Information, Symptoms, Treatments and Resources


Ground Beef: OK or No Way?


Is ground beef safe to eat when you have diabetes? Learn the facts here.

Serving size: 3 oz cooked (85 g)

Carbs: 0 g

Calories: 164 (5% fat) - 230 (30% fat)

Glycemic index: n/a*

Glycemic load: n/a*


For a lot of people, ground beef is a weekly staple, taking the starring role in dishes from burgers to meat sauce. It can be a healthy choice, delivering high-quality protein and many essential vitamins and minerals, including iron. But ground beef comes in different leanness levels — from 5% fat to 30%. The one you choose makes a big difference in terms of calories and saturated fat. Think also about portion size: a true serving of ground beef is 4 ounces raw, 3 ounces cooked, the traditional quarter pounder. But many restaurants serve burgers that are twice that size!

Overall, the best diet is a balanced one, so rather than eating ground beef several times a week, have it less often. Then choose poultry, fish, beans, eggs and tofu at other meals.

Quick tip: Stretch ground beef by adding diced or sliced mushrooms to mixed dishes, such as casseroles and chili.

*Can't be analyzed because it doesn't contain carbs.

Published on August 10, 2016. 


— Compiled by Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Reviewed by Toby Smithson, MS, RD, LDN, CDE on June 20, 2016.
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