Trimmed of fat - before or after cooking - Canadian beef is lean. This means, it contains no more than 10% fat. In fact, many trimmed beef cuts qualify as extra lean, with 7.5% fat or less. Beef cuts from the hip, such as round steak/roasts, and sirloin tip,are usually the leanest choices. Cut down on fat – not on choice – with these 8 different cuts of lean beef:
- Eye of round
- Inside round
- Sirloin tip
- Top sirloin
- Strip loin
- Cross rib
- Outside round
Visit What's in Beef? for information on the fat content in specific beef cuts.
How does the fat content of ground pork, chicken and turkey compare to Canadian ground beef?
If labelled lean, whether it's ground pork, chicken, turkey or beef, the fat content cannot exceed 17%. To be sure of the fat content, look for the terms extra lean, lean, medium, or regular on ground meats and poultry. The following grinds are lean (or extra lean) based on this criteria:
- Lean or Extra Lean Ground Beef
- Lean or Extra Lean Ground Round
- Lean or Extra Lean Ground Sirloin
- Lean Ground Chuck
My doctor has put me on a low-fat, low cholesterol diet. Can I still eat Canadian beef?
Lean Canadian beef can easily be part of heart healthy eating. In fact, research shows that lean Canadian beef can be as effective as chicken or fish as part of a lower-fat diet to reduce blood cholesterol levels.1
Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide recommends 1 to 3 servings of Meat and Alternatives, like beef, each day. Try these simple lower-fat ideas when cooking up your beef meals:
- Trim away any visible fat
- Use low-fat cooking methods such as broiling, roasting, stir frying or grilling
- Limit added fats like oils, dressings, mayonnaise, gravy and cream sauces
- Choose serving sizes recommended in Canada's Food Guide. One serving of meat is 75 grams - about the size of a deck of cards
- Choose lean or extra lean Canadian ground beef or rinse regular ground beef with water after cooking
See more heart healthy action tips.
Is there trans fat in Canadian beef?
There is a small amount of natural trans fats in Canadian beef. Natural trans fats in Canadian beef are different from the manufactured trans fats found in processed foods like cookies and salty snacks.
Research is finding that natural trans fats does not appear to be associated with health problems.1 In fact, the small amount of trans fats in beef may even be beneficial. For example, CLA (a type of trans fat) has been shown to fight cancer cells.2,3 This research, while in its early stages, is promising.
For more information, download the factsheet Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Cancer. Also, visit the CLA Network and download the brochure Natural Power.
You can feel good about eating lean Canadian beef, including lean and extra-lean ground beef as they meet the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada's Health Check™ criteria. Learn more about beef and Health Check™.
How does trimming visible fat impact the fat content of Canadian beef?
Trimming visible fat has a major impact on the fat content of both raw and uncooked cuts. The total fat content of a cut can be reduced by 34-35%.