Buying the Right Protein for Your Diet

Find out which meats provide high-quality protein without too much fat.

In This Article:

Red meat and pork

When buying beef, pork, lamb, and veal, look for lean, well-trimmed cuts. Meats are graded by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) according to their fat content and texture. Prime indicates the highest in fat (unfortunately, it's usually the most tender and juicy because of the marbled fat throughout); choice is moderately fatty; and select is the leanest. Lean meats provide a lot of high-quality protein, along with iron, B-vitamins, phosphorus, and zinc.

Your leanest beef choices are the following:
Top round Top loin steak
Tenderloin Chuck steaks
Lean T-bone Lean rump
Lean porterhouse Lean flank
Sirloin Ground beef (only extra-lean)
Eye of round Round tip
Bottom round
 
Your leanest lamb and veal choices are as follows:
Leg of lamb Lamb roast
Foreshank Arm chop
Lean loin chop Veal roast
Veal loin chop Veal cutlet
 
Your leanest pork choices are these:
Tenerloin Top loin roast
Center loin chips Canadian bacon
Lean ham Rib chips
Sirloin roast Shoulder blade steak

Buffalo meat and venison meat are both exceptionally lean.

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