Iva Carter
Published by Iva Carter
Last Updated On: November 30, 2022

I’ve been on a carnivore diet for over ten years, and during this time, I’ve had many people ask me what types of meat I eat to reap the most health benefits and maintain a slim figure.

To give them an exhaustive list of the leanest cuts, I spent countless hours researching calories in different meat cuts and talked with a nutritionist to get an expert’s opinion.

Here’s the ultimate list of low-calorie meat.

Quick Summary

  • Low-calorie meat includes pork tenderloin, lean ground beef, rabbit, veal, poultry, fish, and ground meats with less than 10% visible fat.
  • Processed meats are high in calories and saturated fat, which is bad fat.
  • Choose lean cuts and lean ground meats if you want to eat fewer calories.

10 Types of Meat Low in Calories

Here are the types of meat that are low in calories to consume:

1. Poultry

A top view image of poultry meat in a bowl, a chicken on a low-calorie diet

Chicken is extremely versatile, and it’s a great source of protein. You can eat chicken on a low-calorie diet by trimming the skin and fat.

The best chicken cut is chicken breast. It has 0 saturated fat, 0 sugar, about 30g of protein, and 160 calories [1].

Note: Make sure to eat skinless chicken breast for the most vitamins and least calories.

Chicken breast is also a good choice if you’re trying to maintain or lose weight.

Turkey is also an excellent choice when looking for meat with fewer calories. Go for turkey breast because it’s high in protein, vitamin B6, and niacin. Vitamin B is especially important because it helps you break down food and turn it into energy.

One portion of turkey breast without skin has about 150 calories, 0.5 fat, and 30g of protein [2].

“Boneless skinless chicken breasts and turkey cutlets are the leanest poultry choices. Choose lean turkey, roast beef, ham, or low-fat luncheon meats for sandwiches instead of luncheon/deli meats with more fat, such as regular bologna or salami.”
- USDA

2. Fish

If you’re watching your calorie intake, fish is your best friend. Most fish, and generally seafood, are very nutritious and low in calories.

Fish is high in protein and can give you B12 vitamin, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids [3]. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially full of benefits. They can reduce inflammation and improve heart health [4].

The best kind of fish to eat if you’re looking for low-calorie foods are:

  • Cod — It’s lean, high in protein, and low in calories. It has vitamin B12 and selenium.
  • Salmon — It’s full of omega-3s, vitamin B12, and vitamin D. It can keep the brain and eyes healthy.
  • Scallops — Have a sweet, mild flavor and are low in calories. You can steam, broil, or grill them.
  • Oyster — One oyster has 100% of the daily value of vitamin B12. It’s also rich in selenium.
  • Canned light tuna — It’s full of protein, versatile, and affordable. Tuna has healthy fats.

3. Round Steak

A close up image of cooked round steak on a white plate

Round steak is one of the leanest meats you can get. Round steaks and roasts include round eye, sirloin, bottom round, and round tip.

3 oz round steak has 105 calories, 20g protein, and 3g total fat [5].

Round steak is a good source of vitamin B12 and iron. Iron transports oxygen through the bloodstream, so you can work out for longer and feel less tired.

Note: Round steak belongs to very lean meats, so make sure not to overcook it, or it’ll be tough and dry.

Read more: How to Cook Top Round Steak?

4. Pork Tenderloin

If you’re a pork lover, good news. Pork tenderloin is one of the leanest pork cuts you can get. It’s rich in B vitamins and a good source of protein.

100g of pork tenderloin has 147 calories, 20g of protein, and 1.4 saturated fat.

Pork tenderloin is great for grilling, especially for losing weight [6].

5. Venison

Venison is deer meat. This lean meat is rich in vitamin B6, riboflavin, and iron.

You can use venison in place of beef and even ground beef when you’re watching your calories.

Venison meat has 135 calories per serving, 2.7g of fat, and 26g of protein [7].

6. Lamb

Lamb is red meat, so you should eat it in moderation. You can choose diced leg of lamb as a healthy low-calorie option. Make sure not to use too much oil when cooking it, or you risk adding to the calories and fat count.

One serving size of diced lamb leg has 150 calories per serving, 6g fat, and 23g protein [8].

7. Beef

A top view image of raw beef meat on wooden board

Stick to grass-fed beef when watching your calories. Grass-fed beef is healthier than grain-fed because it has less fat and fewer calories [9].

Moreover, grass-fed beef has up to five times the amount of omega-3s compared to grain-fed beef. Finally, grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fat.

Tip: Choose lean ground beef when shopping for beef.

8. Rabbit

A close up image of raw rabbit leg meat on a wooden board

Rabbit belongs to white, not red meats. It has the same amount of calories as a lamb.

Moreover, a rabbit has the highest amount of digestible proteins compared to other meats and the lowest amount of fat. It’s rich in healthy fat, vitamins B12 and E, and minerals.

Note: Domesticated rabbit has fewer calories than chicken and less cholesterol than beef and pork.

Also Read: Where to Buy Rabbit Meat?

9. Veal

USDA data shows 3 oz serving of fat-trimmed veal is less than 10% of the calories needed for a 2,000-calorie diet [10].

This means veal meat is low in calories and a great meat choice if you’re on a weight loss journey. Moreover, veal provides over 10% of the daily values of zinc, protein, and vitamins B12 and 6.

10. Bison

Bison meat is a great source of lean meat without any visible fat. You have to be careful when cooking bison because it easily becomes tough if cooked for too long at a high temperature.

3oz of bison meat has about 150 calories and 20g of high-quality protein [11].

Related Articles:

FAQs

Which Meat is Best for Weight Loss?

Skinless chicken breast, pork tenderloin, salmon, lean ground beef, and venison are the best meat for weight loss.

What Is the Lowest Calorie Protein Meat?

The lowest calorie protein meat is chicken breast and fish.

What's the Lowest Calorie Red Meat?

The lowest calorie red meat is round steak, sirloin tip, sirloin top, top round, and bottom round.

What Meat is Highest in Calories?

Processed meats are highest in calories, such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs, ham, and more.

Opt for the Best Quality Cuts

The healthiest meats to eat are poultry, pork loin, grass-fed beef, and game meats such as veal and bison. Avoid processed meats, as their fat content is high, especially saturated fat.

The best way to stay healthy and fit is to eat quality meat. My honest recommendation goes to ButcherBox, a meat delivery company that sells sustainably sourced meat, such as grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and wild-caught seafood.

Check out their selection of meat boxes, take advantage of the free delivery, and get a free turkey with every order.


References:

  1. https://www.fatsecret.com/calories-nutrition/food/chicken-breast
  2. https://www.calorieking.com/us/en/foods/f/calories-in-turkey-roasted
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23258397/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22332096/
  5. https://www.nutritionix.com/i/usda/beef-round-eye-of-round-
  6. https://www.nutritionix.com/food/pork-tenderloin/100-g
  7. https://www.calorieking.com/us/en/foods/f/calories-in-game-meats
  8. https://www.calorieking.com/us/en/foods/f/calories-in-lamb-lamb
  9. https://www.webmd.com/diet/grass-fed-beef-good-for-you#1
  10. https://www.fsis.usda.gov/sites/default/files/import/Beef_Veal_Nutrition_Facts.pdf
  11. https://nutrifox.com/nutrition/bison-ground-grass-fed-cooked
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