Meat 101: Five best meats to eat and 2 to never eat

  • Meat is a very good source of vitamins and minerals however you might not be eating the best choices.
  • Lean cuts of meat are the top choice of dietitians because of its lower fat content as well as saturated fat.
  • Avoid eating charred or burned meats because it can boost cancer risks.

You don’t have to totally cut out meat from your diet to stay healthy. Remember, it is a very good source of vitamins and minerals such as B12, magnesium and iron. Balance, instead, is advised. Media spokesperson Malina Linkas Malkani, RDN, for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends a balanced meal by filling a quarter of your plate with meat and the rest with whole grains and other plant-based foods.

BEST overall: Lean cuts of meat

Generally, registered dietitians advise opting for lean cuts of meat with servings that contain less than 10 grams of total fat, and saturated fat 4.5 grams or lower (3.5 ounces). Malkani also suggests removing any excess fat or skin by grilling, boiling or roasting the meat.

 Skinless, light turkey meat

One of the leaner proteins is turkey, which is rich in vitamin B6 and niacin, says Kris Sollid, RD, Senior Director, Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation. While the turkey drumsticks and thighs are not as lean as the other parts, Sollid says they are a great source of iron. Iron is essential for metabolism and heart health and lack of it can lead to anemia.

 Skinless chicken breast

A study shows that poultry helps maintain a healthy weight and overall well-being. While the white meat is a very good source of chlorine, phosphorus, and riboflavin, Sollid also added that the dark meat is a better zinc source.

 Pork tenderloin and pork top loin or roast

Pork accounts for over 36 percent of the world’s meat intake, according to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Tons of nutrients such as thiamine, vitamin B6, potassium, riboflavin and many others can be sourced from them, says Sollid.

 Flank, strip steak and 95 percent lean ground beef

Beef is a good source of protein and essential nutrients. Go for grass-fed beef for more vitamin E and antioxidant intake. Also, avoid burned or charred beef or any meat for that matter, because it can increase risks for some cancers, according to research.


Processed meats

Scientific consensus confirms that eating large amounts of processed meats can boost colon cancer risks. These meats, which are high in sodium and saturated fats, is linked to heart disease, stroke and type 2diabetes.

Fattier cuts of meat

Limit fattier cuts of meat intake because they are loaded with saturated fats that up cholesterol levels and contribute to heart disease, says the American Heart Association. Rib-eye steak, T-bone steak, and New York strip steak are among the most worrisome. In the pork family, ribs and bacon are the fattiest, while drumsticks and the skin with poultry.

Source: The Healthy

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