T Nation

How do I figure out how much fat is in beef?

I got a package of beef that 93% lean. What exactly does that mean? And when I cook the beef, how much fat do I lose when I cook it?

Go to the government web site http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/cgi-bin/nut_search.pl and plug in beef. It will give you all kinds of options, braised, raw, fried, etc. This web site should be utilized by every T-Man.

I just went to that site that you told me to go to. I looked at beef-ground 90%lean, 10%fat. The lean cut 100g had 10g of fat. After being cooked, broiled, baked, you name it, the fat increased. How is this possible?

If you really want to know the percent of fat in the meat, multiple the fat grams by 9 and then divide by the total calories. You’ll quickly discover that there is no such thing as 90% lean beef.

A good example is milk:

2% fat milk is approx 40% fat
1% fat milk is approx 20% fat

When they say 93% lean beef or 2% fat milk, they are determining the fat value by the weight, (including any water weight) which is pretty meaningless. Your body works with calories, not grams.

How much fat will you lose by cooking it? No clue. It sounds like you are preoccupied with the fat content of the meat. I hope you’re not trying to go for a low fat diet.

I am trying to figure out how much fat I will lose by cooking the meat because I need fat. I’m not on a low-fat diet. I’m doing the 40-30-30 version of Masssive Eating. I need 150g of fat per day. This is split up into 4 meals. This means I need 37g of fat per meal. Assuming a cut of meat (4oz) has 20g of protein and 10g of fat, a 12oz serving would be perfect one fat meal considering I need 65g of protein per meal. The fat content is also perfect, assuming I don’t lose it by cooking the beef.

While I don’t have my calculator in front of me, I’m quite certain that 93 percent gr. beef is around 38-40 percent cals from fat.

I ran into a similar problem when doing strict CKD’s where fat/protein ratio had to be at least 1/1. The solution: take the appropriate amount of flax oil to get the required fat. With ground beef it isn’t so bad…if you’re eating something like a chicken breast you’ll need more. You’ll need approx. 2 tbsp. (about 28 g. fat) to obtain your 37 g. fat if we’re talking a 4 oz. portion of the gr. beef. Walnuts or something similar would also work…just watch the carbs.

…and also, I wouldn’t waste your time worrying about how much fat is lost via cooking because it isn’t much. Good luck!

Kurt, sorry to think you might have been going low-fat, you’re definately picking a good diet.

I never even thought about the loss of fat when cooking meat. I wonder if a lot of the liquid that comes out is actually water?

I believe that the following will show 93% Lean Meat = 7% fat by weight and 14.5% by calories:

93% X 4 Cal/gram(P or C) = 3.72cal
7% x 9 Cal/gram (Fat) = .63cal

100% ( Total P, C and Fat) = 4.35cal

In other words, there are 4.35 calories in one gram of 95% lean meat.


.063/.435 = 14.5% of calories are from fat.

A quick formula for meat is to double the percentage of fat by weight to get the approxiate percentage of calories from fat.

If I am incorrect, please let me know as that is what I have been using to stick to a low fat diet.

Avoids…on the packages I’ve seen for 93 percent lean beef, they list 160 cals and 8 g. fat per 4 oz. portion, which would be 72 cals from fat. Again, my calculator is not in front of me but if these figures are correct, this is approx. 40 percent cals. from fat.

Monty, since 1 ounce = 28.35 grams of weight, your 4 ounce package of meat would have 113.4 grams in it. Assuming 8 grams are fat, 7% of weight would be fat and 105 grams would be protein or carbs. So far, so good. Using the formula I posted above, would yield:

105 grams X 4 = 420 P + C Cal
8 grams X 9 = 72 F Cal

Total Calories 492

72/492 = 14.6 % of calories from fat.

The only way I can come up with a 40% number is if I do not convert the P + C weight to calories and then do the math. However, since the fat grams have been already converted to calories (72), it is a mix of weight and energy numbers which would have no meaning.

I have tested the formula on some packaged goods in the pantry and it seems to work out.

Damn, Avoids…that’s some pretty interesting stuff. So why then are the companies showing otherwise on the labels then? I would think that if the ground beef really is leaner then they would want to be more accurate on their labels. I knew that 93 percent gr. beef obviously did not equivalate to only 7 percent fat cals, but what is going on here?

Avoids said: your 4 ounce package of meat would have 113.4 grams in it. Assuming 8 grams are fat, 7% of weight would be fat and 105 grams would be protein or carbs. So far, so good.

No, not good. Do you really think that there is 105g of protein in a 1/4 lb of ground beef? Most of that is water weight, bro.

I didn’t even see that, Joel. I knew that something wasn’t just quite right about that. I need to start reading closer…I guess that what happens when you don’t take MD6 for a day!

I think you might be waaaaay off AVOID ROIDS
I usually take the lean, WET, PRE COOKED weight of the meat and assume that 25% is protein (and maybe 1% of carbs, if that) so 100 grams of beef that says 93% lean is obviously 7% fat and of the 93grams of meat 25% is protein which is about 23 g of protein
Cals from pro = 93cals (60% cals)
cals from fat = 63cals (40% cals)
ignoring carbs

Please note, when you assume, you make an ASS out U and ME

please tell me if i am miles off, god damn low carb diets…

You’re right Joel. Thanks for straightening me out. I forgot to take into consideration the weight of water in beef. That is probably about 50 to 75% of the total weight. The formula I came up with would only work for dehydrated foods. Mea Culpa. That sure blows my “low fat” diet though. :frowning:

Kurt, sorry I have been away since I posted. I think the reason the government site shows fat going up when cooked is because cooked meat has less water in it to dilute the other contents. That is just an educated guess, however.