In recent years, more and more people are getting sold on living a healthy lifestyle. As a result, many have dropped their sedentary lifestyles and have become more aware of what they eat. The nutritional value of foods is one aspect that you need to consider in addition to picking healthy foods for consumption. This means, for example that you should be considering lamb meat nutrition in addition to adding lean lamb to your diet plan. This knowledge will help you make better dietary choices that support your long-term healthy living habits.
However, due to the lack of nutritional information on various foods, most people hardly pay attention to this concept. This might explain why there are numerous questions about various foods and little to no answers. Due to limited information on lamb meat nutrition, you can find questions such as, is lamb meat healthy? Is lamb meat better when compared to beef? Does eating lamb meat help you in any way?
In this article, we will be answering these and other numerous questions about lamb meat nutrition. We would like to analyze the nutritional profile of lamb and tell you if and why this meat is a good option in the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Check it out!
To begin with, lamb meat refers to the meat from a young sheep. Like any other food, you need to be sure that you are consuming lamb meat for the various necessary nutrients. After all, the last thing you want are reports of nutritional deficiencies. Truth be told, many of us are sure lamb meat is quite nutritious. Despite this, we can hardly go into details about the lamb meat nutrition facts.
We are certainly going to change this today. Here is everything you need to know about the nutritional profile of lamb. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the nutritional content of 100 g of lamb meat is as follows (7):
- Kilocalories- 122
- Protein- 10.4 g
- Water– 79.2 g
- Energy- 510 kJ
- Fiber– 0 g
- Total fat- 8.58 g
- Magnesium- 12 mg
- Calcium- 9 mg
- Iron- 1.75 mg
- Phosphorus- 270 mg
- Manganese- 0.044 mg
- Potassium- 296 mg
- Sodium- 112 mg
- Copper- 0.24 mg
- Zinc- 1.17 mg
- Vitamin C- 16 mg
- Niacin- 3.9 mg
- Vitamin B-6- 0.29 mg
- Thiamin- 0.13 mg
- Riboflavin- 0.3 mg
- Total folate- 3 µg
- Vitamin B-12- 11.3 µg
- Fatty acids, total saturated- 2.19 g
Remember that we have derived this nutritional content from the analysis of 100 g of lamb. If you consume a larger or smaller portion of lamb, the nutritional profile will also change accordingly.
Red meat has for the longest time been linked to numerous health conditions, including heart disease (13). As a result, many people have entirely cut or reduced their consumption of all types of red meat. This may help in explaining why people keep on asking if lamb meat is red or white meat.
The thing is, lamb is red meat. Noting this, people classify every lamb meat among the unhealthy types of red meat. Surprisingly though, lean lamb meat is healthy and is a great source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals (10). This is to mean that lean lamb meat is especially good for you.
Is Lamb Meat Fattening?
Some people might be scared to eat lamb for fear that it may be fattening. It’s worthy to point out that lamb is like any other food you consume. It contains enough calories that if consumed in plenty may lead to some extra pounds (2).
Considering this, no matter how much you compare lamb meat nutrition to beef, the fact remains that beef also has calories. What matters is whether you watch your daily calorie intake so as to avoid weight gain. Your daily calorie intake is influenced by various factors.
These include your body weight, size, height, lifestyle, gender, and overall health. The recommended calorie intake for an average woman is 2, 000 while that of an average man is 2, 500 (3).
When most of us think of meat, they tend to have no limits. This is especially the case if they are enjoying some lamb barbecue with a couple of their friends. Healthwise, we are required to stick to various food limits.
Lamb is protein and there is a recommended range of how much protein you are supposed to consume daily. Remember that you will also be having other protein foods throughout your day and meals. So, you need to be aware of all these protein sources and how they add up.
Adults whose daily calorie intake is 2, 000 calories are required to consume between 50 g and 175 g of protein daily (4). You are not supposed to get all your protein from lamb or one entrée. Instead, you must distribute your foods throughout the day to make sure you get enough protein. Here are some examples of how you can do this in a 2-day window (5):
- Consume 10 g or less of protein, for example by having oatmeal, some frozen berries, and nuts
- Consume 25 g of protein by having a turkey sandwich with cheese
- Consume 40 g of protein, for example from lamb meat, beef, or chicken
- Have a granola bar containing at least 5 g of protein
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- Consume 20 g of protein from foods such as a two-egg veggie omelet with a side of beans
- If necessary, you can have a snack amounting to at least 15 g of protein. One protein source with such limits is cottage cheese and some fruit
- Consume 25 g of protein perhaps from a salad with lamb or a filet of fish on top
- For your afternoon snack, try to consume something with 15 g of protein. A great idea is a protein shake.
- Due to the constant snacking, you may not need as much protein at dinner. Aim at consuming 10 g of protein from foods such as a lentil soup or any other meatless dish.
You perhaps may not have tried lamb meat before. This may not be because it is unavailable, but merely because you have been uncertain of its nutritional value. As a result, you have ended up always opting for other meat options.
Today we are going to discuss the benefits of eating lamb meat based on its nutritional chart. Perhaps this information is convincing enough to change your mind about giving lamb meat a try. Nonetheless, you still want to consult with your healthcare provider or nutritionist before making any dietary changes.
Vitamin B-12 is one of the largest and important water-soluble vitamins in the B complex. It is found naturally in various animal foods, including lamb meat. As you can see from the nutritional chart above, 100 g of lamb contains 11.3 µg of vitamin B-12.
This vitamin is important in the maintenance of the normal functioning of your brain and nervous system (1). It is also responsible for the formation of red blood cells and the creation and regulation of DNA (1).
The chart above reveals that 100 g of lamb gives you about 10.4 g of protein. Protein is fundamental in your body, as it has so many roles that contribute to smooth body functioning. According to Medical News Today, protein is responsible for many bodily processes including immune system responses, blood clotting, vision, and fluid balance (4).
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
These fatty acids are significant in your body for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, they help in keeping the membranes that surround your body cells functional (11). They also reportedly reduce inflammation and your chance of getting heart disease (11).
Similarly, you also need this vitamin as it helps in keeping your skin, nervous system, and hair healthy. If you are above 4 years old and your daily calorie intake is 2, 000, you are required to consume 16 mg daily (12). You can acquire this vitamin by eating lamb meat or food like beef liver, turkey breast, or enriched breakfast cereal (12).
Delicious Lamb Meat Recipes
The nutritional value of your lamb may also be varying depending on how you prepare this meat. It is without a doubt that there are numerous lamb recipes and methods of cooking lamb. All these methods will result in varying lamb meat nutritional info. Let us take a look at some recipes and then analyze the nutritional content of the lamb dish.
The following recipe is obtained from WebMD’s website. It is as follows (9):
- One and a half pounds of boneless lamb stew meat (preferably the shoulder cut), or two and a half pounds of lamb shoulder chops, deboned, trimmed, and cut into one-inch chunks
- One 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
- One tablespoon canola or olive oil
- Four teaspoons of ground cumin
- A quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- One tablespoon ground coriander
- A quarter teaspoon of salt
- One large onion, chopped
- A three-quarter cup of reduced-sodium chicken broth
- Four cloves garlic, minced
- One 15-ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed
- Six ounces baby spinach
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Place your lamb in a larger slow cooker and coat it with a mixture of cumin, oil, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Top the lamb with onion.
- Over medium heat, bring your broth and garlic to a simmer. Proceed to then pour it over the lamb and onion. Cover and let it cook until it is tender. If it is over high heat, cook for three to three and a half hours. However, if the heat is low, let it cook for five and a half or six hours.
- Skim any visible fat from the stew. Mash your chickpeas and stir this mash into the stew, along with your spinach. Cover and let it cook for about 5 minutes or until your spinach is wilted.
The following recipe makes up to 8 servings. It is, therefore, an ideal family dinner idea. Here is the nutritional information of only one serving:
- Calories- 319
- Total carbohydrate- 15 g
- Cholesterol- 92 mg
- Total fat- 15 g (Saturated fat- 5 g, Mono fat- 6 g)
- Protein- 30 g
- Fiber- 5 g
- Potassium- 238 mg
- Sugars- 3 g
- Sodium- 494 mg
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The next recipe we will be using to analyze the nutritional value of lamb is the Light Irish Lamb Stew. It is also obtained from the WebMD website (8). Take a look!
- Three pounds of boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into two-inch pieces
- Eight slices of turkey bacon
- A quarter cup of all-purpose flour
- A quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper
- Two tablespoons of canola oil (divide them)
- A quarter teaspoon of salt
- Two cloves of garlic, minced
- One teaspoon of white sugar
- Four cups of diced carrots
- Half a large onion, chopped
- A quarter cup of water
- Two cups of lower-sodium beef broth or regular
- One large onion that has been cut into bite-size pieces
- Two medium potatoes with skin, diced
- Half a teaspoon of dried thyme
- Half a cup of white wine
- One bay leaf
- Place your turkey bacon slices in a frying pan and let them sauté. When cooked, go ahead and crumble them into tiny pieces.
- Mix your lamb, salt, flour, and pepper. Let the meat coat evenly. Coat your skillet or frying pan using one tablespoon of canola oil. Place your meat and let it brown on all sides for 5 to 7 minutes. If it proves challenging, divide your meat into two portions and brown them separately.
- Put the browned meat in a stockpot. Add one tablespoon of canola oil to a frying pan and sauté your garlic and cook your onions until they are golden brown.
- Deglaze the pan using half a cup of water. Add this garlic-onion mixture to the stockpot with the meat. Also, add your bacon pieces, sugar, and beef broth and let the mixture simmer for at least one and a half hours.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the stockpot and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
As with the first recipe, this recipe also makes eight servings. However, we are only going to evaluate the nutritional content of one serving. It is as shown:
- Calories- 402
- Protein- 39.5 g
- Fiber- 3.1 g
- Carbs- 23 g
- Fat- 15.3 g (Saturated fat- 5 g)
- Sugars- 5.3 g
- Cholesterol- 129 mg
- Sodium- 468 mg
- Iron- 3.7 mg
- Vitamin C- 9.2 mg
- Vitamin A- 10700 IU
- Calcium- 68.9 mg
- Potassium- 800 mg
Last but not least is the Lamb Chops with Lebanese Green Beans recipe. It is from the WebMD website and is as follows (6):
- Eight lamb loin chops, trimmed (Should be between one and a half to one and three-quarter pounds)
- One teaspoon of salt, divided
- One tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, plus one teaspoon, divided
- Half a teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- One medium yellow onion, chopped
- Two tablespoons chopped fresh mint or two teaspoons dried, divided
- A quarter teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- Three cups of diced tomatoes (4 to 5 medium)
- 1/3 cup water
- Twelve ounces of green beans, trimmed
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add your onions and let them cook until they are golden brown.
- Add one tablespoon of dried mint, cinnamon, and half a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stir and let them cook for about thirty seconds.
- Add your tomatoes and water and now increase your heat to high. Let the tomatoes cook for about 2 or 3 minutes or until they crash.
- Add your green beans and stir. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and let them cook until tender.
- Meanwhile, coat the lamb with the remaining half teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper.
- Heat the remaining teaspoon of oil in an ovenproof skillet and over medium heat. Add your lamb chops and let them cook until they are brown on one side. Turn them to allow the other side to also cook until it is brown.
- Once the chops are all brown, transfer the pan to the oven. Let them roast as you so like. If you want medium-rare lamb chops, let them roast until a thermometer inserted horizontally on the chops reads 140°F.
- Serve your lamb chops alongside the green beans.
The following recipe makes four servings. One serving accounts for two lamb chops and one cup of vegetables. Below is the nutritional information of such a serving:
- Calories- 327
- Cholesterol- 96 mg
- Total fat- 15 g (Saturated fat- 4 g, Mono fat- 8 g)
- Carbohydrates- 15 g
- Fiber- 5 g
- Sodium- 676 mg
- Protein- 33 g
- Total sugars- 6 g
- Potassium- 876 mg
The Bottom Line
Lamb is a great choice of red meat. Lean lamb meat tends to be quite healthy and nutritious. It is not only a great source of protein but also an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. For example, lamb gives you niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, iron, and vitamin B-12.
Regular consumption of lamb meat allows your body to function properly, as you are getting enough protein. Despite this, make sure you are not getting all your protein from this meat. You should divide and spread various protein foods throughout your meals.
Again, be cautious of how much lamb meat you are having, especially if you are on a weight loss journey. This meat contains calories and so naturally overeating it may lead to a calorie surplus. The basic principle of weight loss is maintaining a calorie deficit and not a calorie surplus.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Everything you need to know about vitamin B-12 (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How many calories do you need? (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How many calories should I eat a day? (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How much protein does a person need? (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to get enough protein (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Lamb Chops With Lebanese Green Beans (2021, webmd.com)
- Lamb, variety meats and by-products, brain, raw (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Light Irish Lamb Stew (2021, webmd.com)
- Middle Eastern Lamb Stew (2021, webmd.com)
- The Meat You Eat: What’s Good for You? (2020, webmd.com)
- What to know about omega-3 fatty acids (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why do we need vitamin B-3, or niacin? (2019, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why Eating Less Red Meat May Help Your Heart (2014, webmd.com)