Searing up sliced beef kidney with sauteed onions and simmering a whole kidney in beef stock are both surefire ways to up your protein intake. You’ll also get several vitamins and minerals from your kidney dish. While beef kidney is a rich protein and nutrient source, it does contain food components that aren’t particularly healthy for you.
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Having a thick 3-ounce slice of beef kidney adds approximately 135 calories to your diet. The majority of cuts of beef, including kidney meat, do not contain carbohydrates. Seventy percent of the overall calories, or about 95 calories, come from protein. All the rest of the calories, which is about 30 percent of calories, or 40 total calories, come from fat.
B Vitamin Details
Beef kidney meat is packed with several B vitamins. You’ll get nine times your daily requirement of B-12 -- a vitamin essential for making new red blood cells -- from a 3-ounce slice. That same portion size has more than double your recommendation of riboflavin, as well as around 20 percent of your daily niacin needs. These B vitamins work side by side to pump up your metabolism. A 3-ounce slice of prepared beef kidney also offers nearly 18 percent of your folate requirement. Folate is vital for creating new cells throughout your body, which is particularly important for women during pregnancy.
Amount of Minerals
Beef in general is a rich source of iron. You need iron to help make oxygen available to every cell in your system. A 3-ounce portion of cooked beef kidney gives you almost 30 percent of your day’s iron needs as a woman, or over 60 percent as a man. That serving of kidney even has 37 percent of your phosphorus requirement, promoting strong bones and supporting nutrient transportation to vital organs. For an optimally strong immune system, your 3-ounce portion of beef kidney provides more than 20 percent of your zinc needs.
The Underlying Concern
While beef kidney isn’t overly high in saturated fat, it does have some. No more than 10 percent of your caloric intake should come from saturated fat, since it can be incredibly damaging to your heart, the publication "Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010" reports. All fats have 9 calories per gram, so this amounts to a maximum of 22 grams of saturated fat for a 2,000-calorie diet. You’ll get 1.2 grams of saturated fat from 3 ounces of cooked beef kidney, or 5 percent of your allowance for the day. The bigger concern is the high cholesterol content in beef kidney meat. Cholesterol from foods can contribute to hardened and clogged arteries, upping your risk of heart disease. You shouldn’t have more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol in a day, and your serving of beef kidney has more than double that amount.