Beef tenderloin, also called the filet, is a high quality cut from the loin of beef. Tenderloin is the source of various steaks and recipes including filet mignon, carpaccio, Chateaubriand and Stroganoff. The nutritional value of the tenderloin will be greatly affected by the degree to which it’s been trimmed of fat and silver skin.
Completely trimmed of fat, a 3 oz. medallion of beef tenderloin contains 24 g of protein, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA. Two-thirds of all the calories in beef tenderloin come from protein. The protein of beef is high quality, containing all the essential amino acids. Trimmed to 1/8 inch of fat, however, 3 oz. of tenderloin contains only 15 g of protein, accounting for only one-third of the total calories.
Even when perfectly trimmed, beef tenderloin will not be entirely fat-free. Veins of fat marbling the meat provide 6 g of fat in a 3 oz. cut. That amount increases significantly to 15 g, accounting for two-thirds of the total calories, if the beef is trimmed to 1/8 inch of fat. In either case, about one-third of the fat of beef tenderloin is saturated fat, the “bad” cholesterol that contributes to atherosclerosis.
Beef tenderloin, like other cuts of beef, is a carbohydrate-free food. That is, it does not contain any sugar, fiber or other carbs. It therefore has no rating on the glycemic index and no effect on blood sugar. This makes it an attractive choice for low-carb dieters and diabetics, both of whom should prefer completely trimmed, leaner cuts to restrict their intake of saturated fats. Some sauces can also add hidden carbohydrates.
Beef tenderloin is a significant source of certain B vitamins. A 3 oz. serving contains 35 percent of your daily intake of niacin, 26 percent of vitamin B6 and 19 percent of your B12. Beef tenderloin also contains significantly lesser amounts of folate, vitamin E, riboflavin, vitamin K, thiamine and pantothenic acid.
According to the USDA, beef tenderloin is a good source of several different minerals, particularly zinc, phosphorus and selenium. A 3 oz. steak has almost half your daily intake of selenium, about 30 percent of your zinc and about 20 percent of your phosphorus. Beef also contains significant amounts of iron, magnesium and potassium, with between 5 and 10 percent of your recommended daily intake of each. Beef also contains calcium, copper and sodium in negligible quantities.