Flat iron steak comes from the chuck area of the cow, right where the shoulder sits. Interestingly, it used to be practically unusable in the steak industry because of how muscular it is. After all, this area of the body is one that’s used the most on a cow.
However, more recent butchering methods have allowed experts to figure out how to remove connective tissue so that flat iron didn’t go to waste. Now, what we have is a long, thin piece of beef that, when cooked properly, becomes tender with lots of flavor.
Today, flat iron steak is one of the most popular to slice for an eye-catching plated display or to use for steak sandwiches, fajitas, or tacos. Where does it stack up in terms of nutrition? Let’s find out!
Flat Iron Steak Nutritional Facts
The USDA’s FoodData Central database lists the nutritional facts of a boneless shoulder top blade steak, which is where flat iron comes from. The following information is based on 100 grams of flat iron, which is just slightly more than a standard three-ounce serving:
- Calories: 137
- Total Fat: 6 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.7 g
- Cholesterol: 71 mg
- Sodium: 86 mg
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Protein: 20 g
- Zinc: 7.45 mg (3 oz)
- Vitamin B12: 4.4 µg
Make note that three ounces of steak is not much. It’s about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. You usually eat more than that when you have steak for dinner, right?
If you’re being strict about improving your diet, it’s important to stick to a three-ounce serving, at least when you’re determining your nutritional profile for the day. For instance, if you want to double a serving for dinner, remember that it will also double your calories, fat, and other nutrients.
With that in mind, let’s dig into the pros and cons of flat iron nutrition.
The following are a few of the most significant health benefits you’ll find with flat iron steak.
Plenty of Zinc and Vitamin B12
Zinc aids the immune system and metabolism, while Vitamin B12 supports the brain, nerves, and red blood cells. In other words, these nutrients are vital to overall health.
Good thing flat iron steak has a good amount of each. Its zinc content is close to meeting the recommended daily intake for men and women, and it actually includes more than the recommended intake of Vitamin B12.
Lean Cut of Steak
Compared to other cuts of steak that are just as delicious as flat iron, this steak has a bit less fat to worry about. In fact, many other popular cuts just about double the total fat and saturated fat content that’s in one serving of flat iron steak.
As you might know, unhealthy fat, like saturated and trans fat, can increase cholesterol in the body, an unhealthy move for your heart. So it’s best to eat foods that are low in these “bad” fats, and one serving of flat iron steak contains less than 3 grams of saturated fat.
High Protein, Low Carb
Steak is an excellent choice for people looking to lower their carb intake and increase protein in their diet. Flat iron steak has zero carbohydrates but 20 grams of protein in a 100-gram serving.
Calculate the recommended amount of protein you should get daily by multiplying your weight in pounds by 0.36. For example, an average 150-pound person would need about 54 grams per day, but more active people might need more. Still, a small serving of flat iron steak provides about ⅓ of that.
There are a few key things to watch for when you eat steak, and flat iron steak is no exception to the rule.
The first is sodium content. Flat iron has a little more than 80 mg of sodium per 100 grams, which isn’t much, considering the recommended maximum is less than 1,500 mg a day. However, most steak lovers add salt to their steaks before and sometimes after cooking them. Added salt could quickly boost your daily salt intake, so it’s something to watch for when you’re eating flat iron.
Another point to consider is cholesterol. One serving of flat iron steak has just over 70 mg. For people with a low risk of heart disease, the recommended amount is no more than 300 mg of cholesterol daily. Those with a risk of heart disease should stick to 200 mg. Just one small piece of flat iron steak gives you more than ⅓ of that amount.
The biggest takeaway? Watch your portions and track your nutrients if you want to eat a heart-healthy diet.
Conclusion: The Lowdown on Flat Iron Steak Nutrition
While it’s not quite up to par with ribeye in terms of marbling, flat iron steak comes relatively close while staying affordable compared to other cuts of steak. Plus, its beefy flavor is practically unforgettable, which is why it’s such a tasty addition to meals that incorporate sliced steak, like tacos and fajitas.
Shop Chicago Steak Company’s Premium Angus, USDA Prime, and Kobe-Wagyu flat iron steaks online. Our hand-cut steaks are aged from four to six weeks to increase flavor and texture, ensuring only the best quality for you and your family.