Although roast beef is not an extremely lean meat like chicken breast, it still provides nutritional value. Roast beef is a rich source of protein and iron, and it is relatively inexpensive and widely available, making it a good addition to your diet. Check product labels, as nutritional values may vary between brands.
Low in Calories
Roast beef is relatively low in calories, which can be beneficial if you're dieting. A 2 oz. serving of roast beef provides just 70 calories, 20 fewer calories than a cup of skim milk provides. This amount comprises just 3.5 percent of the daily suggested intake of 2,000. You could burn off the calories in 2 oz. of roast beef through just 7 minutes of jogging.
High in Protein
Roast beef is rich in protein, with 11 g in each 2 oz. serving. This amount is 2 g more than a cup of skim milk provides. Protein is a vital nutrient for optimal health, as it helps your body build and repair tissues, such as muscle. Research from the July 2005 issue of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" also suggests that consuming more protein can be helpful when you're dieting, as it helps suppress your appetite and encourages an increased metabolic rate.
Low in Saturated Fat
Although roast beef contains more fat than some other types of meat -- 3 g per 2 oz. serving -- just 1 g of the fat comes from saturated fat. This type of fat is considered unhealthy because it may cause an adverse increase in your cholesterol levels. Your cholesterol levels are linked with your risk of heart disease, so the American Heart Association suggests limiting daily saturated fat intake to 16 g or fewer.
Low in Carbohydrates
Roast beef contains just 1 g of carbohydrates per 2 oz. serving. This makes roast beef suitable for low-carbohydrate diets. While such diets aren't required for weight loss, you may find success when using one.
Rich in Iron
Roast beef is a good source of iron, as a 2 oz. serving contains 6 percent of the daily suggested intake of this nutrient. Your body needs iron to make blood cells and to transport oxygen throughout your body. Consuming inadequate levels of iron can cause dizziness, unwanted weight loss, low energy levels, irritability and headache.
- MyFitnessPal:Calories in Hillshire Farm Roast Beef Deli Sliced
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Fat Free Skim Milk
- Mayo Clinic; Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour; December 2009
- "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; A High-Protein Diet Induces Sustained Reductions in Appetite, Ad Libitum Caloric Intake, and Body Weight Despite Compensatory Changes in Dirunal Plasma Leptin and Ghrelin Concentrations; D.S. Weigle et al.; July 2005
- American Heart Association; Know Your Fats; June 2011
- MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia; Iron in Diet; March 2009