Unless you’re a vegetarian or vegan, it’s likely that meat is a staple of your diet.
After all, it’s a great source of protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, zinc, iron, and iodine.
Despite this, not all meats are as healthy as one another, with processed meats being packed full of saturated fats, salt, and other substances that can be detrimental to your health when consumed in excess.
The right meats aren’t only a staple of a healthy diet, but meat also plays a significant role in a number of religions and cultures.
For instance, Qurbani in Islam revolves around the sacrificing of an animal, ready for the meat to be distributed among the poor and needy.
So, meat can have a positive impact on lives in more ways than one.
To that end, detailed below are some of the top healthiest meats to eat.
1. Canned Fish
First up is canned fish, wherein a three-ounce serving can fulfill 100 percent of your daily omega-3 fatty acid requirements.
As a result, regular consumption of canned fish can significantly reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
Despite this, it’s worth looking out for fish canned in olive oil or water above all else, as this will help you limit your sodium intake per serving.
Some of the healthiest canned fish include tuna, sardines, and mackerel.
You should aim to consume at least one portion of canned fish weekly for a well-rounded diet.
2. Pork Chop
When you’re stuck on what to have for dinner, you might just turn to chicken combined with some form of potato and other vegetables.
This can become repetitive and boring, so you might consider switching out the chicken for pork tenderloin.
Pork tenderloin is a great source of lean protein, and it’s also low in saturated fat per serving size.
What’s more, it provides a tasty alternative to the otherwise boring chicken that you might be eating meal after meal.
This isn’t to say that chicken can’t be both delicious and healthy (as detailed below), but it’s nice to have a variety of options.
3. Chicken Thigh
Chicken breast is often the go-to when it comes to prepping a healthy meal, but this isn’t the only option out there.
In fact, a healthy chicken breast can quickly become an unhealthy choice when it’s coated in high-sodium marinades, breadings, and sauces and deep-fried.
Chicken thighs, though, contain a nutrient-dense mix of unsaturated fatty acids, as well as minerals and vitamins like iron.
In fact, almost any part of the chicken can be a healthy choice; it’s predominantly about how you prepare and cook it.
An alternative mode of cooking is detailed below.
4. Rotisserie Chicken and Turkey
The method of rotisserie cooking allows for the flavor to be maximized, all without the need for various additives.
Chicken and turkey are lean poultry, and they have less sodium than deli meats.
Similarly, they’re a better alternative to chicken and turkey that are otherwise prepped with salt-filled rubs, blends, and sauces.
Essentially, any cooking method that avoids excess salt and oil is a step in the right direction.
As a result, it’s important to find cooking methods that are equally healthy and inspiring, as you’re not going to want to eat something that’s not enjoyable.
5. Sirloin Steak
Lastly is sirloin steak, which is simultaneously flavorful and lean; just three ounces will deliver around 25 grams of protein.
Since sirloin isn’t a fatty cut of meat, it’s sure to pack more flavor without going overboard on saturated fat.
For instance, a serving of sirloin steak contains 3.5 grams of saturated fat; whereas, a serving of ribeye or T-bone contains upwards of 10 grams.
While meat is a common component in many diets and plays significant roles in various cultures, it’s important to make healthy choices in the types and preparation methods used.
Canned fish, pork chops, chicken thighs, rotisserie chicken or turkey, and sirloin steak are some of the healthier meat options you can incorporate into your diet.
However, it’s essential to bear in mind that preparation and cooking methods can greatly influence the nutritional value of these meats.
Opting for methods that minimize the use of excess salt, oils, and other unhealthy additives can help you maintain a well-rounded, nutritious diet without sacrificing taste or cultural significance.