Animal-Based Proteins with the Lowest Saturated Fat

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Certain types of meat are getting a bad rap for containing shockingly high saturated fat. Saturated fat is a type of artery-clogging grease that cause cardiovascular disorders. The good news is, you don’t have to abstain from eating certain types of meat to stay healthy. In today’s post, we have compiled animal-based proteins with low saturated fat:

Lean Beef

Here’s a surprise, lean beef is good for you! What was once considered as an unhealthy type of meat is actually low in saturated fat. Certain types of cuts yield more saturated fat than others. By being choosy in terms of the kind of cut to get, you are lowering your risk of heart disease!

Beef is often segregated according to grade, marbling, and color. Your best bet is lean beef with very little fat. You can ask your local butcher to give you the leanest cut to be on the safe side. Of course, expect lean meat to be a little tougher than fatty beef.


A perennial favorite among dieters, chicken meat remains as one of the healthiest animal-based protein sources. That’s because chicken meat contains less fat than red meat. But again, certain cuts are leaner than others. If you are watching your weight (or general health), avoid thigh or leg cuts and opt for breast cut. Chicken breast and wings contain white meat while thighs and legs contain darker meat. The darker the meat, the higher the cholesterol level! Also, do not eat the chicken skin. Chicken skin is high in cholesterol.

How you prepare your meats will also affect their cholesterol content. For instance grilling the meat is healthier than frying it in oil, butter or lard. Grilling allows fat to drip away from the meat. This contributes to the lowered cholesterol level of grilled foods.

Turkey Meat

Just like chicken, turkey meat is also low in saturated fat. As long as you are meticulous in terms of what cuts to get, turkey meat is a healthy alternative to red meat. Of course, do note that darker meats contain more essential vitamins. What you want to avoid is ground turkey or chicken meat. Ground chicken or turkey meat may contain bits of fat and skin. This means ground turkey or chicken meat contains more saturated fat and calories than say, same serving of chicken/turkey breast.


Most types of fish are low in saturated fat and calories. The leanest species of fish to get are cod, pickerel, pike, Redfish, bass, carp, and halibut. Fatty fish species – like tuna, salmon, and herring – are not exactly unhealthy. In fact, most health experts recommend consuming a serving of fatty fish twice per week. Fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acid. This nutrient promotes better brain development. Omega-3 fatty acid is also incredibly heart-friendly!


Rounding up our list of super healthy sources of proteins are shellfish. Shellfish are best eaten fresh or grilled to keep their calorie and saturated fat content in check. Oysters, shrimp, squid, octopus, clams, scallops, and mussels are just a few types of seafood that are very low in saturated fat.