Lamb shank, a cut taken from the top part of the lamb's leg, includes the leg bone and a piece of the shoulder bone. Due to the nationwide concern over eating habits in the United States, dietary information about lamb shank and other red meats is freely available, including calories, fat, cholesterol, protein and other nutrients. Red meat lovers and nutrition buffs alike might be pleasantly surprised.
A standard 3-oz serving of roasted lamb shank (roughly the same size as a deck of playing cards) contains 153 total calories. This number figures slightly lower than other red meats. The ideal number of daily calories varies from individual to individual, though most adults require 1500 to 2500 calories per day.
Lamb shank has lower fat content than most other red meats, as well as most other cuts of lamb. A standard 3-oz serving of lamb shank contains 5.7g of fat, 2.0g of which are saturated. This equates to about 10 percent of the recommended daily intake for both total fats and saturated fats. Fortunately, shank is one of the leaner cuts of lamb. In addition, lamb contains relatively little marbling, so much of the fat may be sliced away.
A standard 3-oz serving of lamb shank contains 74mg of cholesterol. This equates to a whopping 25 percent of the recommended daily intake. For that reason, lamb shank should be eaten in moderation. The American heart Association recommends no more than 300mg of cholesterol per day, or less than 200mg for those with high cholesterol or coronary heart disease.
Lamb shank is bursting with protein. A standard 3-oz serving contains 24g of protein, which equates to 48 percent of the recommended daily intake. Lamb also contains all eight essential amino acids in their proper balance.
Lamb shank is rich in niacin, phosphorus and zinc, and especially rich in selenium and vitamin B-12. It further provides some iron, calcium, and potassium in addition to traces of vitamins B-1 and B-2. In terms of recommended daily intake, that's 15 percent of vitamin B-2, 17 percent of iron, 30 percent of niacin and zinc, and a healthy 74 percent of vitamin B-12.