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Bison Meat: The Healthy and Sustainable Choice

Bison meat is becoming more popular among health-conscious consumers who are looking for a lean, nutrient-dense, and environmentally friendly alternative to beef. Bison are one of the oldest and most iconic animals in North America, and their meat has been a staple food for many indigenous peoples for centuries. But what makes bison meat so special, and how does it compare with beef? Here are some of the reasons why you should consider adding bison meat to your diet.

Bison Meat Is Low in Fat and Calories

One of the main benefits of bison meat is its low fat and calorie content. A 4-ounce (113-gram) serving of cooked bison meat has only 124 calories and 6 grams of fat, of which 2.5 grams are saturated. This is much lower than the same amount of cooked beef, which has 291 calories and 19 grams of fat, of which 7.6 grams are saturated.

Bison meat is also lower in cholesterol than beef. A 4-ounce (113-gram) serving of cooked bison meat has 81 milligrams of cholesterol, while the same amount of cooked beef has 102 milligrams. High cholesterol levels can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, so choosing bison meat over beef can help you keep your cholesterol in check.

Bison Meat Is High in Protein and B Vitamins

Another benefit of bison meat is its high protein and B vitamin content. A 4-ounce (113-gram) serving of cooked bison meat has 25.5 grams of protein, which is more than half of the daily value for most adults. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, making hormones and enzymes, and supporting immune function.

Bison meat also provides a rich source of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, which is vital for the production of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and nerve function. A 4-ounce (113-gram) serving of cooked bison meat supplies 41% of the daily value for vitamin B12.

Bison Meat Is Good for Your Heart and Brain

Bison meat is not only low in fat and cholesterol, but it also has a favorable fatty acid profile. Bison meat contains more omega-3 fatty acids than beef, which are beneficial for your heart and brain health. Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and prevent blood clots.

Bison meat also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fat that has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. CLA may also help reduce body fat and improve muscle mass. Bison meat has more CLA than beef because bison choose a more grass-fed diet and therefore have less intramuscular fat.

Bison Meat Is Environmentally Friendly

Bison meat is not only good for your health, but also for the environment. Bison are raised on natural grasslands and rangelands, where they help regenerate the soil and restore biodiversity . Bison are adapted to harsh weather conditions and require less water and feed than cattle.

Bison are also free from hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides, which can harm the environment and human health. Bison are slaughtered at an older age than cattle, which means they produce less greenhouse gas emissions per pound of meat. Bison meat is a sustainable choice that supports the conservation of this iconic species.

Bison vs. Beef: How Do They Compare?

Bison and beef are both red meats that provide high-quality protein, iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins. However, bison has some advantages over beef in terms of nutrition and environmental impact.

Here are some of the main differences between bison and beef:

  • Bison has less fat, calories, and cholesterol than beef. 

  • Bison has more protein, omega-3 fatty acids, CLA, and vitamin B12 than beef.

  • Bison is raised on natural grasslands and rangelands without hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides.

  • Bison help regenerate the soil and restore biodiversity on their grazing lands .

  • Bison produces less greenhouse gas emissions per pound of meat than beef.

How to Cook Bison Meat

Bison meat is similar to beef in terms of appearance and taste, but it has a slightly sweeter flavor and a finer texture. Bison meat is also leaner than beef, which means it cooks faster and can dry out easily if overcooked. Here are some tips on how to cook bison meat:

Choose cuts that suit your cooking method. For example, tenderloin, ribeye, sirloin, or strip steak are good for grilling or broiling; chuck roast or brisket are good for braising or slow cooking; ground bison is good for burgers or meatballs.

Season bison meat lightly with salt, pepper, herbs, spices, or marinades to enhance its natural flavor. Avoid acidic ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice that can toughen the meat.

Cook bison meat over medium-high heat for a short time to sear the outside and keep the inside moist. Use a meat thermometer to check the doneness. The recommended internal temperature for bison steaks is 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare; for bison roasts is 160°F (71°C) for medium; for ground bison is 160°F (71°C) for well-done.

Let bison meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting or serving to allow the juices to redistribute. Cut bison meat across the grain to make it more tender.

Bison meat is a healthy and sustainable choice that offers many benefits for your health and the environment.


The Cross Timbers Bison Ranch Team

367 views3 comments


Aug 11, 2023

I would love to try some Bison, but it will have to wait until I am in the US sometime (if I make it at all). Truly made my mouth water just reading about the cooking of it!


Donna Burgie
Donna Burgie
Aug 02, 2023

I would love to buy some bison from you. Do you have any meat for sale?


I was wondering if there is a way that I could get a address I have something I would like to send to little Brooke since her dad raises Bison

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