole, artichokes, lemon zest and juice, pepper, and salt. Cook, covered, on High for 10 minutes, or until the escarole is wilted. Serve the stew with a sprinkling of dill.
You may also be interested in:
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- It’s strange. But this is how FDA wants you to store your dried food
All in all, beef or lamb has different nutrient benefits to human health. It depends much on each person’s need and health status to decide the best answer for the question “is lamb healthier than beef?”. Give us a thumb up if this helps and come back BestLifeTips for more.