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Is Beef Keto-Friendly?

Beef on a kitchen counter

If you are wondering if beef is keto-friendly, the answer is a resounding yes! With its zero net carbs and high protein content, beef makes a perfect addition to any keto meal plan.

In this article, we delve into a comprehensive breakdown of beef's carb content and explore how to incorporate it effectively into your keto diet.

From discussing its nutritional value, including the vitamins and minerals it provides, to finding creative ways to include it in your meals, we've got you covered.


  • Yes, beef is keto-friendly, containing zero net carbs and high protein content.
  • Beef also provides essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Is Beef Keto-Friendly?

Yes, beef is keto-friendly. The ketogenic diet emphasizes low-carb intake, typically less than 20-50 grams of net carbs daily.

Beef's carb content of 0.0 g net carbs per 100 g falls well within this range, making it a suitable choice for those following a keto diet.

Can You Have Beef on a Strict Keto Diet?

Absolutely, beef can be included in a strict keto diet. A strict keto diet typically involves consuming less than 20g of net carbs daily. Since this meat contains 0.0 g net carbs per 100 g, it fits comfortably within this dietary framework.

There are also those people who follow a somewhat flexible version of the keto diet, limiting their daily carb intake to 30-50g of net carbs. Beef can also seamlessly fit into this slightly more permissive carb limit.

Carbs In Beef

Beef contains 0.0 g net carbs per 100 g, which makes it suitable for those following a ketogenic diet. Regarding the glycemic index, beef has a low glycemic index of 0 [source].

The glycemic index categorizes foods based on their impact on blood sugar levels, with low being 55 or less, medium being 56 to 69, and high being 70 to 100. Foods with a lower GI digest slowly, leading to a steady rise in blood sugar levels, whereas foods with a high GI are quickly digested, causing a rapid spike.

Beef Nutrition Facts

Beef, per 100g, comes packed with both macro and micronutrients. It contains 0.0g of net carbs, making it ideal for low-carb diets like keto. The water content is 63.43g, while the energy it provides is 231.70 kcal as per Atwater General Factors and slightly more, 237.09 kcal, as per Atwater Specific Factors.

The nitrogen content is 2.944g, and protein is 18.4g. Beef's total lipid (fat) is 17.8g, with 0.8938g of ash. Remarkably, its carbohydrate content by difference is 0.0g.

Turning to the micronutrients, beef has 4.576mg of calcium (Ca), 2.059mg of iron (Fe), and 16.99mg of magnesium (Mg). It has 151.0mg of phosphorus (P), 281.1mg of potassium (K), and a modest 48.44mg of sodium (Na). It also provides an impressive 5.386mg of zinc (Zn), and a trace amount of copper (Cu), 0.05405mg.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100 g
Net Carbs0.0g
Energy (Atwater General Factors)231.7048kcal
Energy (Atwater Specific Factors)237.0968kcal
Total lipid (fat)17.8g
Carbohydrate, by difference0.0g
Calcium, Ca4.576mg
Iron, Fe2.059mg
Magnesium, Mg16.99mg
Phosphorus, P151.0mg
Potassium, K281.1mg
Sodium, Na48.44mg
Zinc, Zn5.386mg
Copper, Cu0.054mg
Fatty acids, total saturated6.341g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated7.021g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.5557g
Fatty acids, total trans0.6686g

Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Beef on a Keto Diet

Beef is not only low in carbohydrates but also rich in several essential nutrients. It provides a good source of protein, 18.4g per 100g serving, which supports muscle building and repair.

Additionally, it contains minerals such as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc, which are vital for various bodily functions like immune support, energy production, and bone health.

Incorporating Beef into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Add Beef to Low-Carb Meals: Beef can easily be incorporated into low-carb meals such as salads, stews, or stir-fries. Remember to pair it with other keto-friendly ingredients like green leafy vegetables, avocados, or eggs.
  2. Mindful of Portions: While beef is keto-friendly, it's still important to be mindful of serving sizes. Even though it has 0.0 g net carbs per 100 g, overconsumption could lead to excessive calorie intake.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Beef

  1. Chicken: Chicken is another protein-rich, low-carb option that can easily replace beef in most recipes. For instance, instead of beef kebabs, you could make chicken kebabs for a change. Chicken, like beef, has 0.0 g net carbs per 100 g.
  2. Fish: Various types of fish, like salmon or mackerel, can serve as great alternatives to beef. They offer a high protein content, healthy fats, and virtually no carbs, making them suitable for a keto diet. You could try recipes like grilled salmon or mackerel patties as replacements for beef dishes.

Concluding Thoughts on Beef and Keto

In sum, beef is a highly compatible ingredient for those following a strict keto diet. Its zero net carb content and high protein value make it an excellent choice for individuals adhering to a low-carb eating pattern. Furthermore, beef provides a range of essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, and zinc, supporting overall health.

While mindful consumption of beef is encouraged due to its saturated fat content, it doesn't overshadow the fact that beef can be a versatile and nutritious element in a keto diet. So, feel free to experiment with diverse ways of incorporating it into your meals.

Explore our Is It Keto Knowledge Hub.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely. Beef, with zero net carbs and high protein content, is a perfect fit for the keto diet.

There are numerous ways to enjoy beef on keto - from including it in salads, stews, and stir-fries to experimenting with keto-friendly beef recipes like kebabs or slow-cooked meals.

Yes, chicken, fish, and tofu can serve as keto-friendly beef alternatives, each providing unique nutritional benefits.