In the pursuit of crafting balanced and nutritious meals, when it comes to choosing lean meats and protein, it can be challenging. While we’ve explored the complexities of selecting fish in our previous blog post, the options certainly don’t end there. When it comes to meat, our primary source of protein, the decisions we make can significantly impact our health goals, from muscle growth to weight management. Join us as we delve deeper into the intricacies of meat selection, unraveling the mysteries of fat content, understanding food labels, and discovering the nuances of cuts to empower you with the knowledge needed for informed and health-conscious dining.

We should know by now, that when choosing meat, we are choosing our main protein source in the meal. This is going to, in turn, stimulate muscle growth and help those of us looking to lose weight stay fuller for longer. Looking for 20-30g+ of protein per serve will be our main aim.

A further thing to be aware of is going to be the fat content in the meat. Some meats will have the fat drained, others will not. Some will just come from leaner animals in general (chicken, turkey, kangaroo), while some may not be so lean (pig, sheep, cow).

Along with this, we must take into consideration the part of the animal that we are eating.

For example:

  • a chicken thigh will have more fat than the breast
  • a rib eye will have more fat than a sirloin tip centre steak
  • and bacon and sausages will have more fat than the tenderloin of pork.


Read on for a more detailed breakdown about all things meat.





Between all the supermarkets, there is a big variety of brands when it comes to a large array of food products. This especially includes meat. For this reason, it would be impossible to compare them all!

The number one thing we can do though (and this goes for all foods), is familiarise ourselves with food labels. After you’ve ensured the meat has protein, have a look at the fat content.

For example, here is a comparison between 3- and 5-star beef from Coles:

regular meat mince

Per 100g:

  • KCAL = 239kcals
  • PRO = 18g
  • CARBS = 0.89g
  • FAT = 18g
  • SATURATED FAT = 8.96g


lean meat mince

Per 100g:

  • KCAL = 132kcals
  • PRO = 21g
  • CARBS = 0.50g
  • FAT = 5g


Straight away these labels are showing us that the 5-star mince has more protein and less than half the fat than the 3 star. There is also a 2g saturated fat difference. I think it is pretty apparent which is the more lean and nutritious of the meats don’t we?

For half the calories choosing a lean fat is going to be worth it.  At the end of the day, with added veg, spices and sauce are we really going to taste the difference?

The second thing to take note of on labels is looking for labels that provide information about the meats source and production of methods. Labels such as ‘grass fed’, ‘organic’, ‘pasture-raised’ or ‘free-range’ often indicate better quality meat which has been raised in more natural conditions.

‘Hormone free’ and ‘antibiotic free’ labels are also worth looking out for, which can have benefit for both your health and the welfare of the animals.



Food for thought..


Opting for lean cuts include loin, sirloin, and tenderloin. These can be chosen when eating out or at home. Trimming visible fat off before cooking or when applicable will further reduce the overall fat intake.

Another thing to be mindful of is your portion size when it comes to meat. Just because it contains a large amount of protein which you have been told to eat-that does not mean over consume. Even the 5-star mince, or the lean beef cuts contain an amount of fat and saturated fat. So keeping to a portion size of 100-150g will keep that low, while protein is kept high.

A final thing you can is buy fresh meat over processed meat such as sausages, hot dogs and pre-marinated meats as much as you can. These types of processed meats often contain additives, preservatives, and higher levels of sodium and fats. These are what we want to avoid as best we can. Buying fresh meat from the butcher is advised. Ask them for information about the meats source to find the best fit for you!



In Summary


So there you have it, an insight to some of the things to consider when you are debating what lean and nutritious meats to have on a daily basis. Choosing red meat will be richer in certain nutrients like iron, zinc and vitamin B12. While the poultry and fish are generally lower in fat and calories. For this reason, it is always important to remember that a balanced diet includes a variety of protein sources. Incorporating a mix of meats, seafood and plant-based proteins is advised to achieve optimal nutrition.


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Since COVID-19 entered our lives, we have aimed to deliver some great weekly information as to how you can remain healthy, productive and in good spirits. This blog post is the latest addition to a growing library of information. Click to read more on our dedicated COVID support blogs.


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