Is lamb healthy to eat?

Lamb is a red meat made from domesticated sheep under the age of a year. The majority of lamb is brought to market at the age of 6 to 8 months. Mutton, not lamb, refers to sheep above the age of one year. Lamb is the oldest known domesticated meat species, having entered the human diet in the Middle East some 9,000 years ago.

Here are just some of the reasons why lamb should feature on your shopping list.

  1. Lamb is naturally rich in protein, which helps muscle growth and supports muscle mass
  2. Protein is also needed for normal growth and development of children’s bones
  3. Lamb naturally contains seven vitamins and minerals that support good health and wellbeing
  4. Lamb provides four essential vitamins that help reduce tiredness and fatigue
  5. Lamb is a source of four essential vitamins and minerals that help the immune system to work normally
  6. Lamb provides five essential vitamins and minerals that support normal mental function.

The nutritional value of lamb is impressive; it contains a range of beneficial nutrients including protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.

The tables below show the full range of nutrients in cooked domestic lamb (leg shank) per 100 grams.

Calories and Macronutrients

Macronutrient / CaloriesAmount (Grams / Kcal)
Calories243 kcal
Carbohydrate0 g
Fibre0 g
Sugar0 g
Fat13.5 g
Saturated Fat5.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat5.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat1.0 g
Omega-3190 mg
Omega-6730 mg
Protein28.4 g

As shown above, lamb is a mixture of fat and protein.

Among the most notable advantages of consuming lamb meat are protection against anaemia, increased muscle mass, enhanced bone health, improved immune system and neurological system health, and the prevention of birth problems, to name a few.

Weight Loss

Despite being high in calories and saturated fats, there is some evidence that occasionally eating lamb can help promote fullness and boost metabolic activity, while also providing a great deal of protein.

Immune System

Without enough zinc in your system, your immune system will become compromised, but a single serving of lamb provides roughly 30% of your daily requirement. 

Skin Health

With the omega-3 fatty acids in this meat, the skin gains some antioxidant protection, thus reducing the appearance of wrinkles and age spots. 

Possible Risks of Eating Lamb

Like any red meat, lamb comes with some health risks. Studies have found that high consumption of red meat products like beef, lamb, pork, veal, and mutton can raise your risk of a number of long-term (chronic) illnesses.


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