Lean Machine: Beef vs. Lamb

Every now and again I decide to try out a new kind of protein for myself and J.  The other day I decided to try an Eye Round Steak and Loin Lamb Chops.  (Hey, I never claimed to be a vegetarian! )  Eye of Round is a very lean cut of beef and loin lamb chops are lean as well, but the question is, how lean are they really?

I decide to dig a bit deeper into the nutrient content of these foods.  I like the CalorieKing web site, I usually have the best luck finding exactly which food I am looking for here.    Here is what I uncovered:

Loin Chop, Lean, broiled

  • Serving size = 4oz
  • Calories = 244
  • Total Fat = 11g
  • Cholesterol = 107mg
  • Sodium = 95mg
  • Protein = 33.9g

Beef: Round, Eye or Tip, Lean & Fat (1/8″), roasted

  • Serving Size = 4oz
  • Calories = 235
  • Total Fat = 11g
  • Cholesterol = 70mg
  • Sodium = 42mg
  • Protein = 32g

Pretty similar profiles!  Looking at fat composition specifically, the lamb is about 40% calories from fat (11g  x 9 calories per gram / 244 calories in serving) while the beef is 42% calories from fat (11g x 9 calories per gram/235 calories in serving).  The American Heart Association recommends that we limit our daily cholesterol intake to 300 mg day, and since you can only get cholesterol from animal foods (especially egg yolks, meat, poultry, shellfish and whole- and reduced-fat milk and dairy products), the cholesterol contained in each 4oz is reasonable, as long as you control your intake of other cholesterol-containing foods the remainder of the day.

Since the fat content is similar in both meats, I figure preparation methods are similar as well – focus on keeping the cut of meat moist so it doesn’t dry out, so braising and stewing were options, or even cooking the meat in foil in the oven (perfect on a cold day).  I’d like to grill, but will need to make sure it was marinated well in a sauce that adds flavor and moisture….

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