Lamb is red meat harvested from a young sheep (typically less than a year old). Filled with high-quality protein, iron and other minerals, lamb is associated with a wide number of health benefits.
If you’ve ever wondered, ‘Is lamb healthy?’ the answer is a resounding yes. Lamb is filled with beneficial fat and protein, contains zero carbs and is loaded with a number of micronutrients — therefore, it holds a place within any ancestrally inspired eating plan.
Below, we explain the health benefits of lamb, which cuts of lamb offer the most benefits, and how to get more lamb in your diet.
Is Lamb Healthy?
Short answer: Yes — lamb is a healthy, nutrient-dense food. Therefore, feel free to include it in your ancestrally inspired meal plan.
Longer answer: In a 100-gram serving of lamb, you'll find :
- 0 grams of carbs
- 19.7 grams of fat
- 24.7 grams of protein
Plus, you'll find high amounts of minerals, including 10% of your daily iron, 20% of your daily phosphorus, 31% of your daily zinc and 40% of your daily selenium. Lamb offers high amounts of vitamin B12, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and niacin (vitamin B3), and small amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B6, folate and pantothenic acid.
Note: The above nutrition data is written for a serving of minced lamb. Specific data will vary depending on the cut, which we dive into below.
What Are the Health Benefits of Lamb?
Lamb is a nutrient-dense food that in our opinion holds a place in any healthy diet. Some of the health benefits of lamb include:
1. It Can Prevent Anaemia
Lamb is a good source of iron, which helps prevent iron deficiency anaemia. Without iron, your body cannot make hemoglobin — which is necessary for your red blood cells to carry oxygen to your lungs and muscles .
When you become anaemic, you'll feel tired, breathless and lethargic. However, consuming iron — like the iron found in lamb — can help reverse the effects. To get the most iron in your diet, be sure to consume organ meat, such as lamb heart or lamb kidneys.
2. It Can Increase Muscle Mass
Lamb is a rich source of protein, which can help increase muscle mass. In addition, it contains all nine essential amino acids (i.e., those that your body cannot produce on its own), which assists in muscle growth and development .
Amino acids are necessary to undergo muscle protein synthesis, which helps rebuild your muscles post-workout. Therefore, if you're an athlete or follow a regular exercise regimen, consuming a healthy eating plan high in amino acids (like those found in lamb meat) could be beneficial.
3. It Helps Protect Your Brain
Lamb contains nearly half — 43%, to be exact — of your daily intake of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is essential to the functioning of your nervous system, helping to increase brain function and decrease neurological damage . In fact, prolonged deficiency in vitamin B12 has been shown to lead to ailments such as psychosis, mania and dementia .
4. It Can Help Reduce Blood Sugar Levels
Lamb is high in healthy fats and protein while containing zero grams of carbs per serving — a nutritional makeup that can promote healthy glycemic (blood sugar) levels.
In addition, consuming a high-quality source of lamb — like grass-fed lamb — offers high amounts of CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid. CLA has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, promote weight loss (fat loss) and even reduce your risk of heart disease .
5. It Can Help Reduce Inflammation
The fat content in lamb contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a number of health benefits. In fact, omega-3s have been shown to raise HDL cholesterol levels, decrease blood pressure levels, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce inflammation in the body .
Inflammation is your body's natural response to damage (such as an injury, disease or weakened immune system). Prolonged inflammation is linked to a number of risk factors, such as heart disease and cancer. By eating lamb — and therefore getting more omega-3s in your diet — you can experience decreased inflammation in the body .
What Is the Healthiest Cut of Lamb?
If you're wondering, ‘Is lamb healthy?’ you'll probably want to know which cut of lamb is the healthiest.
All cuts of lamb — including lamb chops, loin chops, lamb shanks and other cuts — are a high-quality protein source and offer plenty of healthy fats. With that being said, the healthiest cut of lamb you can consume comes from lamb organ meats.
The Health Benefits of Lamb Organ Meats
Organ meats — like lamb heart, kidney and liver — are filled with B vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Plus, they are one of the few animal-based sources of vitamin C (typically only found in fruits and vegetables), allowing you to get traces of vitamin C without consuming any carbohydrates.
Don't believe us? Take a look at these figures:
- Lamb heart: A 3-ounce serving of braised lamb heart contains 159% of your daily vitamin B12 and 10% of your daily vitamin C. Plus, it's loaded with beneficial vitamins including phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and iron .
- Lamb liver: By contrast, a 3-ounce serving of lamb liver contains a jaw-dropping 424% of your daily vitamin A, 1084% of your daily vitamin B12, 201% of your daily riboflavin, 301% of your daily copper and 135% of your daily selenium .
- Lamb kidney: Similarly, a 4-ounce serving of lamb kidneys offers 40% of your daily iron, 205% of your daily selenium, 987% of your daily vitamin B12 and 149% of your daily riboflavin .
How to Get More Lamb Organ Meats in Your Diet
Organ meats — like those found in lamb — are one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can consume. Unfortunately, many people don't enjoy the taste of organ meats. Therefore, you have two solutions:
- Hide it: There are plenty of cooking methods that combine organ meats with more popular cuts of meats. For example, this zuppa toscana recipe combines organ meats with either minced pork or grass-fed beef.
- Consume organ capsules: Organ capsules are made from real organ meats and come in an easy-to-swallow capsule. If you don't enjoy the taste of organ meats, try these instead.
So, Is Lamb Healthy? Absolutely
Lamb is a nutrient-dense food filled with beneficial vitamins and minerals. If you ever asked the question, ‘Is lamb healthy?’ the answer is absolutely yes — lamb holds a place in any healthy, balanced diet.
Lamb can help increase muscle mass, reduce inflammation, balance blood sugar levels, protect your brain and prevent you from becoming anaemic. However, if you are looking for the healthiest cut of lamb meat, always choose organ meats — such as lamb heart, kidney or liver.
To get more lamb organ meats in your diet, try organ capsules. These capsules are easy to digest, and allow you to get more organ meats with minimal effort.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms, and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do, however, recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.