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What Are the Different Types of Low-Fat Meat?

Low-fat meats are a fantastic way to enjoy protein-rich meals without the extra calories. Options like chicken breast, turkey, lean cuts of beef, and pork tenderloin offer variety and nutrition. Seafood, such as salmon and cod, also provide healthy fats and omega-3s. Curious about incorporating these into your diet? Discover delicious recipes and tips to make the most of low-fat meats.
Lori Kilchermann
Lori Kilchermann

Choosing to include low-fat meat in a diet can be prompted by health concerns, such as high cholesterol or heart trouble, or simply as a personal preference. There are an abundance of low-fat meats to choose from, including pork and lamb, and there are methods that can be employed for choosing the lowest-fat cuts at the meat counter. Some popular low-fat meat options also include fish, chicken and turkey.

One way to reduce the amount of fat on any cut of meat is to simply trim or drain it off. Trimming is easiest on meat that contains the bulk of its fat around the edges rather than marbleized throughout the cut. When the fat is on the edge, it is easy to trim it off before eating, thereby reducing the meat's fat content. Fat content can be reduced in ground meat by thoroughly draining the fat off the meat after browning. It is also important to select ground meat that contains only meat and does not have added skin and other fatty components.

A low-fat hot dog with mustard.
A low-fat hot dog with mustard.

Beef can be one of the higher-fat content types of meat, but there are certain cuts, types and higher grades of meat lower in fat than others. Ground round is often available in extra-lean versions, and veal is considered a low-fat meat. Beef top sirloin and eye of round are often lower in fat than many other beef cuts. Selecting grass-fed beef is another option for reducing fat and calories.

Skinless chicken breasts are low in fat.
Skinless chicken breasts are low in fat.

White meat, such as pork and chicken, it traditionally lower in fat than red meat. Pork is a popular low-fat meat choice and cuts, such as pork tenderloin and top loin, are very low in fat. Chicken and turkey prepared without the skin are other low-fat meat options. The white cuts of meat, such as breast and wings, are lower in fat than the dark meat, such as drumsticks and thighs.

Pork tenderloin is lower in fat than red meat.
Pork tenderloin is lower in fat than red meat.

A variety of fish is considered low or very low in fat, including yellow tuna, walleye and sea trout. A simple method to gauge fat content is to look at the fish's color, with white or lighter-colored fish typically having lower fat content than darker-colored fish. Some types of canned fish, such as tuna and salmon, are also available in light versions. Other types of packaged meat also are available in low-fat or lower-fat versions at the supermarket include cold cuts, bacon and hot dogs.

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Discussion Comments


If your goal is to eat a low fat diet, you still need to get plenty of protein for good health. Though there are meats that are lean and low in fat, there are also many vegetarian options to get the protein you need without the risks associated with eating meat.

Beans, tofu, eggs, and cheese are all good for you, and good for your protein intake too. Yet, most of these foods, with the exception of very rich cheese, has much fewer calories and fat that a traditional diet of red meat and poultry would.


Evan most fish that is high in fat content is still good for you, because it contains omega-3 fatty acids that are great for your heart. The bottom line is that if you want to start eating meat that is good for your health, just about any type of fish will give you what you need.

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    • A low-fat hot dog with mustard.
      By: Brenda Carson
      A low-fat hot dog with mustard.
    • Skinless chicken breasts are low in fat.
      By: Viktor
      Skinless chicken breasts are low in fat.
    • Pork tenderloin is lower in fat than red meat.
      By: evgenyb
      Pork tenderloin is lower in fat than red meat.
    • Broiled scallops wrapped in turkey bacon.
      By: Matthew Antonino
      Broiled scallops wrapped in turkey bacon.