An average 3-ounce serving of lamb contains about 176 calories, which is comparable to many other types of red meat and poultry. Lamb is a great source of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. A regular 3-ounce serving averages about 43% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of protein. It also averages 74% of the RDA of vitamin B-12, 30% of the zinc, 30% of the niacin, 17% of the iron, and 15% of the riboflavin. In addition to this, the correct ratio of all eight essential amino acids is contained in lamb meat. Many people are concerned with the saturated fat and cholesterol content of foods, which has caused them to reduce or eliminate their consumption of red meat. However, lamb and other red meats, when eaten in moderation, can be part of a healthy diet. Only about 36% of the fat in lamb is saturated. The remainder of the fat is in the healthier forms of mono-unsaturated or polyunsaturated. When shopping for lamb, select lean cuts and use low-fat cooking methods such as roasting, broiling, grilling, braising, or stewing.
Beef easily meets the test of being a nutrient-dense food. It offers a high level of nutrients relative to its caloric content. The high nutrient density of beef makes it a go-to choice for low-calorie dieters, especially for women with greater iron requirements. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contains less fat than a tablespoon of the average salad dressing. Beef is a powerful source of zinc, a mineral that is essential for growth and metabolism. Women, children, and athletes often find themselves lacking in this important nutrient. The protein in beef contains all the essential amino acids necessary for growth. Beef is a major source of five of the B-complex vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-12, and B-6. An average three-ounce serving of today's cooked, trimmed lean beef contains only 8.4 grams of fat.
Most fish are low in fat and cholesterol and a good source of protein, which makes them a great choice for a healthy diet. All fish are good sources of B vitamins, and oil-rich fish are good sources of vitamins A and D. Many fish also provide a good source of calcium. Oil-rich fish are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the benefits of the Omega-3 oil in fish are said to reduce the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. Some experts believe it can help prevent cancer cells from developing to the tumor stage. It is also thought to reduce the inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and help in the development of the brain, nerves, and eyesight. Fish is low in calories, and many types of fish do not contain any unsaturated fat.
Veal is an excellent source of protein and a good source of niacin, zinc, B-12, and B-6. On average, a trimmed, cooked three-ounce serving of veal contains 166 calories. Veal is low in fat compared to other animal sources. A cooked, trimmed three-ounce serving of veal—about the size of a deck of cards—contains only 5.6 grams of fat. The leanest cuts of veal are the leg cutlet, arm steak, rib chop, loin chop, and top round. A 3-ounce cooked, trimmed portion of these cuts provides 160 calories or less per serving.
Pork tenderloin cuts are almost as lean as skinless chicken breasts. Recent improvements in the pork industry have made the cuts leaner. The safe cooking temperature has been lowered from 160 to 145 degrees with a 3-minute resting time. Ounce for ounce, pork has more protein content than chicken and is high in zinc, iron, and B-vitamins. Bacon oil and olive oil are actually composed of many of the same healthy fats, which are known to lower cholesterol levels.
The health benefits of eating poultry are abundant. If you're looking for a lean, low-fat source of protein, this bird is the way to go. The protein in chicken helps with muscle growth and development and can aid in weight loss.
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