With holiday celebrations coming and dining with out-of-town family, how can a person order a meal, even a meal with beef, and keep from bulking up between now and January? When you’re craving a steakhouse cut of beef, but want to eat at another point in the day, you’ll want to choose a lower fat, tasty cut of meat.
Nearly 30 cuts of beef are considered lean; to be considered lean beef must contain less than 10 total grams of fat, with no more than 4.5 grams being saturated fat. For a cut to qualify as extra lean, the cut must contain less than five grams of fat with no more than two grams being saturated. To find a lean cut of beef you have to consider both the grade and the cut. The grade is how much marbling, or fat streaks, is in the meat. There are three common grades: select, prime and choice. Meat with lots of marbling receives the highest grade. High grade meats are tender and used mostly in eateries, but some can be found at the grocer. Any piece of beef with loin or round in the name is one of the leaner cuts. The leanest cuts of beef are top sirloin, top loin, tenderloin, bottom round, eye of round, round tip, and top round. When choosing a meal with ground beef, select ground sirloin or round.
Now that you know what cuts to order, follow some additional tips to keep the calories down while enjoying steaks. Portions should be around four ounces before cooking. Sure that seems tiny, but beef is loaded with several vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, vitamins B6 and niacin. Even lean beef may have some fat that can be trimmed. Trimming fat can cut out nearly half a cut’s total fat content.