Many Canadians could benefit from eating more beef

Beef is a naturally nutrient-dense protein food that contains a number of the nutrients of concern that many Canadians need more of in their diets.

Based on 100g Cooked Beef, Health Canada, Canadian Nutrient File, 2015. Food code 6172. % Daily Values calculated based on Health Canada’s 2016 Nutrition Labelling – Table of Daily Values.

A recently published study, conducted by researchers at the University of Toronto, has found that a significant number of Canadian adults do not meet the dietary intake recommendations for several essential nutrients.

Nutrients of concern include iron, zinc, the B-vitamins B12, B6 and thiamin, magnesium and potassium, among others. Read more about this study here…

Satisfying. Nourishing. Delicious. Comforting.

That’s why #beefbelongs. The one and only beef.

It’s a fact: very few foods can match the nutrient density of beef. The beef you love delivers a concentrated nutritional punch for a moderate number of calories. It can’t be disputed that beef provides vital nutrients that humans need – quality protein and one of nature’s best sources of iron, zinc and B vitamins – just as nature intended, without processing, fabrication or fortification.

Beef has nothing added – no fillers, no binders, no colours, no preservatives, no water – nothing. Naturally delicious. 100% beef!

See just how beef ‘steaks’ its claims:

Per 100 grams cooked beef:

250 calories, 35 g protein, 10 g fat, 0 g carbohydrate

102% DV vitamin B12, 77% DV zinc, 19% DV iron

Reality check: Canadians don’t eat too much beef (or red meat)

Think you might be eating too much beef? If you’re like most Canadians, you’re not.

FACT: On average, red meat (including beef) accounts for just 5% of our total calorie intake. Tracking at approximately 2 beef meals per week, the amount of beef Canadians eat lines up with the global recommendations from organizations like the World Health Organization. To reduce the amount of nourishing beef that women, children and aging adults eat, would leave them vulnerable to deficiencies in protein, iron, zinc and B-vitamins.

Reducing red meat in our diets is not necessary, not beneficial – and in fact detrimental to some.

What’s concerning: Almost 50% of our calories today come from highly processed foods – replacing calories that should be coming from nutrient-rich foundational foods like beef. Highly processed foods typically deliver very little nourishment, yet contain high levels of fat, sodium, calories and sugar.

Most Canadians could benefit from eating less highly processed foods and eating more whole foundational foods overall. It’s the quality-calorie foods featured on the food guide plate (like beef) that are precisely the types of foods people need to eat most often.

Beef and Fat

Weight Control

Beef for Babies

Happy Together

Food synergy is the idea that when consumed in combination, foods interact to deliver a greater nutritional benefit compared to when they are eaten separately.

The ‘Meat Factor’ is a concept that explains the improved absorption of nutrients like iron and zinc from plant-based proteins and vegetables when consumed alongside beef or other meats. For example, adding some ground beef to your bean chili allows you to absorb 150% more iron from the beans than if you ate a vegetarian version of the dish.

Another example of food synergy is adding fruit that is high in vitamin C (e.g., strawberries, cantaloupe, citrus) to oatmeal to help enhance your body’s ability to absorb iron from the cereal. Similarly, adding calcium-rich milk or yogurt to a veggie smoothie can help bind oxalates from greens such as spinach or kale, an important benefit for people with calcium oxalate kidney stones.

It’s a simple lesson, and another reason “beef belongs”. It’s not a matter of one or the other: plant- and animal-sourced foods are Happy Together.  #beefbelongs

Beef: A Nutrient Champion

With complete protein and many essential nutrients packed into each small serving, beef is a smart part of a healthy diet for Canadians. Beef champions nutrients that are difficult to get from other foods, like iron, zinc and vitamin B12. Beef is nutrient dense, meaning less food and less calories required to get what your body needs.

Follow these links to learn more about some of beef’s best features:



How Beef Fuels your Body

Nutrient values obtained from Health Canada, Canadian Nutrient File, 2015 version. Food Code 6172: beef, composite cuts, steak/roast, lean and fat, cooked.
Nutrient amounts have been rounded according to the rounding rules in the 2016 CFIA labelling regulations. % Daily Values calculated based on Health Canada’s 2016 Nutrition Labelling – Table of Daily Values.
iCholine value obtained from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central, 2019. Food Code 13361.