Lamb Nutrition and Health Facts

Gourmet lamb chops


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A type of red meat, lamb is meat from a sheep that is less than 1 year old. It has a milder flavor than mutton, which is meat from a sheep that is more than 1 year old. Though a major source of protein throughout most of the world, you may only think of eating lamb in the spring. But this red meat is available all year. 

Like other types of red meat, lamb is an excellent source of protein, iron, and zinc. And, depending on the cut, low in fat and saturated fat. Here is a look at the nutrition facts, health benefits, and uses of lamb.

Lamb Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information for a 100-gram serving of lamb is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 202
  • Fat: 10g
  • Sodium: 66mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0
  • Protein: 27g
  • Saturated fat: 3.7g
  • Iron: 2.4mg
  • Zinc: 4mg
  • Vitamin B12: 2.16mcg


Carbs

Like most other meats, the loin lamb chop has no carbohydrates, fiber, or sugar.

Fats

The roasted lamb chop is a fairly lean cut of meat with 10 grams of fat per serving. A lean meat has 3 grams of fat or less per ounce. One ounce of this cut has 2.8 grams of fat. 

The loin chop is also low in saturated fat, with 3.7 grams per 100-gram serving. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend less than 10% of your calories come from saturated fat.

Protein

Roasted lamb is an excellent source of high-quality protein, providing 27 grams per 100-gram serving. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Like other foods in the protein group, lamb is a good source of many essential vitamins and minerals. A 100-gram serving meets more than 10% of the daily value for iron, zinc, selenium, and many of the B vitamins, including vitamin B12. 

Calories

A 100-gram serving of the lean roasted lamb chop has 202 calories. About 53% of those calories come from protein, while about 47% come from fat. 

Health Benefits

Lamb offers a number of nutrients when part of a balanced diet. Here are some of the potential health benefits of eating lamb.

May Help Build Blood

Iron deficiency anemia is common in the United States, especially in young children and women of childbearing age. Iron is an essential mineral your body needs to make red blood cells. Not getting enough iron in your diet affects red blood cell production, making you feel weak, tired, and cold. An inadequate supply of iron also affects immune health and cognitive function.

Lamb is an excellent source of iron, meeting more than 10% of the daily value. The type of iron in the lamb—heme iron—is more bioavailable than iron found in plant foods. This means your body absorbs more of the iron from the meat than from the iron in plant foods.

May Support Lean Muscle Mass

Protein is an essential nutrient found in every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. For general health, 10% to 35% of your calories should come from protein or about 50 to 175 grams.

Getting an adequate amount of protein helps you maintain lean muscle mass. Even when engaging in weight management, increasing your protein intake while keeping calories in check helps you maintain muscle. The roasted lamb chop is an excellent source of lean protein. 

May Boost Your Metabolism

Your body uses more energy to digest and metabolize protein than fat and carbohydrates. For people with certain medical conditions that need to follow a high-protein diet, eating lamb may prevent this dip in the metabolism.

May Promote Satiety

Foods high in protein like lamb keep you full longer than foods high in carbs and fat. Protein foods decrease the release of the hormones that stimulate your appetite and increase the release of hormones that suppress your appetite. Following a high-protein diet may help you manage hunger as well as keep your blood sugar levels more stable.

May Improve Muscle Strength

Protein is essential when working out to build muscle. For general health, you need about 0.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight, or 60 grams if you weigh 150 pounds. When trying to build muscle and improve strength, you may need 0.9 grams of protein or more per pound of body weight, or 135 grams if you weigh 150 pounds. 

Allergies

Meat allergies are not a common food allergy, but it is still possible to have an allergic reaction to any type of meat, including lamb. Allergy symptoms may include vomiting or diarrhea, shortness of breath, rash, or anaphylaxis. If you have an odd reaction after eating lamb, talk to a healthcare provider or an allergist for testing. 

Varieties

There are five basic cuts of lamb, including shoulder, rack, breast, loin, and leg. At the grocery store, you may find a rack of lamb, leg of lamb, lamb chops, or ground lamb. The rack of lamb and crown roast is cut from the ribs. Lamb chops may come from the leg, shoulder, rib, or loin. Nutrition information varies for the different cuts.

A 100-gram serving of roasted rack of lamb has 175 calories, 26 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, and 3.5 grams of saturated fat. The same serving of roasted leg of lamb has 196 calories, 26 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, and 3.4 grams of saturated fat.

Ground lamb may be higher in calories and fat than other cuts of lamb. A 100-gram serving of cooked ground lamb has 281 calories, 25 grams of protein, 19 grams of fat, and 8 grams of saturated fat. When using ground lamb for recipes, have your butcher grind one of the leaner cuts.

Storage and Food Safety

You can store fresh lamb chops, ribs, and loin in the refrigerator or freezer. If refrigerated, cook within 3 to 5 days after purchase. You can store lamb in the freezer for 4 to 12 months. 

How to Prepare

You can roast, grill, or braise lamb. The cooking method you use may depend on the cut of lamb. For lamb chops, broil or grill your meat a total of 9 to 12 minutes, flipping halfway through. When cooking a leg of lamb, roast it in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Cook all cuts of lamb until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. When making ground lamb, however, cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Add flavor to your lamb with meat marinades or rubs. Consider using ground lamb the next time you make meatloaf or meatballs

Recipes



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14 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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