Beef mince may have earned itself quite a bad rep in recent years, but now it seems to be enjoying quite a renaissance. Namely because of this word: lean.
Lean mince, to summarise, is any meat where a 100g portion has no more than 17 per cent fat content. For beef, that is usually linked to its cut, i.e. chuck and round cuts are usually “lean”.
Extra lean mince, on the other hand, goes one better and has no more than 10 per cent fat per 100g. In some instances, extra lean mince can be up to 95 per cent lean (so 5 per cent fat). Extra lean cuts are usually more expensive cuts, such as top loin and sirloin, which is why extra lean is often pricier.
To put it into perspective, regular ground beef, is usually around 30 per cent fat per 100g. These are usually from fattier cuts, such as the skirt.
Of course, keeping your fat intake low is always desirable and, in the instance, of lean and extra lean beef, the fat content is making more room for other highly important nutrients (rather than replacing with any nasties). Some of these great nutrients are protein, B vitamins, heme iron, zinc and selenium. A single serving of lean mince, for instance, has a whopping 30g protein!
So, if you can, try to opt for lean and extra lean varieties. As mentioned before, however, they tend to be more expensive, so don’t feel too bad on yourself when regular mince is more manageable. You’ll still get plenty of nutrients from the beef, it just won’t have the same full flavour which lean varieties deliver.