It’s pretty tough to be a meat lover these days.
While it’s true that a diet rich in fruits and veggies has countless benefits, there are also ways to enjoy meat without feeling unhealthy. By choosing lean cuts over fatty ones, you’ll be saving yourself extra fat and calories and instead be filling up on protein and nutrients. Have no fear meat-eaters, we’ve gathered the best and worst meats you can find so you’ll be better prepared for dinner.
Check out the slideshow above for the 10 best and worst meats to eat.
While pork can definitely be considered a heavy food, lean cuts of pork can be pretty nutrient rich and even low in calories. A three ounce serving of pork tenderloin has 122 calories and three grams of fat.
Buffalo (also known as bison) can be a great healthy alternative to red meat like steak or beef. The taste of buffalo is comparable to that of more common red meats and it has half as much fat and fewer calories.
If you can’t bear to give up deli meats, which are notorious for nitrates, then roast beef is your best bet. It’s leaner than most deli meats, lower in saturated fat and offers about seven grams of protein per slice.
Chicken can be an exceptionally lean meat and impressively low in saturated fat when consumed without the skin. Chicken is also filled with nutrients like selenium, vitamin B6 and Vitamin B3. Traditionally white meat has been lauded as the healthier part of the chicken, but while white meat is lower in calories, dark meat contains more zinc and B vitamins than white meat does. Did you know that chicken can actually be a natural anti-depressant as well?
Ostrich is another great choice for those trying to eat less red meat but who still crave the taste. It’s technically poultry and actually contains half the fat of chicken with 2.8 grams in comparison with chicken’s 7.4. A three-ounce serving has 123 calories and over 24 grams of protein.
It’s not Thanksgiving without turkey and the good news is that you don’t even have to feel guilty about enjoying it! A four-ounce serving of white meat turkey without the skin has 158 calories and 34 grams of protein. Turkey is also filled with vitamins B3 and B6 in addition to maintaining a low saturated fat content.
Pheasant is another type of bird that has a lot of nutrients and not too many calories. Enjoying this one with the skin is a bit more fattening, but at least there are a lot of minerals in the bird to make up for it.
This meat comes from the shank half of the lamb and if it’s very well trimmed it can be a reasonably healthy meat to enjoy. A lean three-ounce serving of lamb shank has about 153 calories and under six grams of fat. This size serving of lamb shank also contains about 50 percent of the daily recommended intake of zinc for women and 36 percent for men.
Yes, veal has more cholesterol than beef. However, if you enjoy leaner cuts of veal like sirloinyou’ll be consuming 150 calories or less per three-ounce serving.
A boneless pork chop has about 147 calories per serving and 23 grams of protein. The sodium levels are also pretty low on this meat.
Try to consume these meats in moderation since their nutritional profile isn’t as impressive.