A Cut Above: These Are The Healthiest Meats


But it doesn’t have to be that way. Making smart choices will allow welcome nutrients while shutting out fatty hangers-on. As a rule of thumb, the lowest calorie animal foods are also the leanest. You can also make the meat you choose leaner by trimming off visible fat before you cook it and using low-fat cooking methods like baking, broiling, grilling and roasting. Otherwise, here are the butcher’s best bets.

A Cut Above: These Are The Healthiest Meats Photo Gallery

Organic turkey Thanksgiving guilt? Not required! One of the leanest meats on the market, white-meat turkey sans skin has only 152 calories and 36 grams of protein per four-ounce serving. “But you can have a little dark meat, too,” says dietician Lauren Kelly. “Dark meat has higher levels of nutrients such as iron, and while it’s a little more caloric and higher in fat, the difference isn’t significant enough to avoid it, if you enjoy it. Choose skinless, though, to stay away from unhealthy fats.”

Go for organic, which doesn’t contain hormones and antibiotics, and tastes better. Ditto for chicken and other poultry. Bison According to the USDA, four ounces of lean bison contains only 124 calories and two grams of fat, while the same amount of beef chuck has 260 calories and 16 grams of fat. Bison, which is more often grass-fed than cattle, packs optimum nutritional benefits and is high in heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Beef No need to ditch the occasional juicy steak! Just swap T-bone and prime rib for leaner cuts.

Nutritionists recommend (in order of leanness) sirloin tip, top round, eye of round, bottom round or top sirloin. Choose cuts that are graded “choice” or “select” instead of “prime,” which usually have more fat. “Stay away from cuts with white marbling, such as that found in porterhouse, prime rib and rib eye,” advises Kelly. “Stick with leaner sirloin or filet mignon. and try to get grassfed for a healthier fat and overall nutrition profile.” Pork Six cuts of pork meet the USDA guidelines for “lean,” which translates to less than 10 grams of fat per serving. In fact, pork tenderloin is actually leaner than skinless chicken breast. The healthiest cuts are all taken from the loin or leg (usually made into ham); look for “loin” or “chop” in the name.

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