Tri-tip is one of the 29 cuts of beef the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines as lean since it contains less than 10 grams of fat, only 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat and fewer than 95 milligrams of cholesterol in a 3-ounce serving. Tri-tip is obtained from the loin and is available as a whole, triangular-shaped roast or sliced into steaks. An excellent source of protein, tri-tip is also a source of essential vitamins and minerals.
Low in Fat
A 3-ounce serving of cooked tri-tip roast or steak contains 7.1 grams of fat. Approximately 2.6 grams of this total is supplied by saturated fat, or 17 percent of the 15-gram recommended daily limit for adults. This is comparable to the fat and saturated fat in 3 ounces of pork rib chop; tri-tip also has just 4 grams more fat per serving than 3 ounces of boneless skinless chicken breast. Adults should have 300 milligrams or less of cholesterol per day; tri-tip contains 66 milligrams of cholesterol in every 3 ounces, about 22 percent of the recommendation.
Rich in Protein
Each 3-ounce serving of tri-tip contains 23 grams of protein. That's 41 percent of the 56 grams a man needs daily and 50 percent of the 46 grams required by a woman each day. Unlike plant-based proteins such as beans, legumes and nuts, red meat like tri-tip contains complete protein -- every serving supplies you with all of the amino acids needed for protein synthesis. However, a diet high in red meat may increase your risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that you restrict your red meat consumption to two 3-ounce servings weekly.
Dense With B Vitamins
A 3-ounce serving of tri-tip supplies a healthy adult with 1.3 micrograms of vitamin B-12, 54 percent of the 2.4-microgram recommended dietary allowance, and 0.5 milligrams of vitamin B-6, an amount that provides 33 percent of the 1.5-milligram RDA. Men need 16 milligrams of niacin daily and women need 14 milligrams; a serving of tri-tip can fulfill 6.5 milligrams of this requirement. B vitamins play a role in supporting the health of the nervous and immune systems, synthesizing red blood cells and aiding with the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and protein.
High in Minerals
An adult needs 55 micrograms of selenium per day to lower her risk of cancer and heart disease and to help her immune system function properly. Tri-tip contains 26.3 micrograms of selenium in a 3-ounce serving, or nearly 48 percent of the daily recommendation. A serving of tri-tip has 4.2 milligrams of zinc, or 38 percent of a man's 11-milligram requirement and 52 percent of a woman's 8-milligram RDA. Tri-tip is also a good source of iron; its 1.4 milligrams of iron per 3-ounce serving is 17 percent of a man's 8-milligram RDA and 7 percent of a woman's 18-milligram requirement.
- BeefNutrition.org: Many of America's Favorite Cuts Are Lean
- Certified Angus Beef: Tri-Tip Roast
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- Harvard School of Public Health: Protein
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Beef, Bottom Sirloin, Tri-Tip Roast, Separable Lean and Fat, Trimmed to 0" Fat, Choice, Cooked, Roasted
- American Cancer Society: Vitamin B Complex
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Selenium
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Zinc
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Iron