You may be surprised to see no animal foods listed among our excellent or very good sources of iron. There are two related reasons for this result.
First, as we discussed above, it is a common misconception that plant foods are not rich sources of iron. In fact, many plant foods contain more than 10% of a daily iron requirement per serving. Some—lentils and spinach, for example—contain as much as one third of the daily requirement.
Second, plant foods tend to have fewer calories per serving than animal foods. Since we base our food ratings on nutrient richness (or amount of nutrient per calorie), the least energy dense foods look the best in our assessment model.