What Are the Healthiest Cuts of Red Meat?

Cuts of Red Meat

Tip Content Provided By: EXOS

Following the nutrition philosophy of the “less legs the better” in regard to meat choices means eating more high quality fish, seafood and poultry and choosing red meat less often. However, there are ways to choose healthier cuts of red meat so that you can still enjoy steaks and burgers on a regular basis.

Choose the leanest cuts of meat. A simple rule of thumb is to choose the leanest cuts, which provide you with the most protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins, while keeping saturated fat intake low. When choosing your steak, look for one with the least amount of white marbling on it. For example, if you’re choosing between a rib-eye and a tenderloin, the tenderloin is leaner and less white than the rib-eye.

Stick with round, sirloin, or loin. These cuts of meat are typically less fatty than others. The National Cattleman’s Beef Association top five lean cuts are:

• Eye of round – 1.4 g saturated fat, 4 g total fat
• Sirloin tip side steak – 1.6 g saturated fat, 4.1 g total fat
• Top round roast and Steak – 1.6 g saturated fat, 4.6 g total fat
• Bottom round roast and steak – 1.7 g saturated fat, 4.9 g total fat
• Top sirloin steak – 1.9 g saturated fat, 4.9 g total fat

On a budget? The most wallet-friendly of these lean cuts are the eye of round, top sirloin beef steak, and bottom round roast and steak.

Try something new. If you’re an adventurous eater, try replacing your beef with bison or venison. These meats are as lean as the beef options mentioned above and offer a unique taste. For bison, stick with a 3-ounce serving of top sirloin (2 g sat fat, 4.8 g total fat), and choose a 3-ounce serving of backstrap or tenderloin steaks (0.54 g sat fat, 2.6 g total fat) for venison.

Opt for grass-fed beef. If you’re willing to spend more (on average twice as much as non-grass fed beef), choose grass-fed meats in the same cuts mentioned above. These meats are typically even leaner than their grain-fed counterparts and appear to have a better fatty acid composition, which may benefit your heart, joints, and brain. The top three grass-fed options to indulge in are top sirloin beef steak, top sirloin bison steak, and sirloin tip side steak.