One of the basic principles of choosing meat with less fat is to stick to the animals that produce white “meat.” This means chicken, turkey and lean pork cuts. And, while the dark meat of any bird is delicious, it is higher in fat, so chicken or turkey breast is the best choice. The same goes for pork: stick to the leaner cuts like pork loin steaks or ground pork loin, and keep away from the fattier pork products like sausage, bacon, and pork ribs. Ham is actually not that high in fat, so it is an OK choice as far as lunchmeat and lower-fat goes; however, it is cured and high in sodium, so even the benefits from being a lower fat choice may be offset by an increase in water weight. In moderation, though, it shouldn’t matter too much. Additionally, when it comes to poultry, you should always remove the skin (where the majority of the fat lies) and, if possible, never eat it fried.
Everyone knows that fish is good for us, but not all fish are low-fat. In fact, most have a significant amount of fat through the oils contained in them. The different between fish and meat, however, is that the fat that fish contain isn’t bad for us. It contains those ever-popular Omega-3s that help with weight loss. Some great fish choices that contain a significant amount of Omega-3s, that are also high in protein, include tuna, swordfish, snapper, salmon, and Alaskan halibut.
Despite its reputation, beef isn’t all bad. When eaten in moderation – like once a week – it can provide easily absorbed nutrients that are really good for you. Beef contains the most absorbable form of iron, vitamin B, zinc, and is an extremely appetite satiating protein that staves off hunger and snacking. In addition, it contains all the important amino acids (lysine, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine, plus more) that are necessary to build strong muscles and bones. All you have to do is stick to the leaner cuts, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Just talk to your butcher and he can help!
Overall, as long as you choose a lean cut of any meat and eat it in moderation, it can be beneficial. Low fat meats are best for weight loss, but if you really need to satisfy a craving, it’s best to go ahead and eat it in a small portion size. Calories count, but satisfying a protein craving is rarely a disastrous event when it comes to your health and weight loss goals.
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