snapkitchen bison quinoa bowl
Healthy Eating

Bison vs Beef

July 12, 2021

Bison and beef are two popular choices of meat. Read on for information about their health benefits, nutrition, and more!

The Difference Between Bison and Beef

While both come from members of the bovine family, bison and beef are meats from two distinct animals. Bison comes from an animal with the same name, while beef comes from cows. And just a note – though bison are sometimes confused with buffalo and termed American Buffalo, true buffalo can only be found in Africa and Asia.

Health Benefits of Bison and Beef

Though similar in look and taste, bison and beef have nutritional differences. But is one healthier than the other? According to Healthline, this is how the two meats measure up:

Bison vs Beef

Calories 166 224
Protein 24 grams 22 grams
Fat 8 grams 14 grams
Carbs Less than 1 gram 0 grams
Saturated fat 3 grams 6 grams
Iron 13% of the Daily Value (DV) 12.5% of the DV
Zinc 35% of the DV 46% of the DV

Because bison is leaner and less calorically dense, it is widely regarded as the healthier option. But that designation is largely based on outdated thinking around saturated fat and fat in general. In reality, both are healthy choices, and it’s always best to opt for variety in your protein choices.

It’s worth noting that due to federal laws and industry regulations, most American bison meat is also grass-fed and raised without antibiotics and hormones. As for cattle, most cows are raised on grass for the majority of their lives as well, with 100% grass-finished cows staying there and conventionally-raised beef moving to a feedlot for the last few months of their lives.

Cooking With Bison and Beef

You can easily substitute bison in any recipe that calls for beef (and vice versa!), from burgers and meatballs to steak. Keep in mind that bison is leaner, so it won’t work in all recipes that call for beef. If you’re feeling adventurous, try one of these 10 recipes from Cooking Light!

  1. Greek Bison Burger
  2. Baked Bison Meatballs
  3. Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Bison Chili
  4. Smoky Bison Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
  5. Spicy Bison Sweet Potato Skillet
  6. Bun-less Paleo Bison Burger and Sweet Potato Mash
  7. Bison Taco Bowl
  8. Macaroni and Cheese with Ground Bison
  9. Bison Bolognese
  10. Ground Bison and Cauliflower Bowl

food using ground bison and beef

If you really want to try beef’s leaner cousin but don’t have enough time to experiment in the kitchen, try your first bite with us! Our Bison Quinoa Bowl (pictured above) and Bison Shepherd’s Pie are a great place to start when introducing your palate to new flavors.

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