When it comes to meat, making the healthiest choice can often be confusing. These five tips will allow you to enjoy the foods you love — only with a healthier perspective!
- Always go lean: When you're cooking at home, choose a lean option, and think of fattier meats as an occasional indulgence. The leanest poultry pick is white meat with no skin, while the best cuts of beef include round, chuck, sirloin, or tenderloin. Choose beef cuts labeled "choice" or "select" rather than "prime" since "prime" usually has more fat. Learn what the leanest cuts of veal, lamb, and pork are here.
- Get smart with ground: Ground meat options can be laden with fat, and poultry is no exception to the rule since it often includes dark meat and skin. Look for lean chicken or turkey when buying ground poultry meat. When it comes to beef, most grocery stores offer several different types with varying percentages of fat; don't assume it's a one-size-fits-all rule.
- Make it low-sodium: Be sparing with salt when you're seasoning your meat. Instead, opt to add herbs or citrus to create a flavorful meal. When choosing lean sandwich meats from the deli counter, always ask if there are any low-sodium options. This can save hundreds of grams of sodium from your daily intake.
- Use the right cooking methods: Choosing the right meat from the butcher is only half the battle, but you also have to cook it with care. With minimal oil and butter, grilling, broiling, roasting, and baking are your best options for keeping lean meats light. When cooking meat in your oven, be sure to put the meat on a rack in a baking pan to allow the fat to drip away.
- Trim the fat: Unfortunately, removing fat is part of the process when it comes to healthier meat practices. When roasting a whole chicken or turkey, leave the skin when you cook to add more flavor. But before you get ready to eat, remove the skin and any fat that's beneath from the bird. Similarly, trim any visible fat from pork and beef after cooking.