Lamb Pitas with Cucumber Mint Tzatziki
Foods bringing both flavor and nutrition to the table are the perfect fit for today's lifestyles. As a delicious and nutrient-rich food, lamb is a natural choice. Its convenience and versatility are perfect when quick-cooking is in order. Our white paper, Lamb: Its Place in the U.S. Diet, is an excellent resource.
On average, a 3-ounce serving of lamb is lean, has only 175 calories and meets the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) definition for lean. According to FDA guidelines, lean meat has less than 10 grams of fat, less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces. The leanest cuts of lamb include those from the leg, loin and shank.
Lamb is also nutrient rich, making it a natural fit for healthy diets. On average, it's an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc and selenium and a good source of iron and riboflavin. In addition, lamb is available to meet a range of preferences—from natural or organic lamb to lamb that has been exclusively grass-fed or grain finished.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a healthy eating pattern focused on nutrient-dense foods, which includes lean meats such as lamb. As the chart below indicates, lamb easily fits within the total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol recommendations set forth by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
20% to 35% of calories
(44g to 77g per day for a 2,000 calorie diet)
< 10% of calories
(20g or less per day for a 2,000 calorie diet)
|Cholesterol||< 300 mg per day||80mg|
As a health or nutrition professional, you're on the front lines of helping Americans make nutrient rich food choices. Lamb is the perfect fit for today's lifestyles—it offers an ideal balance of flavor, nutrition, versatility, and simplicity.
Here are some resources to help you better understand the important nutritional value of lamb.
|Iron||Iron from animal sources, such as lamb, is more easily absorbed by the body than iron from plant sources. Iron helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to all of the body's tissues, is necessary for immune function, and helps the body synthesize proteins.|
|Zinc||Zinc is necessary for wound healing and contributes to growth and development. It is a component of many enzymes and, like iron, is more readily absorbed from animal sources.|
|Selenium||Selenium is an antioxidant which works closely with vitamin E and supports immune function.|
|Vitamin B12||Found only in foods of animal origin, vitamin B12 plays an essential role in many metabolic reactions. Low levels of vitamin B12 can manifest as anemia, neurological problems, and high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine.|
|Niacin||Niacin is a B vitamin necessary for the metabolism of nutrients and the proper function of enzymes.|
|Riboflavin||Riboflavin is a B vitamin involved in energy production and enzyme function.|
|Protein||As a major structural component of all human cells, protein is essential for adequate growth, wound healing, immune function, and muscle maintenance. It is also essential for the synthesis of enzymes and hormones.|