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What Are Lean Cuts of Meat?

author image Eliza Martinez
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.
What Are Lean Cuts of Meat?
Leaner cuts of meat contain less saturated fat. Photo Credit Chris Ted/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Eating lean cuts of meat helps you control the amount of saturated fat and calories you consume. Meat is a good source of protein and other nutrients needed for good health, according to MayoClinic.com. Lean cuts of beef, lamb, pork or poultry are a part of a healthy and balanced diet. The description of the cut of meat is a good way to determine if it is lean or not.

Beef Sirloin

A sirloin cut of meat is a leaner cut than many other cuts of beef. The American Heart Association recommends looking for sirloins that are marked "choice" or "select" over those that are called "prime" because they are cut with less fat and are a healthier option. To prepare it, using marinades or spices can enhance the flavor that is missing by reducing the amount of fat on the meat. Grilling and roasting are good ways to prepare a sirloin steak and when it is sliced, it makes a good addition to a salad or sandwich. Specific cuts that are made from the sirloin include a tri-tip roast, tri-tip steak and a top sirloin steak and meet government requirements for being marked lean, according to Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattleman's Beef Association.

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Pork Loin Chops

When buying pork, MayoClinic.com recommends choosing loin chops for a leaner cut of meat that contains less saturated fat. Pork loin chops are quick to prepare and can be grilled, baked or roasted for a healthy addition to a meal low in fat and calories. Trimming away visible fat can further reduce the amount of fat. You can flavor pork chops with marinades or herbs to pack in some flavor. Specific names for pork loin chops include loin chops, sirloin chops and center loin chops, according to the National Pork Producers Council. In general, the lighter the color of the chop, the leaner it will be.

Chicken Breast

The white meat that makes up a chicken breast is leaner than the wings or drumsticks and is a good choice if you prefer poultry over red meat. According to the American Heart Association, a chicken breast is leaner when you remove the skin and any visible fat. Chicken is a versatile meat you can grill, bake, roast or poach to create a healthy meal that is low in saturated fat and calories. White turkey breast is another lean cut of meat that is similar to chicken. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are typically sold at the meat counter of your supermarket and the skin and fat have already been removed, making them simple to prepare when you get them home.

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