Which Meat is the Healthiest?

If you're a meat-lover looking to still enjoy the foods you eat without having to sacrifice health for flavor, there is a simple way you can make your meals healthier. Choose the most beneficial and nutritious meat to eat.

Ever wonder which meat is the healthiest? How do you choose the most beneficial options? Do you think you might have to give up on eating your favorite steaks? While the hamburger, hot dog, and fried chicken are some of our favorite all-American meats, they may not be the best choices when it comes to adding protein to your diet. While there is nothing inherently wrong with having some beef, some chicken, and so on—as that old saying goes, 'too much of a good thing may do more harm than good." The various proteins in meat are needed and vital for our bodies, but how it is prepared and how much of it you eat can affect whether or not it is healthier.

Additionally, there are certain kinds of meat that are healthier than others too.

If you're wondering what to put on your plate this week to eat a meal a little more nutritional and balanced, we're here to help!

The Healthiest Meats to Put on Your Plate and Why

You don't have to cut out all meat to enjoy a healthy, protein-packed meal. The protein that meat provides us, should you choose to eat meat, is extremely useful. Consuming meat in our meals can be a key source of needed vitamins and minerals like B12 and iron. When it comes to eating healthier meat, it is recommended to make it all about balance. The average American tends to eat way more than their body needs. One helpful suggestion to ensure you're eating a recommended serving is to fill a quarter of your plate with meat and the rest with cooked or raw vegetables, whole grains, and other plant-based foods for a perfectly balanced meal.

But to break it down in terms of meats only, and which is the healthiest, here's our list featuring the best:

Top overall: Lean cuts

You'll find that registered dietitians, nutritionists, and doctors nearly all agree that the best choice for those that love their red meat is to look for and eat lean cuts of meat. If possible, you'll be looking for servings of meat that offer less than 10 grams of total fat, with 4.5 or less of saturated fat, which should result in a serving that is 3.5 ounces (roughly the size of a deck of cards.) Additionally, consider grilling, boiling, or roasting to reduce even more saturated fat content too.

Lean cuts of Beef

  • Brisket
  • Top round roast or round top steak
  • Shank cross cut
  • Chuck shoulder pot roast
  • Sirloin tip center roast or steak
  • Chuck shoulder steak
  • Bottom round steak
  • Top loin steak
  • Flank steak
  • Tri-tip steak or roast
  • Tenderloin roast or steak
  • T-bone steak

Lean cuts of Pork:

  • Pork tenderloin
  • Pork loin chops
  • Boneless pork loin roasts

Healthiest: Skinless Turkey Meat

An excellent source of niacin and vitamin B6, skinless turkey, is one of the best lean proteins to add to your meals. The nutrients found in skinless turkey meat can help support heart health, energy levels, brain function, digestion, and other bodily processes. Turkey drumsticks and thighs are not as lean as other parts of the turkey, and they are still a good source of iron, which is crucial for your metabolism.

Healthiest: Skinless Chicken Breast

Skinless chicken breast is another fantastic source of vitamin B6 and niacin, but that's not all. In an average 4-ounce serving, there is usually just 1 gram of fat, while there is also the nutrient riboflavin. Riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2, a substantial, water-soluble vitamin found naturally in chicken. Riboflavin is necessary for the growth, development, and overall function of cells in our body. It also helps us turn the food we eat into energy that fuels us. Plus, white meat is a good source of phosphorus too.

Healthiest: Flank, strip steak, and 95% lean ground beef.

Red meat eaters, rejoice. You can still enjoy your steaks or hamburgers by incorporating these lead cuts of beef into your diet more often. Which beef is the healthiest? Flank steak, strip steak, and 95% lean ground beef. Like many types of meat, beef is still a fantastic source of protein and other essential nutrients that we need. If possible, make sure you look for grass-fed beef to add to your meals. Grass-fed beef tends to have more vitamin E as well as antioxidants. And as a side, remember not to burn or charr your beef! Research now indicates that burnt meat may increase the risk for certain cancers!

What meats are the least healthy?

Most health experts worldwide agreed that you should avoid eating or severely limit eating any processed meats entirely if you want to have a healthier diet. In fact, on March 31st, 2021, McMaster University released a study that verifies the link between processed meat to cardiovascular disease and early death1.

Cutting back on your processed meats in your diet so that they make a rare appearance or cutting them out may be the best choice for your health. What other meats should you severely restrict or remove?

  • High fat, grain-fed red meats. These types of meats are high in saturated fats. Additionally, grain-fed beef lacks heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Deep-fried meats. Yes, certain types of fat are healthy! But it's the type of fat that matters for health. When food like fish or chicken is deeply fried, you increase trans-fat, which is linked to heart disease, canceling the benefits you'd initially get from meats that are baked, steamed, or sauteed.
  • Beef jerky. As beloved a snack beef jery can be, when purchasing it pre-made, sugar and sodium are often higher than the amount of protein in the jerky. Take a look instead for grass-fed, no sugar, and no corn syrup added beef jerky for a healthier grab-and-go snack.

If you're looking for the most convenient market that delivers the leanest, freshest, and healthiest cuts of meat? Wholey's is ready to start making your meal prep and following meals a joy to cook and a joy to eat.

Sources:

Study Ratified link of Processed Meat to Cardiovascular Disease and Early Death: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210331103529.htm