Kangaroo's amazing nutrition facts

Kangaroo meat is healthy and nutritiousIf you’re looking for a family-friendly meat that packs a nutritious punch, then look no further than kangaroo meat. It gets the thumbs up on a wide variety of nutrition fronts, with the key highlights for kangaroo meat being:
  • It has an energy (kilojoule) content that stacks up well against other lean red meats
  • It is a terrific source of high-quality protein
  • It is low in fat, with less than 2% fat
  • It contains low levels of ‘undesirable’ saturated fats
  • It is a source of heart-friendly omega-3’s
  • It contains CLA, which has antioxidant properties and may help reduce body fat in humans
  • It is a particularly rich source of the minerals iron and zinc
  • It is an important source of several B-group vitamins, namely riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12
  • It has the Heart Foundation Tick of Approval*
Let’s take a look in a little more detail at what this versatile, tasty and nutritious game meat has to offer.

Energy content

As they say, the Aussie kangaroo is a lean, mean, fighting machine. These animals are super active and graze on natural foliage which produces a lean, high quality game meat.

A 150g serve of kangaroo fillet or steak typically provides 643 kilojoules (that’s 153 calories). Let’s put this into perspective. For an average adult needing 8700 kilojoules a day, a 150g serve of kangaroo fillet or rump provides just over 7% of daily energy needs. That leaves 93% of kilojoules to come from other nutritious foods.

The energy content of kangaroo meat stacks up well against other trimmed and lean red meats – take a look:

Energy (kilojoules) per 100g of raw meat

Kangaroo fillet 1

Lean beef fillet 2

Trim lamb steak2

429 kilojoules 608 kilojoules 582 kilojoules

Protein

When it comes to high-quality protein, kangaroo meat goes to top of the list. A 150g serve of kangaroo fillet provides an average adult with 66% of their daily protein needs3. The best part is that the high-quality protein found in kangaroo meat comes with lots of taste and enjoyment.

Fat

It’s a fact – with less than 2% fat, kangaroo meat is a champion lean meat. Even when stacked up against lean beef, trim lamb and lean, skinless chicken breast, kangaroo meat comes out trumps (see the table below).


Fat content per 100g of raw meat

Kangaroo fillet or steak 1 Lean beef fillet 2 Lean beef rump 2 Trim lamb steak 2 Lean, chicken breast2
Total fat (g) 1.3 6.3 4.6 5.8 1.6
Saturated fats (g) 0.3 2.4 1.7 2.0 0.5
Trans fats (g) 0.1 0.3 0.2 0.3 n/a
Polyunsaturated fats (g) 0.4 0.6 0.4 0.6 0.3
Monounsaturated fats (g) 0.5 2.5 1.9 2.3 0.7

n/a = not available


To visualise the total amount of fat in a 100g portion of kangaroo meat, picture a metric teaspoon. Now fill one quarter of that teaspoon with margarine. That’s how little fat there typically is in a portion of kangaroo meat – next to nix!

The good news doesn’t stop with the amount of fat in kangaroo, but also the type of fat. Kangaroo meat contains low levels of ‘undesirable’ saturated fats and proportionally higher amounts of ‘desirable’ unsaturated fats, namely monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats help to maintain heart health, so eating kangaroo meat is a welcome addition to the family dinner table.

The low total fat and saturated fat content of kangaroo meat should be good news to the ears of all Australians, including health-conscious consumers and those striving to look after their heart health.

Omega-3’s

Our Kangaroo meat has the National Heart Foundation TickMost people associate omega-3 fats with fish. It may come as a surprise that kangaroo meat is also a source of these heart-friendly, polyunsaturated fats.

A lab analysis1 carried out on Macro Meats kangaroo meat products confirmed our meats contain omega-3's, specifically ‘long-chain omega-3 fatty acids’ which help support heart health and wellbeing. Kangaroo fillet and steak, for example, contains 74mg of long-chain omega-3’s per 100g of raw meat. Women typically need around 90mg of long-chain omega-3 fats per day and men 160mg per day4. So kangaroo meat is certainly a worthy contributor to omega-3 intakes.

For more detailed information on omega-3 content of our kangaroo meat products, go to the ‘Product Nutrition Information’ section of this website and refer to ‘Table 3’. The picture on the right is the Kangaroo Steak, any reference to the National Heart Foundation Tick of Approval is related to the natural nutrients in the Kangaroo Steak, not a specified recipe.

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

CLA is a ‘desirable’ fat found in kangaroo meat which deserves a special mention. Research shows CLA has antioxidant properties and may help reduce body fat in humans5, which is good news to those watching their waistline.

The CLA content of kangaroo was first brought to light in 2004, when a PhD student sponsored by the University of Western Australia and CSIRO found that the meat of kangaroo has valuable amounts of CLA when compared to that of other commonly eaten meats6. More recently, 80 samples of four different kangaroo meat cuts were analysed from animals taken at two geographical locations. The average CLA content for all samples was 11.7mg CLA/100g meat7.

The CLA present in other red meats (e.g. beef, veal, lamb and mutton), is mostly present in the fat component, but it is also present in the muscle meat: between 10mg and 46mg CLA/100g of raw meat8. Regularly eating lean meat, including kangaroo meat, as part of a healthy, balanced diet is a sure fire way to boost CLA levels in the diet.

Iron

The creators of ‘Popeye the Sailor’ should have made Popeye tuck into a meal of kangaroo meat to boost iron and energy reserves before helping to save the day. Iron is essential for energy production and it helps transport oxygen around the body. This ‘must-have’ mineral also plays a key role in brain development9.

Kangaroo meat is a particularly rich source of iron. In fact, a 150g serve of kangaroo steak or fillet1 provides 41% of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) for iron. In other words, more than half of an average adult’s daily iron needs will be met when they enjoy a 150g serve of kangaroo meat.

So household food preparers take heed - when it comes to iron, adding kangaroo meat to your weekly shopping list and menu is one way to help keep your family on top of the iron stakes. Soon the whole household will be jumping out of their skin and hopping mad for more!

Zinc

Our Kangaroo meat has the National Heart Foundation TickWhen you think zinc, you probably think of the iconic Australian white stuff that is applied to your nose to keep the powerful sunrays at bay. The type of zinc being referred to here is dietary zinc – a mineral that’s essential for growth, wound healing and a strong immune system.

The good news is kangaroo meat is a good source of this important mineral. Indeed, a 150g serve of kangaroo meat2 provides over a quarter (28%) of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) for zinc. The other good news is that zinc found in animal foods, like red meat and seafood, is better absorbed than the iron from plant foods10. So when it comes to adding some ‘zing’ in your immune system and healing ability, a meal of kangaroo meat should be top of mind.

B-Group vitamins

Kangaroo meat is an important source of several B-group vitamins, namely riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. For example, a 150g serve of kangaroo loin fillet2 typically provides:
  • 36% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for riboflavin. Riboflavin is primarily involved in energy production and supports vision and skin11.
  • 63% of the RDI for niacin. Niacin helps to release energy from carbohydrates and fat and also supports the digestive and nervous systems11.
  • 80% of the RDI for Vitamin B6. This vitamin is needed for protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It also helps to manufacture red blood cells and regulate certain hormones11.
  • Over 100% of the RDI for Vitamin B12. It helps to break down fats and proteins to produce energy. Vitamin B12 also plays a role to produce red blood cells and helps to maintain normal nervous system functions11.
If you need more convincing on the nutrition credentials of kangaroo meat, then wait, there’s more!

National Heart Foundation of Australia's Tick of Approval

National Heart Foundation TickIt’s heartening to know that the Heart Foundation’s Tick of Approval* has been granted to a variety of Macro Meats kangaroo products, including our:
  • Kangaroo Steak
  • Kangaroo Fillets
  • Kanga Bangas (sausages)
  • Kangaroo Mince
  • Diced Kangaroo Meat
Our kangaroo meats pass the strict nutritional criteria set by the Heart Foundation and we are pleased to display the nutritional stamp of approval on-pack. Next time you go shopping, look out for our meats displaying the red and white Tick.


References:


1. Macro Meats independent nutritional analysis, performed by AgriQuality, July 2006.
2. NUTTAB, 2006 (and MLA ‘Nutrient Composition Data’ for trans fatty acids).
3.  Foods Standards Code 1.2.8. Protein reference value for percentage Daily Intakes. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Sourced Jan, 2009.
4. Department of Health and Ageing. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand. Executive Summary. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia, 2006.
5. Whigham LD, Watras AC and Schoeller DA. Efficacy on conjucated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans’. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2007; Vol 85, No 5, 1203-1211.   
6. CSIRO Livestock Industries, Media Release: Kangaroo meat – health secret revealed. http://www.csiro.au/files/mediarelease/mr2004/kangaroofat.htm  
7. Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. Nutritional Composition of Kangaroo Meat – Fat Content and Lipid Composition, Nov 2008. (RIRDC Publication No. 08/142).
8. Droulez V, Williams P, Levy G et al. Nutrient composition of Australian red meat 2002. 2. Fatty acid profile. Food Australia 2006; 58: 335-341.
9. Beard J. Iron Deficiency Alters Brain Development and Functioning. The Journal of Nutrition. May 2003; 133:1468S-1472S.
10. Samman S. Zinc. Nutrition & Dietetics 2007; 64 (Suppl. 4):S131-S134.
11. Vitamin B. The Better Health Channel, May 2008. http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/  

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