Hamburgers have become the icon of the fast food industry in the U.S., making ground beef the largest consumed beef product. Because ground beef is available in quantities differing in fat content, an analytical study was designed by the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory to establish the relationship between nutrient and total fat content of raw ground beef. A nutrition profile was generated based on chemical analysis of various samples of ground beef.
B Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B is necessary for healthy digestion. It also affects the brain in its ability to promote a feeling of calmness, stabilize moods and improve memory. The predominate B vitamins found in ground beef are niacin, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. Niacin is important for proper blood circulation and aids in digestion. One serving of ground beef contains 5.3 mg, or 27 percent of the recommended dietary allowance, or RDA. Ground beef supplies 0.3 mg, or 17 percent RDA for vitamin B6, providing a benefit in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and the body’s metabolic functions. Vitamin B12 ensures healthy red blood cells. Also important to the brain, B12 aids in the development of a protective shield around nerve cells. Three ounces of ground beef supply 44 percent of the RDA for vitamin B12.
Ground beef has high phosphorus content, a critical mineral necessary for bones and teeth, muscles, kidney function, heartbeat regulation and nerve conduction. There is 189 mg of phosphorus in a ground beef patty, supplying 19 percent of the RDA.
Protein & Amino Acids
Ground beef is a good source of protein, and a patty supplies 21.9 g and 44 percent of the RDA. Without dietary protein, growth and all bodily functions would not take place. Animal protein in particular, such as lean beef, is a complete high-quality protein that contains all the essential amino acids your body needs to build and maintain muscle mass.
Selenium enhances metabolic functions, and promotes a healthy immune system. The content of selenium in a sample of ground beef will vary depending on the soil where the feedstuffs were grown and whether supplements were fed to the source animal. On average, a patty of ground beef supplies 17.9 mcg of selenium and satisfies 26 percent of the RDA.
It’s hard to believe, with America’s love of hamburgers, that many U.S. children are deficient in zinc. Zinc is essential for the metabolism of protein, carbohydrate, fat and alcohol. A beef patty provides 5.5 mg and 37 percent of the RDA of zinc. The American Society of Animal Sciences conducted a study to determine zinc bioavailability in cooked ground beef and concluded, “Zn in meat products is highly available. As such, ground beef is an important contributor of bioavailable Zn to the human diet.”
The body cannot make iron; it must be absorbed from food. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, and without it, you would become anemic. You get 13 percent of the RDA from a ground beef patty that supplies 2.4mg of iron.
- USDA Agricultural Research Services: Products and Services: Ground Beef Calculator
- The New York Times: Phosphorus in Diet
- Does Selenium Accumulation in Meat Confer a Health Benefit to the Consumer? Abstract
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.