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Beef sirloin vs. Beef tenderloin — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on April 11, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Beef sirloin
vs
Beef tenderloin

Summary

Beef tenderloin is a tender cut with a milder flavor. It is higher in calories and fats, including saturated fats. Beef tenderloin is also richer in iron and vitamins B2, B5, and B12. 

In comparison, beef sirloin contains higher amounts of protein, copper, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and vitamins B3 and B6. 

 

Introduction

This article is a comparison between two cuts of beef meat; beef tenderloin and beef sirloin. They are popular beef cuts, but a difference exists between them. The difference is mainly regarding the tenderness, flavor, and price.

Beef tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef. It comes from the loin section, a long narrow cylindrical muscle. It is also known as filet mignon. 

In comparison, sirloin is not as tender and comes from the back loin area of the beef. It is a tougher meat compared to tenderloin. 

Regarding its flavor profile, beef tenderloin has a mild and delicate flavor. In comparison, beef sirloin has a robust and beefy flavor. 

The culinary usage of each can be different. Tenderloin, being tender, is mostly used for grilling, whereas sirloin can be used for grilling and stew cooking. 

Beef tenderloin is the most expensive cut of beef because of its delicacy and high demand. Sirloin is a cheaper cut, and it is also used for grilling.


In short, beef tenderloin is the most tender cut and has a mild and delicate flavor. However, it is more expensive. On the other hand, beef sirloin is a bigger cut and not as tender as tenderloin. Sirloin has a robust and beefy flavor

 

Nutritional content comparison

This section will compare 100g of each in cooked forms. 

It is very important to consider meat hydration here. Beef tenderloin is 48% water, and sirloin is 63% water. 

The fact that tenderloin has looser muscle fibers (thus its tenderness), it loses more water during the grilling process. 

Calories

Beef tenderloin is higher in calories by 1.8 times compared to beef sirloin. Beef tenderloin contains 324 calories. In comparison, beef sirloin contains 177 calories. 

Carbs

Their carb content is insignificant.

Fats

In this article, we are considering 1/8th trimmed tenderloin, and the sirloin is full trim. Thus, tenderloin is higher in fats compared to sirloin.

 
Tenderloin contains 25g of fat distributed equally between saturated and monounsaturated fats. In comparison, sirloin is much lower in fats. It contains 5g of fat. 

The following diagram is their distribution diagram. 

@fattype 

Protein

The difference between amounts of protein is very significant; however, beef sirloin is richer in protein compared to tenderloin.  Sirloin contains 30g of protein, whereas tenderloin contains 24g. 

Below we can visualize their macro distributions. 

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Protein +28.9%
Contains more Water +31.4%
Contains more Fats +389.1%
Contains more Other +430.5%
31% 5% 64%
Protein: 30.8 g
Fats: 5.03 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 63.58 g
Other: 0.59 g
24% 25% 48% 3%
Protein: 23.9 g
Fats: 24.6 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 48.37 g
Other: 3.13 g
Contains more Protein +28.9%
Contains more Water +31.4%
Contains more Fats +389.1%
Contains more Other +430.5%

Minerals

Beef tenderloin is richer in iron. In comparison, beef sirloin is richer in zinc, copper, phosphorus, and potassium. 

Below are their mineral distributions. 

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Calcium +144.4%
Contains more Magnesium +22.7%
Contains more Phosphorus +24.6%
Contains more Potassium +23.9%
Contains more Zinc +41.4%
Contains more Selenium +69.9%
Contains more Iron +62%
Contains less Sodium -13.6%
Contains more Copper +44.7%
Contains more Manganese +27.3%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 7% 72% 20% 109% 37% 9% 156% 29% 2% 213%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 3% 117% 16% 87% 30% 8% 110% 41% 2% 125%
Contains more Calcium +144.4%
Contains more Magnesium +22.7%
Contains more Phosphorus +24.6%
Contains more Potassium +23.9%
Contains more Zinc +41.4%
Contains more Selenium +69.9%
Contains more Iron +62%
Contains less Sodium -13.6%
Contains more Copper +44.7%
Contains more Manganese +27.3%
 

Vitamins 

Tenderloin is richer in vitamins B2, B5, and B12. In comparison, sirloin is richer in vitamins B3 and B6. 

Below are their vitamin distributions. 

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
:
Contains more Vitamin B3 +200%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +142.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +172.4%
Contains more Folate +25%
Contains more Choline +28.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +59.5%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +67.3%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.09
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 8% 0% 0% 22% 38% 169% 37% 158% 8% 184% 64% 4%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 0% 0% 0% 23% 60% 57% 15% 58% 6% 308% 50% 0%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +200%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +142.8%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +172.4%
Contains more Folate +25%
Contains more Choline +28.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +59.5%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +67.3%
Equal in Vitamin B1 - 0.09
 

Health impacts

Well, focus on the differences here, and we can highlight some health impacts regarding this difference. 

As seen in this article, a fully trimmed beef cut is a better option than a fatty one. Tenderloin is higher in fats and specifically saturated fats, compared to sirloin. This increases the risks of cardiovascular diseases. (1) 

Sirloin affects satiety aswell. Since it is richer in protein, it has higher satiety durations than tenderloin. This can have several benefits in overeating cases, and if you want to focus on a weight loss program, sirloin can be a better option. (2) 

Tenderloin is richer in iron and vitamin B12. Since iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, and vitamin B12 is another type of anemia. We must focus on consuming bioavailable forms of iron to prevent iron deficiency anemia and, in addition, consume vitamin B12-rich foods to prevent vitamin B12 anemia (3)(4).

Regarding their mineral profiles, sirloin is richer in zinc, copper, phosphorus, and magnesium, essential in several physiological and metabolic pathways. 

In this article, we can read about the negative impacts red meat can cause. 

Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: April 11, 2023
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Beef sirloin vs Beef tenderloin infographic
Infographic link

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -80.3%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +412%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +440.5%
47% 49% 5%
Saturated Fat: 1.915 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.006 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.185 g
46% 49% 5%
Saturated Fat: 9.72 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 10.27 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -80.3%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +412%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +440.5%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Beef sirloin Beef tenderloin
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in Glycemic Index Equal
Lower in price Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Beef sirloin Beef tenderloin Opinion
Protein 30.8g 23.9g Beef sirloin
Fats 5.03g 24.6g Beef tenderloin
Calories 177kcal 324kcal Beef tenderloin
Calcium 22mg 9mg Beef sirloin
Iron 1.92mg 3.11mg Beef tenderloin
Magnesium 27mg 22mg Beef sirloin
Phosphorus 253mg 203mg Beef sirloin
Potassium 410mg 331mg Beef sirloin
Sodium 66mg 57mg Beef tenderloin
Zinc 5.7mg 4.03mg Beef sirloin
Copper 0.085mg 0.123mg Beef tenderloin
Manganese 0.011mg 0.014mg Beef tenderloin
Selenium 38.9µg 22.9µg Beef sirloin
Vitamin E 0.39mg Beef sirloin
Vitamin B1 0.088mg 0.09mg Beef tenderloin
Vitamin B2 0.163mg 0.26mg Beef tenderloin
Vitamin B3 9.001mg 3mg Beef sirloin
Vitamin B5 0.607mg 0.25mg Beef sirloin
Vitamin B6 0.681mg 0.25mg Beef sirloin
Folate 10µg 8µg Beef sirloin
Vitamin B12 1.47µg 2.46µg Beef tenderloin
Choline 117.3mg 91mg Beef sirloin
Vitamin K 1.4µg Beef sirloin
Tryptophan 0.202mg 0.268mg Beef tenderloin
Threonine 1.23mg 1.044mg Beef sirloin
Isoleucine 1.401mg 1.075mg Beef sirloin
Leucine 2.45mg 1.889mg Beef sirloin
Lysine 2.603mg 1.989mg Beef sirloin
Methionine 0.802mg 0.612mg Beef sirloin
Phenylalanine 1.217mg 0.933mg Beef sirloin
Valine 1.528mg 1.163mg Beef sirloin
Histidine 0.983mg 0.818mg Beef sirloin
Cholesterol 81mg 85mg Beef sirloin
Saturated Fat 1.915g 9.72g Beef sirloin
Monounsaturated Fat 2.006g 10.27g Beef tenderloin
Polyunsaturated fat 0.185g 1g Beef tenderloin

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Beef sirloin Beef tenderloin
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet Equal
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
53%
Beef sirloin
44%
Beef tenderloin
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
65%
Beef sirloin
54%
Beef tenderloin

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Beef tenderloin
Beef tenderloin contains less Sodium (difference - 9mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Beef sirloin
Beef sirloin is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 4mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Beef sirloin
Beef sirloin is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 7.805g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Beef sirloin
Beef sirloin is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Beef sirloin
Beef sirloin is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (0 g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (0)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($)

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Beef sirloin - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168636/nutrients
  2. Beef tenderloin - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169544/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.