Steak Nutrition Facts

Steak, annotated
Photo: Alexandra Shytsman 

When you think about the best foods for health or weight loss, you may not think about steak. But steak can be part of a healthy diet to lose weight or to maintain a healthy weight. However, there are healthy ways and not-so-healthy ways to choose and prepare steak if you want to stay lean.

Nutrition Facts

The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for 3 ounces (85g) of beef tenderloin prepared without added salt or fat.

  • Calories: 179
  • Fat: 7.6g
  • Sodium: 49mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 26g

A single serving of beef is three ounces. That's about the size of a deck of cards. The calorie and fat content can vary significantly, but a single serving of top sirloin contains about 158 calories, just over 5 grams of fat, zero carbohydrates and a whopping 26 grams of protein. 

But many people don't eat a single serving when they enjoy a steak. It is very common for a steak to be four ounces, six ounces, eight ounces or even more.

A typical T-bone steak, for example, can weigh 16 ounces and provide approximately 704 calories, 30 grams of fat, almost 12 grams of saturated fat and 102 grams of protein, according to the USDA.

A filet mignon, or beef tenderloin steak (shown on the label), is usually much smaller and leaner. Calories in a filet mignon are much lower and the fat content is lower, as well. But the way you prepare the filet can add fat and calories, too. In a restaurant, it is often cooked with butter to enhance the flavor.

You'll need to add roughly 100 calories and 12 grams of fat for every tablespoon of butter used during cooking.

Health Benefits of Eating Steak

Eating the right amount of protein is essential for a healthy diet. Steak is an excellent source of protein. Protein helps you build muscle to maintain a healthy metabolism and eating protein at mealtime can help you to feel full for a longer period of time. Beef is also a good source of vitamin B12, niacin, selenium, and zinc.

The downside to steak is that it is high in cholesterol and can be high in saturated fat. Currently, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that your saturated fat intake should be no more than 7-10 percent of your total daily calories. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your saturated fat intake to 5-6 percent of your total calories.

That means that if you eat 2000 calories each day, then you should consume only 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat, according to the AHA guideline. Some dieters may be told by their doctors to eat even less saturated fat than that. Most of us consume more saturated fat than is recommended.

So what is the best way to eat steak and stay within healthy guidelines? There are some cuts of red meat that are better than others.

Choosing and Storing Steak

If you love red meat and you're trying to slim down or maintain a healthy weight, your best bet is to avoid higher fat ground meat and choose a high-quality steak. John Kennedy is the Food and Nutrition Manager at Omaha Steaks. He offered a few tips for buying steak when you're trying to lose weight.

"Try to look for the cuts with the least amount of visible fat. Some of the leanest cuts include the top sirloin, beef tenderloin, and filet mignon." He points out that Omaha Steak's 5-ounce serving of filet mignon has 230 calories and 10 grams of fat.

He adds, however, that the fat (marbling) is what gives steak it's flavor. "T-bones and ribeyes tend to have more marbling than some of the leaner cuts," he says. So those cuts should be enjoyed by dieters in moderation.

When you purchase steak at the grocery store, experts recommend that you visit the butcher right before checking out so your meat stays cold and fresh. Then refrigerate or freeze your beef as soon as possible after purchase.

When you prepare, cook according to your preferences. A rare steak should be cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, a medium steak should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and a steak well done will reach 170 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Cattleman's Beef Board.

Healthy Ways to Prepare 

Once you've chosen your cut, the best way to eat steak and keep your calorie and fat intake in control is to use a healthy preparation method. Kennedy offers a few tips to keep your meal healthy.​

  • Trim any visible fat off before you begin prepping. You can also ask your butcher to trim fat or buy steaks that have the fat removed.
  • Choose a lean cooking method to keep the calorie and fat content in control. Broil, grill, or roast meat on a grill or pan that drains away fat.
  • Keep portion control in mind. Remember that a single serving is only three ounces.

You can also keep your weekly fat and calorie count in control by balancing meals with meals that include other healthy sources of lean protein. Other nutritious protein sources include tuna, salmon, chicken breast, bison or swordfish.


Try a beef recipe to prepare steak in your home.

A Word from Verywell

Many healthy eaters avoid beef. Whether or not eating red meat is good for your diet is a point of controversy among nutrition experts. You can get a personalized answer by discussing your diet with your healthcare provider. If you do choose to eat beef, enjoy it in moderation. Choose smart cooking methods and pair your beef with smart side dishes like grilled vegetables or whole grains to keep your eating plan on track.

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Article Sources

Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Updated April 1, 2019.

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  4. Eckel RH, Jakicic JM, Ard JD, et al. 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on practice guidelines. Circulation. 2014;129:S76-S99. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.0000437740.48606.d1

  5. Cattleman's Beef Board. Determining Doneness. Updated 2020.