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Goodness in every bite.

What's in Beef?

The Nutritious Butcher

Virtual Beef Counter

Compare the nutrient value of various cuts of beef in our handy interactive guide. Compare up to four different cuts at once.

The nutrient data for beef cuts are based on cuts that have been trimmed of visible fat.
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This site is brought to you by the Beef Information Centre
Nutrient	 Data

Virtual Beef Nutrition Counter

Virtual Counter

The nutrient data for beef cuts are based on cuts that have been trimmed of visible fat. Values for individual cuts may be higher or lower than those shown here due to natural variation, grade, how well the product is trimmed, cooking method and degree of doneness.

Values for individual packages of ground beef may be higher or lower than those shown here due to natural variation, differing retailer or processor formulations, cooking method, degree of doneness and level of draining.

Although we strive to make the information in this section helpful and accurate, we make no representation or warranty of any kind regarding it. The Beef Information Centre disclaims all liability of any kind whatsoever arising from use of this information.

FAQ's on Data in the Virtual Beef Nutrition Counter

Related FAQ's




Why update the nutrient values for beef?

Nutrient values for Canadian beef were last updated in the 1980's. Since that time the Canadian beef grading system changed to identify different levels of marbling. Marbling refers to the very fine flecks of fat in beef. AAA grade beef has more marbling than AA beef, which in turn has more marbling than A beef. The recent nutrient analyses were conducted to provide current and reliable information on the nutrient content of Canadian beef.

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How was the nutrient data obtained?

These data are from theCanadian Nutrient File 2007b. They are based on extensive nutrient analyses by an independent, fully accredited laboratory on a representative sample of Canadian beef steaks and roasts and ground beef, both raw and cooked.

How were the nutrient analyses done?

The study sample was designed to represent the Canadian beef supply. Analyses were conducted over a 5-year period with samples from all four seasons throughout the year. Comprehensive nutrient analyses were conducted on a total of 26 different beef cuts, including 14 steaks and 12 roasts. At least 12 samples per grade were analyzed for each cut. Nutrient data were compiled for both raw and cooked samples from all 3 grade levels, for 3 different trim levels.

How were the nutrient values calculated?

The nutrient values were calculated based on a weighted average of the data for threegrades of Canadian beef (AAA, AA and A).

The weighted average took into the account the market share of these three "A" grades.

Market share of Canada Beef grades
Approximate market share of Canada AAA, Canada AA and Canada A beef grades

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Why is market share used?

Consumers generally are unaware of the grade of beef they are buying or eating. The mix of grades at retail stores varies from store to store and from day to day. In most cases, Canadians purchase a mixture of AA and AAA grade beef at grocery stores. Only about 3% of the beef sold in Canada is grade A. The market share for the three grades would also be representative of beef purchased at food service (unless they state that they use a specific grade).

How was ‘Beef Average’ calculated?

Beef average represents values that were calculated based on the weighted average for cuts on the carcass and the market share of the three 'A' grades based on Canadian beef production levels. Thus, these values represent the beef supply available for consumption in Canada. These values are also referred to as ‘beef composite’ in theCanadian Nutrient File 2007b.

Why does 100 g cooked beef have more calories, fat, protein and most other nutrients than 100 g raw beef?

Cooked and raw nutrient values should not be compared side by side, since both are based on 100 g. 100 g raw beef yields about 65 g cooked beef. In other words, comparing the nutrient contents of 100 g raw beef and 65 g cooked beef would be a more appropriate comparison. See also “What is ‘yield’?“.

Why do values differ from those on Nutrition Facts tables?

Values on Nutrition Facts tables may vary from those on this site and in the Canadian Nutrient File (CNF) due to:

  • Different methodologies for measuring fat content
  • Adjustment of nutrition labelling values to account for nutrient variability and rounding according to the regulations
  • Presentation of data for most minerals and all vitamins as the % Daily Value on the Nutrition Facts table.
  • Trim level and grade

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How do the updated data apply to nutrition labelling?

Fresh beef cuts sold at retail (without any added ingredients) are exempt from mandatory nutrition labelling. Retailers who choose to sell beef with a Nutrition Facts table must provide nutrient values on theraw product as sold. While data from the same nutrient analyses will be used for calculating the numbers for use in the Nutrition Facts tables, those values may differ from those in this resource because a different set of regulations govern the nutrition labelling of foods. For example, specific rounding rules apply to the values on Nutrition Facts tables. Thus, the nutrient data are not intended for nutrition labelling. See the2003 Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising for labelling regulations.

Can the values be used for nutrition labelling?

These values are not designed for use in nutrition labelling. Processors and retailers are reminded that it is their responsibility to comply with the detailed requirements of the Food and Drugs Act and its regulations.

Why data may differ from values in the BIC publication The Nutrient Value of Canadian Beef?

The BIC publication The Nutrient Value of Canadian Beef was published before Health Canada finalized the values that would appear in the Canadian Nutrient File 2007b (CNF). In addition, the independent laboratory used a different method for calculating Niacin Equivalents than used for the CNF.

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Do Canadian beef nutrient values differ from US values?

The updated nutrient values for Canadian beef do differ from the nutrient values for US beef. The difference is due to methods of production used in each country.

Were the nutrient values for cooked ground beef based on product that was drained or undrained?

All the data for cooked ground beef are based on product that was drained well after cooking.

I notice under Regular Ground Beef that you include information for “drained and rinsed.” What is this?

Rinsing cooked Regular Ground Beef with hot water after draining it well, reduces the fat content significantly. This method can be used for crumbles that are added to items such as spaghetti sauce, chilli, etc., although it may reduce the beef flavour. Rinsing of extra lean and lean ground beef has little effect on the fat content.

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What is ‘lean only’?

‘Lean only’ refers to beef that has been trimmed of visible fat. It includes only lean muscle tissue and marbling.

What is ‘yield’?

The yield is the weight of the beef item after cooking. It will vary depending on the cut, the amount of refuse (e.g., bone), the trim level and the degree of doneness (e.g., beef cooked to rare will yield more than beef cooked to well done). For example, 100 grams of raw lean ground beef yields approximately 65 grams after cooking. See also “How does cooking impact yields and nutrient retention?”.

What is the impact of trimming on the fat content of beef?

Trim the fat from beef, before or after cooking, to significantly reduce the fat content.

Raw beef

Raw Beef
Reduce the fat content of raw outside round steak by up to 35% by trimming
the visible fat before cooking for recipes such as stir-fries or stews.

Cooked beef

Cooked Beef
Reduce the fat content of cooked sirloin steak by trimming
the visible fat before eating the steak.

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Do most Canadians trim their beef?

Based on consumer research conducted for the Beef Information Centre in 2005, almost 80% of Canadians report that they trim visible fat from beef either before and/or after cooking.

How does cooking impact yields and nutrient retention?

Due to loss of moisture and fat, average cooking yields are about 64%. This means that you need about 150 g of raw beef to yield 100 g cooked. On average, about 45% of water and 30% of fat is lost in cooking. Yields and the retention of nutrients vary depending on the cooking method used. Dry heat methods, such as roasting or broiling, tend to increase nutrient retention compared to moist heat cooking methods, such as braising or roasting in liquid.

Does the fat content differ between grades?

There is a small difference in fat content between the different grades. A 100 g serving of AAA grade beef has only 1.5 g more total fat than a serving of A grade beef based on a composite for each grade, raw and cooked. This is true for Lean Only, 0" and 1/8" trim levels.

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How does fat content of beef compare to other proteins?

Lean beef compares favourably to chicken without the skin:

Lean beef vs. Chicken
Lean Beef vs. Chicken

Lean beef compares favourably to fish:

Lean beef vs. Fish
Lean Beef vs. Fish

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Lean on Canadian Beef. Bite for bite Canadian beef is a nutrient rich choice for you and your family. Watch our video or visit our FAQ page.

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