What Does 80/20 Ground Beef Really Mean?

beef photoDo you know what you’re really getting when it comes to your ground beef? Many people make the mistake of thinking 80/20 ground beef means that only 20 percent of the calories come from fat. However, that’s not the case. There’s actually way more fat in that burger than you thought!

The 80/20 percentage refers to the proportion of fat and protein in the grind – not the proportion of calories. According to CookingLight, 20% of fat by weight contributes 72% of the total calories in a 3.5 ounce portion of raw ground beef! That means about 180 calories of the 250 total calories come from fat. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 20 – 35 percent of total calories from fat, or less than 30% calories from fat per meal.

Look for 90/10, 95/5, or better yet, purchase a lean whole cut of meat, like sirloin or brisket, trim it up, and grind it yourself. If you don’t have a meat grinder (and okay, a lot of people don’t), ask your butcher to do it for you. It’s fresher, leaner, and you don’t need to worry about nasty additives lurking in ground beef.

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