List of the Leanest Cuts of Meat

Updated July 20, 2017

Many consumers are choosing lean meats over once-popular marbling for reasons ranging from taste to health concerns. With the wide selection of meat cuts carried in most grocery stores, it can be a challenge to select the leanest options; but, there are some cuts that are clear standouts when you're looking for low-fat meats.


When looking for lean meat, poultry tops the list of good options. While there are many different types of fowl, chicken and turkey are the overall leanest. Stick with white meat, and consider choosing hand-trimmed cuts from your butcher's case to save the time and trouble of trimming at home. Avoid high fat dark meat cuts including thighs and legs. Because a boneless, skinless breast has about 75 per cent less fat than a breast with skin, it's the leanest of chicken choices.

So, which has less fat, turkey or chicken? Skinless turkey breasts are the clean winner, with about one-ninth the fat of skinless chicken breasts.


Gone are the days of forgoing red meat to cut fat. There are several lean, flavourful cuts of beef with as little as 5g of fat per serving. Top round, sometimes called London broil, is perfect for summer grilling. Eye-of-round roast makes a quick, low-fat entrée when butterflied and broiled. Top sirloin steak has less than 2g of saturated fat per serving and is always a dinner favourite.

To ensure the leanest cut of meat, choose the "Select" grade, which has less marbling than "Prime" or "Choice." For even leaner beef, look for "Grass Fed." Beef fed on grass has significantly less fat and cholesterol than beef fed on corn.


Pork is often referred to as "the other white meat" because it can be as low-fat as chicken. Pork tenderloin is as lean as a boneless, skinless chicken breast. Boneless loin roasts have about the same amount of fat as lean beef, and boneless loin chops are low in calories and fat, but big on flavour. With less than 5 per cent fat, extra-lean ham is a welcome centrepiece for a holiday dinner. You can even indulge in a 56.7gr. serving of Canadian bacon for breakfast, which has under 4g of fat.

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About the Author

Mickey Walburg has worked as a writer since 2000 on technical and creative writing projects. He has worked on a publication for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and now writes for various websites. Walburg holds a Bachelor of Science in systems engineering from the University of Virginia.