How Much Protein is in One Pound of Ground Beef?

As a long-time carnivore and beef lover, I often get questions from readers about the protein content in ground beef. Many people are concerned about getting adequate protein on a meat-heavy diet, so knowing the facts around ground beef protein can help put those worries to rest.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down exactly how much protein is in a pound of ground beef, the differences between types of ground beef, and the health benefits of eating this nutritious meat.

Protein Content in One Pound of Ground Beef

The amount of protein in a pound of ground beef depends on the fat percentage Fattier cuts of ground beef have slightly less protein, while leaner versions pack in more.

According to the USDA, one pound of regular ground beef that is 75% lean contains about 77.88g of protein [1]. This amount fulfills over 100% of the daily recommended protein intake for most adults.

For a leaner option, 85% lean ground beef contains around 83.73g of protein per pound. And extra lean 90% ground beef has about 87.51g of protein per pound [1].

  • 75% lean ground beef: 77.88g protein per pound
  • 85% lean ground beef: 83.73g protein per pound
  • 90% lean ground beef: 87.51g protein per pound

Clearly, ground beef of all fat percentages is an excellent source of satiating protein. Even just a few ounces can provide over 20g protein to help support muscle growth and keep you feeling full.

Comparing 80/20 vs. 90/10 Ground Beef

The two most common types of ground beef are 80/20 and 90/10. These names refer to the ratio of meat to fat content.

80/20 ground beef is 80% lean meat and 20% fat. 90/10 ground beef, as you may have guessed, is 90% lean meat and just 10% fat.

According to USDA data, here’s how these two popular types of ground beef compare [1]:

  • 80/20 ground beef contains 73.76g protein per pound
  • 90/10 ground beef contains 87.51g protein per pound

So while 80/20 has a decent amount of protein, going for 90/10 beef will give you about 13 extra grams of protein per pound. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and what fits best into your diet.

Calories and Fat Content

In addition to protein, it’s useful to know the calories and fat content of ground beef. Here are the nutrition stats for 80/20 versus 90/10 [3]:

80/20 ground beef (1 pound)

  • Calories: 1152
  • Total fat: 90.72g
  • Saturated fat: 37.59g

90/10 ground beef (1 pound)

  • Calories: 892
  • Total fat: 39.04g
  • Saturated fat: 14.34g

As you can see, the leaner 90/10 beef has fewer calories and significantly less saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat intake to no more than 5-6% of total calories [4].

So if you’re closely watching saturated fat for heart health, 90/10 ground beef is the better option. If not, 80/20 is fine in moderation. Ultimately, grass-fed ground beef is healthiest as it has more anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

Health Benefits of Ground Beef

Choosing high-quality ground beef provides many important nutrients beyond just protein. Here are some of the top health benefits of this meat:

1. Rich in iron: Ground beef contains heme iron, the most bioavailable form, which helps prevent anemia and aids blood and muscle health [5].

2. Supports muscle growth: The high protein content promotes muscle protein synthesis and efficient post-workout recovery.

3. Boosts immunity: Beef is rich in zinc, selenium, iron, B vitamins, and other nutrients that support immune function [6].

4. Supplies creatine: Creatine is an amino acid found only in animal foods that enhances muscle strength and athletic performance [7].

5. Contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): This unique fatty acid found in beef has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits [8].

Overall, high-quality ground beef from grass-fed cattle is one of the most nutritious, protein-packed foods you can eat as part of a carnivore diet. In moderation alongside other red meats, it offers immense health benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much protein should I eat daily?

The recommended daily protein intake is around 0.8g per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36g per pound. This equates to 56g per day for the average sedentary man and 46g per day for the average sedentary woman [2].

Athletes, bodybuilders, and highly active people need more protein – about 1-1.5g per pound of body weight.

Is ground beef healthy?

Yes, when consumed in moderation as part of an overall nutritious diet, ground beef can be very healthy. Choose leaner cuts and grass-fed when possible. Limit intake of processed meats like hot dogs and deli meats.

Is 85% lean ground beef healthy?

The leaner the ground beef, the healthier it generally is. 85% lean ground beef contains slightly more saturated fat than 90-95% lean, but it’s still a nutritious option. It provides an excellent source of protein, iron, B vitamins, and other nutrients.

What’s the healthiest ground beef?

Grass-fed ground beef is the healthiest type. It’s lower in saturated fat, higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3s and CLA, and free of hormones or antibiotics compared to conventional grain-fed beef. Going for 90-95% lean further maximizes the health profile.

Can I eat ground beef every day on keto or carnivore?

Yes, you can eat ground beef daily on low-carb, ketogenic, and carnivore diets. Focus on high-quality beef and reasonable portion sizes. For variety, rotate between ground beef, steaks, organ meats, fish, and other approved protein sources.

The Bottom Line

So how much protein is in a pound of ground beef? Regular 75% lean ground beef contains about 77g of protein per pound, while 90% extra lean has around 87g. Just a few ounces provides over 20g of satisfying protein.

Ground beef is more than just protein too. It supplies a wealth of vital nutrients like iron, zinc, selenium, B vitamins, and creatine to support optimal health.

When choosing ground beef, select organic and grass-fed when you can, and opt for 90-95% lean to maximize nutrition. In moderation as part of a balanced carnivore diet, ground beef is a tasty and healthy addition.

How much Protein in Beef cooked? (You’re probably not measuring correctly!)

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