How to Choose Low Fat Meat

Meat or poultry are important parts of a balanced nutritional diet, as they contain powerful proteins and other vitamins your body needs to be healthy. Some meats, however, also contain unnecessary fat and cholesterol, and choosing meat with these components can add inches to your waistline and clog your body with unwanted waste. Knowing how to choose low-fat meat can be done if you follow a few guidelines and learn how to get the most from your protein.


  1. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 1
    Read the labels of the meat you are purchasing. Look for words such as "lean cut" or "reduced fat." Many manufacturers have pre-trimmed unnecessary fat, which can help make it easier to choose healthier cuts.
  2. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 2
    Choose cuts of protein that are naturally less fatty. Great options for beef include whole chuck or round, beef tenderloins, and sirloin. Healthier poultry selections are always skinless white meat, and low-fat pork choices include loin chops, leg pieces, and pork tenderloins.
  3. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 3
    Avoid pre-ground meat whenever possible. Most manufacturers include portions of meat from fattier sections of the animal because they are less expensive, which can quickly add more fat to your diet than you intended. If you require ground meat, choose a whole piece of lean beef, chicken, or pork, and ask the butcher to grind it on the spot for you.
  4. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 4
    Substitute ground red meat with lean turkey or ground white breast meat from a chicken. These lower fat meats can make an ideal meal at a fraction of the cholesterol or fat content.
  5. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 5
    Consider swapping whole beef or pork for venison. While slightly gamier in flavor, it contains less fat, which makes it a viable option for healthier eating.
  6. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 6
    Purchase steaks labeled "choice" or "select" when you require the occasional indulgence. The "prime" grade indicates that the meat is more marbled with fat.
  7. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 7
    Slice any visible fat off of your selected meat with a kitchen knife before preparing. Even the leanest cuts from a butcher can be hand trimmed further.
  8. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 8
    Remove skin from chicken or turkey before serving. It is considered acceptable to cook these meats with the skin on for flavoring, but it should be removed before eating.
  9. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 9
    Reduce your portion sizes. The proper serving of protein at any meal should equal 3 ounces (85 g) or roughly the equivalent to the size of a deck of cards. Keeping to this measurement insures that you are not overeating.
  10. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 10
    Drain ground meat from the fatty liquid it cooks in before serving. Strain the meat through a colander, and run it under hot water before mixing with other ingredients or stirring.
  11. Image titled Choose Low Fat Meat Step 11
    Bake poultry in the oven for your meal. Place the meat on a rack inside a baking dish before roasting, which allows unhealthy fats to drip away from your meat.


  • If you must purchase pre-ground meat, select packages with the highest lean meat percentage. The labeling should clearly indicate the ground is made with 80 or 90 percent lean meat. As a rule, ground sirloin is the best option at around 90 percent lean, followed closely by ground round at approximately 85 percent lean.
  • If you feel as if you are losing flavor by cutting out fat, try marinating your meat. Aim for anywhere from 1 hour to 1 day before cooking, depending on what the marinade recipe suggests. This process has an additional benefit of bringing out great flavor while keeping your meat moist during the cooking process.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen knife
  • Colander
  • Meat rack
  • Baking dish
  • Marinade

Article Info

Categories: Meat