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Ground Beef Diet: Meal Plan, Benefits, and Side Effects

Ladies and gents! Let me introduce the simple and yummy ground beef diet. If you’re a meat lover and not so handy in the kitchen, this diet is yours! I have tried it for 30 days and got unbelievable results! Let’s learn all about its rules and goals, benefits and side effects, and a 7-day meal plan.

Ground Beef Diet: Meal Plan, Benefits, and Side Effects
  • The ground beef diet is a short-term dietary approach focusing on consuming different types of ground beef.
  • Ground beef is a rich source of high-quality protein, vitamins (such as B12), and minerals (like iron and zinc).
  •  Ground beef also contains saturated fat and cholesterol, so you need to consume it in moderation, especially if you have heart health concerns.
  • Studies show that lean beef is recommended as part of a healthy diet, and consuming red meat (beef) is not significantly linked to cancers or mortality. It can also positively impact mental health and mood.
  • The ground beef diet is a limited version of the Carnivore diet, focusing solely on beef, while the Carnivore diet includes a variety of meats and animal products and is more sustainable.

What Is the Ground Beef Diet?

Just let me clarify something at the beginning. A ground beef diet is not a long-term approach. You cannot eat only ground beef for years! (some may be able to!) It is a short-term dietary approach with special rules to reach specific goals. Let’s find out what they are.


  • Losing Weight
  • Increasing Protein Levels
  • Ketosis


The rules of a ground beef diet are quite simple.

  • Eat different kinds of ground beef.
  • Consume only beef, water, and salt.

Ground Beef Nutrition

Ground beef is a popular and versatile source of protein. Its nutritional content depends on the type of meat (such as lean or fatty) and the cooking method you use.

Let’s review the nutritional content of 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of cooked, 70% lean ground beef, which is commonly available in many markets.

  • Calories: 250 kcal
  • Protein: 26 g
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 90 mg
  • Sodium: 70 mg
  • Vitamin B12: 2.1 mcg (about 88% of the Daily Value)
  • Zinc: 6.4 mg (about 58% of the Daily Value)
  • Iron: 2.7 mg (about 15% of the Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 19.7 mcg (about 36% of the Daily Value)

As the above numbers show, ground beef is a great source of high-quality protein, vitamins (such as B12), and minerals (such as iron and zinc).

However, it's also relatively high in saturated fat and cholesterol, meaning you must eat it in moderation, especially if you have heart health concerns. You can always consult a healthcare professional to ensure it’s safe for you to try this diet.

If you choose leaner varieties of ground beef, the fat content will be lower, meaning they can be healthier options. Also, the cooking method, such as grilling or baking, can influence the final fat content of the cooked meat.

Always check the nutritional information on the specific ground beef product you buy to find the most accurate details.

Learn More: All Meat Diet: Is It Healthy? Benefits and Result [Meal Plan]

Ground Beef Diet Benefits

  • A 2022 study by Agarwal and Fulgoni showed that lean beef is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 as part of an overall healthy diet because it contains various nutrients and minerals (source).
  • A 2019 study by Johnston et al. found that consuming red meat was not a significant cause of breast, colorectal, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, and prostate cancer and that people should continue consuming red and processed meat (source).
  • A meta-analysis of 12 quality studies conducted in 2015 revealed that there is no association between saturated fats and all-cause mortality, CVD, CHD, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes (source).
  • Another meta-analysis conducted in 2011 indicated that there was not enough evidence on the relationship between red meat and colorectal cancer, which is known to be the most common cancer caused by consuming meat (source).
  • A 2008 review by Hession et al. shows that low-carb, high-protein diets focused on red meat are more effective at six months and are as effective as low-fat diets in decreasing weight and cardiovascular disease risk for up to 1 year (source).
  • Various studies like this 2021 meta-analysis indicate that consuming meat (ground beef) has significant positive effects on mental health and mood (source).

Learn More: Beef Heart: Nutrients and Side Effects + 5 Ways to Eat

Ground Beef Diet Side Effects

There are sayings that red meat is associated with cardiovascular problems, stroke, and certain cancers, yet there are not enough studies supporting these claims.

However, A 2012 study on a huge number of participants found that individuals with the highest intake of unprocessed and processed red meat faced increased risks of overall mortality, cancer-related mortality, and cardiovascular mortality.

After accounting for other risk factors, the researchers found that consuming an additional daily serving of unprocessed red meat during the study period increased the risk of total mortality by 13%.

Similarly, an extra serving of processed red meat, including bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and salami, raised the risk by 20% (source).

Anyhow, consuming every food, including red meat or ground beef, sounds logical, as the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend restricting red meat consumption to about one serving per week (source).

Ground Beef Diet vs. Carnivore Diet

If you’re looking for low-carb diets like the ground beef diet, you probably know the Carnivore diet. Let’s compare the two and see how they differ.

  • The ground beef diet is a limited version of the Carnivore diet. While you can consume various animal products in the Carnivore diet, you’re only allowed to eat beef in the ground beef diet.
  • The ground beef diet is limited to beef and has no variety, only in the type of beef.
  • The ground beef diet is a short-term plan and does not have long-term sustainability.
  • The Carnivore diet includes a wider range of meat and animal products than the ground beef diet. The Carnivore diet allows beef, pork, chicken, fish, and organ meats while excluding all plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes.
  • While ground meat can be part of the Carnivore diet, it focuses on whole cuts of meat.
  • The Carnivore diet is more sustainable than the ground beef diet, and dieters can follow it for longer periods based on their health status, needs, and goals.

Learn More: How to Start a Carnivore Diet? When Should I Start? [Expert Guide]

How to Do the Ground Beef Diet?

The ground beef diet is a really hassle-free diet to start. You just need to make different meals with ground beef and salt and enjoy. But pay attention to your body’s reactions and seek medical help if you see any serious negative effects.

The Best Ground Beef Meat to Eat

Consider the following tips when choosing ground beef to make a healthier choice.

  • Leaner Cuts: You can find ground beef in various fat percentages, labeled as 70% lean, 80% lean, 90% lean, or even 93% lean, which shows the meat's lean muscle tissue, with the rest being fat. Consuming leaner cuts (such as 90% lean or higher) lowers the saturated fat content.
  • Grass-Fed Beef: Grass-fed beef comes from cattle that have been fed natural grass, meaning that their meat is more nutritious (e.g., it contains more omega-3 fatty acids) than conventionally raised beef.
  • Organic and Hormone-Free: Purchase organic and hormone-free ground beef to ensure no unwanted hormones enter your body.
  • Avoid Additives: Check the packaging to see if the beef you’re buying contains added preservatives, fillers, or artificial flavorings. Pure, unprocessed ground beef without additives is the healthiest option.
  • Color and Freshness: Fresh ground beef is bright red. Avoid beef with a grayish or brownish tint, which can indicate spoilage.
  • Safe Handling: Ground beef is susceptible to bacterial contamination, so ensure it's stored at the right temperature (ideally below 40°F or 4°C) and cooked thoroughly to kill any harmful bacteria.

Learn More: Steak and Eggs Diet: Is It Good for Losing Weight? [Tips for Females]

Ground Beef Diet 7-Day Meal Plan

Here's a sample ground beef diet 7-day meal plan. Remember that people on low-carb diets tend to have one or two meals a day. It’s completely fine to have three meals or more per day, but as low-carb and meaty foods are so filling, dieters cannot usually have more than one or two meals a day.

It’s no secret that portion sizes and calorie counts depend on your needs, so adjust the quantities to fit your dietary goals. You can also consult a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to get personalized guidance.

  • Day 1: Beef meatballs for both meals
  • Day 2: Meatloaf
  • Day 3: Burger patties
  • Day 4: Simple fried ground beef
  • Day 5: Beef sausages
  • Day 6: Rissoles
  • Day 7: Beef stroganoff

Find more meaty Carnivore diet recipes.


Ground beef diet is a simple and tasty variation on a low-carb diet like Carnivore. Although it’s a short-term plan, the ground beef diet helps you increase your protein intake and reach your weight loss goals.

As always, remember to consult a healthcare specialist before making drastic changes to your eating habits to ensure the new diet will not have negative effects on your health.

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