Weightlifters and gourmands alike swear by steak as one of the best meats in the world. Bodybuilders love steak for its rich iron content and high protein density, which stimulates muscle growth and strength after an intense workout. Food aficionados, of course, love steak for its delicious flavor and the many ways it can be prepared. But how many calories are in steak? If there’s a high amount of calories in steak, does that mean it’s bad for wellness? What place does steak have in your nutrition?
One serving of beef is around 3 oz, or around the size of a set of cards. While the serving size is always 3 oz, the actual amounts of calories in steak, fat, protein, and carbs can vary wildly. Below, you will find some of the most popular types of steak and their nutritional content. These nutritional contents are in terms of a 6 oz serving, which is more typical of how much someone typically eats.
Here are some of the best, most efficient cuts in terms of calories in steak:
Top sirloin is one of the healthiest types of steak you can buy. One serving is only 316 calories, 10g fat, and 52g of protein. In terms of calories in steak, this is one of the leanest cuts of beef.
This cut of steak comes from the hip area of the cow. It’s more tender and flavor-packed than most parts of the cow, while also being lean and effective for bodybuilding. It’s got 240 calories, 8g of fat, and a whopping 37g of protein!
Eye of Round
The calories in this steak are only 276, with 50g of protein and 3g of fat. This cut is really tough and lacks flavor. It’s a hard cut to eat, but if all you care about is the calories in your steak, this is a good one for total nutritional efficiency.
This cut comes from one of the leanest, fittest parts of the cow, causing it to be much chewier and tougher than most steaks. You’ll have to marinate this cut to make it delicious, but it can be done. Total calories here are 300, 11g of fat, 47g protein.
Here are some of the worst cuts of steak for your health:
Although this steak is chewy and unpleasant to get down, it has a vivid, delicious flavor. There are 240 calories in 6 oz, 12g fat, and 33g protein. Not nearly as effective as some of those “round” cuts above!
This is the Rolls-Royce of steaks, one of the most expensive by the ounce. What drives the cost up here is the deliciousness of this particular steak, thanks to its high-fat content. The calories in steak here: 348 calories, 16g fat, and 48g protein.
This steak is nearly as expensive as the filet mignon, and similarly fatty and caloric. There are 346 calories, 16g fat, and 46g protein here.
This is a super tough cut of meat, but if it’s prepared properly, the calories in steak here are worth it. There’s 360 calories, 46g protein, and 18g fat. This is personally one of my favorites!
It seems like the ribeye is everyone’s favorite steak. The calories in steak here are pretty high, though – 466, as well as 38g fat and 30g protein. This is one of the worst steaks for your health, but also one of the most delicious!
How to Reduce the Calories in Steak
Reduce your oil use
Let’s take the ribeye steak for example. As we laid out above, a typical ribeye will run around 460 calories. In addition to the steak itself, you’ve also got to worry about any oil or butter you might use to cook the steak – this would typically add around 120 calories!
How can we get around this?
DON’T USE OIL! In fact, it’s not even necessary when cooking a fatty steak. Standard cooking instructions demand that you lay the steak flat on the pan and don’t touch it for at least 3 or 4 minutes. This will allow the steak to char on one side and “release” from the pan. Most of the time, steaks will stick when people move them around too much! So the next time you cook a steak, don’t use any oil or butter. It’s just not needed!
Reduce your use of butter and toppings
Steak by itself should be plenty satisfying, but most people will add a dollop of butter or fancy cheese (my favorite is blue cheese). This can add up to another 200 calories to your steak, so why not skip this and just enjoy the meat itself? Pay a little extra to get high-quality meat, and you won’t need to add any butter or cheese. Also, no steak should ever require more than just salt and pepper, so don’t go crazy adding anything extra.
Render (or cut off) any excess fat
Steaks like t-bones and ribeyes have a visible layer of fat around the outside. This layer may add some flavor, but it certainly doesn’t provide any nutritional value! Consider cutting this off the next time you get ready to prepare your steak.
Alternatively, if you want to preserve the flavor of your steak and keep it from drying out, you can leave the fat on, but render the fat. This means that before you even cook the steak, stand it up on the fatty side and press it into the pan. The fat will begin to “bleed” on to the pan in a clear liquid. This is great for flavor and allows you to use some of the fat during the cooking process, without ultimately eating all of it with your steak.
As you can see, there’s a wide breadth of calories in steak. Some steaks are better for your health, while others should be avoided at all costs despite being so delicious. Then again, if you’re eating fancy steaks, you’re probably not so worried about the calories! Just like anything, if you eat in moderation, you’ll be OK.