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Carnivore Diet Ground Beef: Recipes and Benefits

By Liam McAuliffe Published on

Ground beef is often an afterthought on the carnivore diet. Influential adopters like Joe Rogan extol the virtues of savoring wild elk steaks, while pop psychologist Jordan Peterson details the benefits of tucking into 2-inch ribeyes. But high-quality ground beef can be a cost-effective and surprisingly nourishing carnivore diet staple. 

In this article, we’ll explore the nutrition and benefits of ground beef on the carnivore diet, and we’ll offer a few simple and delicious carnivore diet ground beef recipes.

Table of Contents

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for…Ground Beef!  

Of the 26 billion pounds of beef consumed by Americans each year, 46% is ground beef. This makes ground beef by far the most popular type of beef we eat. [1] 

If you’ve recently transitioned to a carnivore diet, you may be wondering if you can bring your burgers with you. The answer is yes, but with a couple of caveats. 

Of course, you’ll have to leave the bun, lettuce, tomato, and most condiments behind. However, there are some carnivore diet condiments that you can make yourself

The most important thing to remember is that an all-meat carnivore diet is low-carb, high-fat, moderate-protein way of eating. This means ditching anything resembling “lean.” 

Select at least 80% ground beef. 70% is better when you can find it. You’ll also want to load it up with other animal fats like butter, tallow, and creamy carnivore cheeses

Why is Fatty (70/30 or fattier) Ground Beef so Important on Carnivore? 

Yes, humans are carnivores, but more accurately, we’re “fatavores.” 

Research suggests that we evolved as hyper-carnivorous apex predators feasting on giant, fatty animals known as megafauna for nearly two million years.5

Our evolutionary penchant for fatty meat is reflected in the fact that we can only get around 35% of our calories from protein without getting protein poisoning. 4

On the carnivore diet, the other 65% of our calories have to come from animal fats! 

You could always start with leaner 80, or even 85% ground beef if that’s all that you can source, but you’d just have to dress it up with more fat. 

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Best Ground Beef on the Carnivore Diet

ground beef in a paper bag on the table

Dr. Kiltz has a few favorite sources of grass-fed, grass-finished ground beef that you can order directly. 

  • U.S. Wellness Meats: Provides 55% lean ground beef. Definitely the fattiest ground beef on the market. High quality from grass-fed cattle. They also offer ground beef blended with organs including heart and liver to support nose-to-tail eaters
  • Snake River Farms provides premium American Wagyu ground beef. Ultra-fatty with 34 grams of fat to 19 grams of protein–a perfect carnivore macro ratio. 
  • Porter Road: offers delicious dry-aged ground beef at a great price

If all that fat scares you, remember that we’ve had a scientific reckoning over the last few years. Saturated fat from whole foods sources like fresh meat is, in fact, healthy. 

Now let’s take a quick look at some of the other health benefits of carnivore diet ground beef. 

Vitamins and Minerals in Ground Beef

Ground beef is a remarkably nutrient-dense food.

Nutrient density means that per calorie, ground beef provides an abundance of macronutrients like saturated and monounsaturated fats, complete proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to survive and thrive. 

B Vitamins

1 lb of 80/20 ground beef offers 

  • 142% of B12
  • 68% of niacin
  • 64% of B6
  • 34% of riboflavin

This complex of B vitamins supports many of the most important functions in your body, including 

  • converting food into energy
  • Forming new red blood cells that carry oxygen to your brain
  • Enhancing cognition and protecting against age-related cognitive decline.B12 deficiency is associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. [16]
  • Supporting mood. B12 is now considered an antidepressant. [15]  

Keep in mind that vitamin B12 is found almost exclusively in carnivore diet foods. [2]

Heme Iron*

One pound of ground beef provides 46% of your RDV of heme iron. 

Heme iron plays critical roles 

  • the formation of red blood cells
  • energy metabolism
  • immune function
  • cognitive ability. 
  • Without enough iron you’ll get anemia [17]

On a carnivore diet, it’s important to cook your ground beef in animal fats. Studies show that when high-iron foods are cooked in toxic vegetable oils like corn and soybean oil, they can produce carcinogenic compounds.[18]

Zinc 

One pound of ground beef provides 128% of your RDV of zinc. 

The zinc found in meat is 400% more bioavailable than zinc found in grains. [19]

Zinc is critical for various bodily functions, including

  • healthy immune function
  • synthesis of proteins and DNA
  • wound healing
  • childhood growth and development 
  • antioxidant effects in the body

Selenium

One pound of ground beef provides 92% of your RDV of selenium. 

This is probably one of the most important nutrients you’ve never heard about. 

The importance of selenium is linked to its role as a piece of numerous compounds called selenoproteins. Selenoproteins are involved in [20]

  • Proper thyroid function 
  • immune function
  • Infection fighting
  • Protection from cell damage
  • reproductive health 
  • DNA synthesis
  • Antioxidant effects [21] [22]
  • Protection against cancer [23]
  • Protection against neurological disorders [24]
  • lung health [25]  

Complete Proteins

One pound of, 80/20 ground beef burger provides 80 grams of protein–over 160% of your RDV. 

Proteins are the building blocks for the growth and repair of muscle, tissue, and bone. They make hormones and transport oxygen throughout the body.

A treasure trove of tips for fertility and for a healthy body and mind

Ground Beef Nutrition

NutrientAmount per ½ lb (80/20) Ground Beef%RDV
Fat25.9 g
Saturated Fat9.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat11.5 g
Protein40.2 g80%
Riboflavin0.3 mg17%
Niacin8.7 mg43%
Vitamin B60.6 mg32%
Folate16.4 mcg4%
Vitamin B124.3 mcg71%
Pantothenic Acid1.2 mg12%
Iron41.7 mg23%
Magnesium4.1 mg9%
Phosphorus337 mg34%
Potassium566 mg16%
Zinc9.5 mg64%
Selenium32.5 mcg46%

Carnivore Diet Ground Beef Recipes

These simple carnivore diet ground beef recipes will help bring some variety to your carnivore diet meal plan

Carnivore Diet Beef Stroganoff Recipe

Stroganoff is a delicious Russian dish of beef stewed in a creamy gravy. 

It’s a favorite with real staying power. In fact, it was created back in 1891 by a French chef working for a wealthy Russian family. After it won a contest, it was named in the custom of the day after the chef’s employer, Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov.

This carnivore diet adaptation leaves out any plant foods, including the familiar mushrooms. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup Beef Bone Broth
  • 4 ounces organic cream cheese with creme fraiche or sour cream: you can even try a blend of triple cream brie, creamy blue cheese, and creme fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. In a hot skillet, lightly brown the meat, making sure to separate clumps with a spatula
  2. Add in bone broth and cheeses
  3. Reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by 50%. Around 5-10 minutes
  4. Enjoy hot! If it cools too much the fat congeals and it’s just not as scrumptious

Carnivore Diet Scotch Eggs Recipe

The UK classic wraps a soft-boiled egg in ground beef and bakes them together. They’ve been around for over 200 years and can still be found at corner stores throughout the UK. 

Carnivore scotch eggs are a perfect picnic food, or a carnivore snack when you’re on the run. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of ground beef or pork
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 12 large hard or soft-boiled eggs–soft-boiled will give you a delicious blend of textures. 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)
  2. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
  3. In a large bowl combine beef or pork and salt in a large bowl
  4. Mix ingredients together and form into 12 meatballs–using your hands works best
  5. Place six meatballs on each sheet
  6. Press the meatballs flat
  7. Place one boiled egg in the center of each flat meat circle. 
  8. Wrap the meat around each egg–use care to close up all gaps or holes
  9. Bake for 10-15 minutes–until the top appears cooked
  10. Flip each ball and cook for another 10 minutes

If you want it crispy, place under a broiler for 5 minutes. At this point, you can also top it with creamy blue cheese and broil. 

Carnivore Diet Ground Beef: The Takeaway

Though ground beef is often given peasant status when compared to more regal carnivore cuts like ribeyes, New York strips, and T-bones, ground beef should not be shirked. 

Ground beef from high-quality producers is a cost-effective way to get into the premium meat carnivore diet realm. You can get wagyu ground beef for $12 a pound, and premium dry-aged ground beef for less than $10. 

But the price isn’t the only factor supporting the role of ground beef on carnivore. Like nearly all other cuts of steak, ground beef is incredibly nutrient-rich, providing essential macro and micronutrients. And it has the added benefit of being super versatile.

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