Regular mince vs lean mince meat

One BIG question we get asked a lot when running nutrition workshops in Melbourne is ‘which mincemeat should I be buying?’ Regular mince or lean mince meat?’.

Beef’s nutrition profile

We know that mince meat contains high amounts of macro and micronutrients, such as vitamin B-12, which assist in cellular gene expression in particular building of new red blood cells.  Meat also has high levels of vitamin-B6 which assists in the breakdown and metabolism of amino acids (proteins) and activation of a potent antioxidant called glutathione.   The other two micronutrients beef contains is zinc and haem-iron, these two nutrients alone are some of the most important nutrients that our bodies need to keep our immune systems healthy, regulate enzymes, but also enable us to transport oxygen around our bodies.

Regular mince vs lean meat fat

The main macronutrient that beef is praised for is its impressive profile of essential amino acids (containing all 9 indispensable ones).  This aids in the production of new muscle tissue and other bodily proteins such as enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, blood acid regulators and lipoproteins to mention a few.  The other macronutrient beef contains is fats, in the forms of mainly monounsaturated and saturated fats.

  • Lean beef mince total fat per 100g15g (6g saturated, 7g monounsaturated, 0.5 polyunsaturated, 1.1g trans fat).
  • Regular mince meat total fat per 100g = 30g (11g of saturated, 13g of monounsaturated, 1.1g of polyunsaturated, 1.8 trans fats).

According to nutrition research, there are two fats in particular that we need to focus on reducing the most – saturated and trans fats.  If eaten in large amounts, these fats can increase blood triglyceride levels and LDL cholesterol, which research has shown can be detrimental to our cardiovascular health (1).

Regular mince vs lean mince meat

Dietary Guidelines

So what is the advice about red meat?  Do we really need to be focused on ‘regular mince or lean mince meat?’ if we only eat red meat occasionally?  The Australia guidelines recommend that we shouldn’t consume more than 455g grams of red meat per week.  This would equate to 7 x 65g servings of red meat week. However, most people’s red meat portion sizes are a lot higher than this, for example:

  • Weekend Saturday BBQ –  2 x burgers (150g),
  • Sunday leftovers – 2 x burgers (150g) spread though through lunch and dinner.
  • Total meal consumed = 600g.

Regular mince or lean mince meat



Regular mince or lean mince meat
Written by Luke Daley Registered Nutritionist