Bison Meat: Benefits, Nutrition(Vs Beef?)

Bison meat is very popular among keto lovers. It has numerous health benefits. Bison meat is the second most popular cattle meat after beef.

Here we are going to discuss the major health benefits of bison meat. Although bison meat is costly and it may not suit your cheap keto grocery list, its nutrition profile makes it considerable keto meat.

Bison meat benefits

Bison meat is highly nutritious cattle meat. It is rich in protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, etc.

It also contains potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, vitamin B6, B2, B12, E, and K.

These vitamins and minerals provide several health benefits like

Bison meat protein benefits

Protein increases muscle mass, lowers blood pressure, and protects kidneys.

Protein is also beneficial for weight loss and speedy recovery from injury.

They act as building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins.

Proteins are one of the best nutrients among three nutrients that provide calories.

Protein is the most required nutrient for aged persons. Protein rich bison meat can be a great low carb diet for seniors.

Bison meat moderate fat benefits

Bison meat contains moderate amount of fat which is beneficial for your health. Moderate amount of fats helps to maintain a healthy weight.

Moreover, moderate fat rich bison meat also aids in reduction of keto gallstones by preventing biliary cholesterol formation.

Bison meat calcium benefits

Calcium strengthens and maintains bones and teeth. It also prevents heart diseases and improves nerve function.

Calcium-rich bison meat also aids in blood clotting.

Aside from this calcium maintains a normal heartbeat and helps in hormone secretion.

Scientific research showed that appropriate calcium intake has many health benefits.

It helps to reduce hypertensive disorders during pregnancy.

Calcium also lowers blood pressure, especially for young people. It prevents osteoporosis and colorectal adenomas (13).

Calcium lowers cholesterol values also. Sufficient calcium intake during pregnancy helps to lower blood pressure in the progeny of mothers.

That’s why calcium-rich bison meat is a great choice for keto diet if you have high blood pressure.

Iron benefits

Iron has multiple health benefits. Iron’s main benefit is that iron prevents anemia.

Iron also helps to lower digestion problems and boosts immunity.

Iron deficiency during pregnancy can create some adverse outcomes for both mother and infant. These are

  • Increased risk of sepsis
  • Low child weight
  • Perinatal mortality
  • Maternal mortality

Sufficient iron intake during pregnancy may help to prevent these symptoms.

Magnesium benefits

Magnesium is another healthy element present in bison meat.Magnesium can control diabetes and prediabetes a1c range by lowering blood sugar levels.

Magnesium is also helpful for fighting mental illnesses like depression. It also improves enzyme functions in the body.

Bison meat phosphorus benefits

The phosphorus nutrient of bison meat helps to keep the bone strong.

It also improves teeth root health & muscle contract functionality.

Because of phosphorus bison meat provides other benefits also.

This element helps bison meat to boost nerve function and protects from kidney diseases.

Potassium benefits

Potassium-rich bison meat is useful to improve kidney health and prevent coronary diseases. It is also helpful to acquire a perfect bone density.

Potassium also helps to maintain a healthy heartbeat. It is also beneficial for nerve function and muscle contraction.

According to the American Heart Organisation potassium-rich foods are very important for managing high blood pressure (14).

Bison meat sodium benefits

Sodium is a very important nutrient for brain function.

Deficiency of sodium causes memory loss, fuzziness, nausea, headache.

Bison is high in sodium which helps to fight and recover from these health problems.

Not only that sodium helps to control blood pressure and blood volume (1).

Zinc benefits

Zinc is an essential nutrient that is crucial for growth, development.

It also helps to maintain the immune system. This fact is proven by multiple studies.

Zinc supplementation can improve mucociliary clearance.

It also strengthens the integrity of the epithelium, decreases viral replication.

Zinc aids in some important health factors. It preserves antiviral immunity, reduces the risk of hyper-inflammation.

The anti-oxidative effects of zinc reduce lung damage and minimize secondary infections.

Zinc is very beneficial for older subjects, patients with chronic diseases(2).

Copper benefits

Copper (Cu) is an essential micronutrient during viral infection.

Copper promotes the functions of critical immune blood cells like T helper cells, B cells, neutrophils natural killer cells, and macrophages.

These blood cells are very important for the destruction of infectious microbes.

Because of this copper is super beneficial for the development of antibodies.

Copper deficiency makes humans prone to infections.

Because copper is the ultimate killer of infectious viruses such as bronchitis virus, poliovirus, human immunodeficiency virus type 1(HIV-1), etc (3).

Choline: Choline is an essential nutrient that is naturally present in bison meat. It helps to maintain the metabolism rate (9).

Choline produces acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter.

You will get several health benefits of choline by consuming bison meat. These are

  • Memory improvement
  • Mood boost
  • Greater muscle control
  • Early brain development
  • Proper cell membrane signaling
  • Liver protection

Choline is also very important for pregnant women. Pregnant and lactating women have an increased risk of choline deficiency.

Bison meat vitamins benefits

Multiple healthy vitamins are present in bison meat. A controlled intake of bison meat can provide all of the vitamin benefits to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Thiamin: Bison meat contains vitamin B1 which is also known as thiamin (thiamine).

A regular dietary intake of thiamin is necessary to maintain proper blood levels.

The deficiency of this vitamin can be very harmful to the body.

Reduced thiamin intake can result in reduced enzymatic activity, altered mitochondrial activity, impaired oxidative metabolism, and reduced energy production.

It can affect the cells and in critical cases, the patient may die.

Thiamine is also essential to fulfill the energy requirements of neurons.

Proper thiamine intake reduces the risk of Beriberi disorder also(4).

Riboflavin: Riboflavin is another water-soluble member of the B-vitamin family. It is also found in bison meat. This vitamin protects from sepsis, ischemia, etc.

Riboflavin is also helpful for the reduction of some forms of cancer in humans.

This vitamin is famous for its anti-oxidant, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive and anti-cancer properties (5).

Niacin: Bison meat is rich in niacin. Niacin is a type of B vitamin (vitamin B3).  The bison niacin b3 is a very important micronutrient which adis in several essential health functions.

This vitamin plays a vital role in the central nervous system (CNS), neuronal development, and function

This vitamin aids in the reduction of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), and lipoprotein levels. 

Also, niacin is used to increase plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Moreover, bison niacin b3 also decreases cardiovascular issues, premature aging, age-associated neurological disorders.

This vitamin has beneficial effects on the following diseases(6)

  • Alzheimer disease
  • Parkinson disease
  • Diabetes
  • Schizophrenia
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Arthritis

Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is a coenzyme.

It is a cofactor in over 100 enzymatic reactions including amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and lipid metabolism.

Vitamin B6 contributes to cognitive development through neurotransmitter synthesis.

It is also beneficial for immune function and hemoglobin formation.

Vitamin B6 deficiency can cause several health issues like

  • Seizures
  • Normocytic anemia
  • Rash
  • Depression
  • Cheilitis
  • Glossitis

Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient for pregnant women. It is very important for fetal brain development (7).

Vitamin B6 mixed with water is also acts as a best smoothie for nausea for pregnant women. 

Folate: Folate is also known as vitamin B9.

Folate mainly functions as a coenzyme during the synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and the metabolism of amino acids (8).

Deficiency of folate causes weakness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, headache, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.

Adequate intake of folate helps to prevent these health issues.

Folate is also beneficial for good skin health and hair health. It also reduces stomach problems like gas, stomach ache, constipation, etc.

Also, high folate component of bison meat helps to prevent low carb diarrhea.

Vitamin B-12: Vitamin B12 or cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is derived from bison meat and other animal foods.

Absorbed vitamin B12 acts as a cofactor for enzymes that are involved in the synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), fatty acids, and myelin.

People with malabsorption are prone to vitamin B12 deficiency.

Also, it is observed that a strict vegan diet for 3 years may develop vitamin B12 deficiency (10).

Vitamin B12 has benefits over:

  • Metabolism
  • Spinal cord maintenance
  • Brain development
  • Formation of red blood cells
  • Protection of central nervous system
  • Digestion

Vitamin E: Bison meat contains vitamin E also. Vitamin E is a very important nutrient that helps our body in several ways.

It protects cell membranes and tissues against oxidation damage.

This vitamin is very important for red blood cell formation and a healthy circulatory system.

Research has shown that vitamin E supplements prevent cardiovascular diseases also(11).

Vitamin K: Bison meat is rich in vitamin K.

Vitamin K is a very essential nutrient for blood clotting.

It is also important for the prevention of Mönckeberg’s arteriosclerosis, a cardiovascular disease.

Research has shown that vitamin K is an anti calcification, anticancer, and insulin-sensitizing molecule (12).

It is also helpful for bone-forming.

Bison meat nutrition(100 grams of serving: source USDA)

Bison meat is chock-full of nutrition. This meat is an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients.

Bison meat contains the following nutrients

  • Calories: 179
  • Fat: 8.62 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 25.4 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Carbohydrate: 0 g

Moreover, bison meat is rich in minerals like

  • Iron: 3.19 mg
  • Magnesium: 23 mg
  • Calcium: 14 mg
  • Zinc: 5.34 mg
  • Phosphorus: 213 mg
  • Potassium: 353 mg
  • Sodium: 76 mg
  • Copper: 0.151 mg
  • Selenium: 31.1 µg

Whatsmore, bison meat is a great source of vitamins, including

  • Thiamin (Vitamin B-1): 0.139 mg
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 0.264 mg
  • Niacin (Vitamin B-3): 5.97 mg
  • Vitamin B-6: 0.401 mg
  • Folate (Vitamin B-9): 16 µg
  • Choline: 97.2 mg
  • Vitamin B-12: 2.44 µg
  • Vitamin E: 0.2 mg
  • Vitamin K: 1.3 µg

Note: Choline is an essential nutrient similar to  B vitamins.

Bison meat disadvantages

Although bison meat is rich in nutrients with multiple health benefits, it has some drawbacks also.

These bison meat disadvantages are divided into two categories

Normal disadvantages

Price: Bison meat is costly. Its price is a bit higher than all other types of available meats in the market. 

Bison meat is not widely available in all areas and you have to buy it in a bulk.

As market price directly depends on supply and demand, these two facts make bison meat more costly.

Also, a large farm and a lot of investment are required to raise grass-fed bison.

Moreover, the transportation and processing cost of bison meat is higher than other meats.

Due to all of these facts bison meat is costly meat and not everyone is ready to buy it.

Overcooking issue: Bison meat is more lean compared with beef, lamb, or pork.

This makes extra attention during bison meat cooking.

If proper precaution is not taken during cooking it can easily remove the softness of the meat.

This overcooking makes bison meat hard and difficult to chew.

Furthermore, overcooked bison meat can create digestive problems also.

Health disadvantages

Bison meat is a rich source of sodium. Excess intake of sodium is not good for our health.

The high sodium component of bison meat can promote the following health issues

  • High blood pressure
  • The rise in LDL cholesterol
  • Heart diseases like stroke, heart failure
  • Stomach cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Dehydration

These are the common disadvantages of too much bison meat. However, a controlled intake of bison meat is safe for your health.

Bison meat vs beef

Bison and beef both are widely used red meats. However, there are some differences between these two types of red meat.

Cooking: Beef is easy to cook and has no overcooking issue.

Because beef is less lean than bison meat. Due to this, some people tend to switch towards beef.

Cost: If you are a customer then bison meat is costly than beef. Also, bison meat farming charge is heavier compared to beef.

Availability: Beef is more easily available than bison meat.

Bison nutrition vs beef

Both bison and beef have a rich nutrition profile. However, bison tends to be more health-friendly than beef.

Here is the nutrition difference between bison and beef

Nutrition nameBisonBeef
Calories179198
Fiber0 g0 g
Fat8.62 g12.7 g
Protein25.4 g19.4 g
Carbohydrate0 g0 g
Sugar0 g0 g
Iron3.19 mg1.99 mg
Calcium14 mg12 mg
Magnesium23 mg19 mg
Zinc5.34 mg4.55 mg
Phosphorus213 mg175 mg
Potassium353 mg289 mg
Sodium76 mg68 mg
Copper0.151 mg0.063 mg
Manganese0 mg0.01 mg
Selenium31.1 µg14.2 µg
Thiamin0.139 mg0.049 mg
Riboflavin0.264 mg0.154 mg
Niacin5.97 mg4.82 mg
Vitamin B-60.401 mg0.355 mg
Folate16 µg6 µg
Choline97.2 mg67.4 mg
Vitamin B-122.44 µg1.97 µg
Vitamin E0.2 mg0.35 mg
Vitamin K1.3 µg1.1 µg

Final Thoughts

Bison meat is highly nutritious red meat and has numerous health benefits.

Restricted consumption of bison meat can provide unique health benefits.

However uncontrolled intake can be dangerous for health.

Nutrients like sodium, magnesium, calcium, zinc are like a two-sided sword.

These are essential nutrients for proper body function.

But excess intake will do the opposite. So a limited intake is perfect to stay healthy without inviting any disorders.

Bison meat benefits FAQ

Can you eat bison meat everyday?

No, you can not eat bison meat every day because of its high nutrient density. You should consume 2 servings per week, not more than that.

Bison meat is high in potassium, sodium, magnesium, and zinc. Excess intake of these nutrients may cause heart disease, digestion problems, and kidney failure.

Does bison meat raise testosterone?

Bison meat is a rich source of zinc which raises testosterone levels. Research has shown that zinc is an important factor in reproductive functions.

100g serving of cooked bison meat(grass-fed) contains 5.34 mg of zinc. Daily consumption of 11-125mg of zinc is ideal for steady testosterone increment.

Is bison heart healthy?

Bison is sodium-rich meat. Excess sodium intake can be dangerous for the heart. For adverse cases, it may cause heart failure.

Considering the risk of high sodium intake we can say that a limited intake of bison meat is healthy for the heart.

Is bison meat good for kidney disease?

Bison meat is good for kidney disease because it is a rich source of kidney friendly nutrients like protein, phosphorus, potassium & niacin.

All of these nutrients improve the strength of kidneys and prevent kidney disorders. However, excess intake of bison meat may be harmful to kidneys because of its moderate-high sodium content.

What is the best meat for keto diet?

Bison meat is probably the best meat for keto diet. The very high nutrition profile aids in numerous bison meat health benefits.

Bison meat health facts are uncountable. You will get all kinds of health benefits like kidney benefit, anti-cancer activity, anti-diabetic, heart-friendly, and much more after consumption of this keto friendly meat.