If you’re following a low-carb diet to lose weight and improve your health, meat can become an important part of your meals. Ideally, you should be focusing on healthy meats to eat, which provide plenty of nutrients while not being overloaded with calories or saturated fat.
Most types of meat are excellent sources of protein, which is an important component of every cell in your body. It’s used to build and repair tissue, as well as to make hormones and enzymes. Protein is also an important building block of bone, muscle, cartilage, blood and skin.
Whether you’re following a ketogenic or other type of low-carb diet or you’d simply like to eat healthier, the following are some of the best healthy meats for weight loss.
Pork chops and pork tenderloin have lots of protein and relatively few grams of fat or calories, but as with any type of food, preparation and portion size are important. If you bread and fry your pork and then add gravy, you’re turning a relatively healthy dish into an unhealthy one. In contrast, a 3-ounce portion of broiled pork chop has 137 calories and 4 grams of fat while delivering 24 grams of protein.
Lean cuts of red meat
When you think about meat, red meat is probably what first comes to mind. It contains iron, an especially important mineral for women given that almost 10% of women in the United States are iron-deficient, which puts them at risk for anemia and lack of energy. In addition, red meat provides zinc, which is important for immune function and male fertility. If you’d like to include red meat in your diet, try to choose lean cuts, such as sirloin or top round.
Turkey is a great source of protein. A 3-ounce roasted serving gives you 24 grams of the nutrient, and is loaded with iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B6 and vitamin B3 (niacin) to help your body produce energy. This serving size also has only 161 calories and 6 grams of fat, and contains almost a day’s worth of selenium, a mineral that boosts your body’s immune system.
Chicken provides 27 grams of protein in a 3-ounce, boneless, skinless serving. It offers over 40% of the selenium you need each day and is also a good source of vitamin B6 and niacin. If you remove the skin, chicken is lower in saturated fat than many other high-protein alternatives.
Buffalo is a tasty alternative to beef that can contain less than half the fat of lean hamburger, depending on the type of cut. A 3.5-ounce serving only has about 143 calories while still providing plenty of protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12.
Now that you know a variety of healthy meats to eat, explore our blog for more diet tips and tricks.