Recipes with Macros: Is Lean Red Meat a Good Protein?

Susan Hoff
September 7, 2023

Lean red meat can be an excellent source of protein and a variety of vitamins.

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In the realm of diet, nutrition, and fat intake, lean red meat finds itself at the center of a longstanding debate. It’s time to set the record straight - as women who want to stay strong, we should embrace this protein-packed powerhouse for its numerous health benefits, namely as a great source of protein

Contrary to popular belief, lean red meat is not a source of fat but is actually a fabulous source of high-quality protein. In dietary terms, lean meat is not considered a primary fat source because its fat content is relatively low compared to its dense protein content. When we talk about macronutrients (macros), we typically refer to three main categories: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Good lean meat falls primarily under the protein category.

Protein, one of the crucial building blocks of life, is necessary for our health from day one. Lean red meat is a great source of protein because we don’t have to eat very much of it to reap the benefits.

Lean red meat provides us with a complete and bioavailable form of protein, meaning it contains all the essential amino acids our bodies require for various functions, including muscle maintenance and repair, hormone production, and immune system support. In terms of protein, it really is the full package. Protein, of course, is incredibly important at every stage of a woman’s development and transitional phases in life.

Why Lean Red Meat Matters for Women (Especially those of us over 50)

We all know that lean red meat is delicious, but is lean red meat a good protein source? 

Well, for women over 50, the importance of incorporating lean red meat into our diets cannot be overstated:

Muscle Mass Maintenance: 

As we age, muscle mass naturally decreases, a phenomenon known as sarcopenia. Lean red meat's protein content is instrumental in preserving muscle mass and strength, helping maintain an active lifestyle.

Iron and B Vitamins: 

Lean red meat is an excellent source of heme iron, which is more readily absorbed by the body than non-heme iron found in plant-based foods. Adequate iron intake prevents anemia, particularly as menstruation ceases. 

Additionally, red meat supplies essential B vitamins, like B12, which support cognitive function and energy metabolism. The only thing more important than a healthy body is a healthy mind to go along with it.

Bone Health: 

Protein isn't doesn’t only impact our muscles; it plays a role in bone health, too. Lean red meat contains phosphorus and zinc, both vital minerals for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

Satiety and Weight Management: 

Protein-rich foods like lean red meat help control appetite, aiding in weight management—a concern that becomes more prevalent as we age. We should always strive to use healthy red meat recipes, and avoid excess oil, frying, or butter. Well-prepared lean red meats make us feel fuller for longer, making red meat good for our health by cutting out unnecessary snacking.

Nutrient Density: 

Lean red meat offers a rich array of essential nutrients, including zinc, selenium, and vitamins such as niacin and riboflavin, which are essential for overall health. Of course, too much red meat isn’t a good thing, so it’s important to keep our diets well-balanced. Read more about the possible benefits red meat provides.

Grilled Rosemary Balsamic Steak

Follow along for one of our favorite easy, nutrient-packed red meat meals… this is a truly healthy red meat recipe. 


  • 4 lean beef, high-quality organic steaks (such as sirloin or filet)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic, and rosemary to create a marinade.

  1. Season the steaks with salt and pepper, then place them in a resealable bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steaks, ensuring they are well coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to marinate.

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the steaks from the marinade and grill for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare, or longer according to your preference.
  1. Let the steaks rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Pair with your favorite side dishes, such as a fresh green salad or roasted vegetables.

If you liked our answer to “Is lean red meat a good protein?” you’re going to love everything else we have to share. Take a look at our top fitness advice, or read more about the role of proteins, carbs, and fats in our diets.

Oath & Grind By Susan Hoff
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