Health & Wellness

twinsCalorie Saving Tip: Cut the fat and calories from your red meat

– The Nutrition Twins®

When you buy meat, look for USDA select or choice grades of lean beef such as round steak, sirloin tip or tenderloin, as these are the leanest cuts of beef.  Once you have chosen these cuts of beef, trim all of the visible fat from the meat.  Surprisingly, this alone can cut fat and calories in half!  You also can save money and calories by not choosing the “Prime” grades, they are heavily marbled and high in that artery-clogging saturated fat.  Another way to really cut calories and limit fat is to pick the steaks that are the most red, and the least white.  The white part of the meat is the fat.

This is true of the ground beef too.  When you choose ground beef, choose extra lean ground beef and look for the medium-to-deep color.  A lighter pink meat means a high fat meat, as too much of the white (fat) has been ground together with the lean portion.  Ground beef should contain no more than 15 percent fat (this is an absolute maximum; ideally, choose less than five or six percent fat).  Even the most savvy red-meat eaters have been tricked by the percentage of fat.  If you choose a ground beef that is 80-percent lean, this actually means 70-percent fat!  This is the percentage of fat by weight, not the “percentage of calories” from fat.  Expressing fat by weight is misleading.  If the meat is labeled 80-percent lean, 20 percent of its total weight is fat, which is equal to 70-percent of the total calories coming from fat.  Meat that is labeled “10 percent fat” actually has 51 percent of its calories from fat!

Your best option when it comes to ground beef is to buy a very lean cut of steak, lean stewing beef or lean chuck roast with all of the fat trimmed off and then have the butcher grind it up for you.  This is what I do when I eat meatballs and it really cuts down the fat and calories significantly.  So save your waistline by choosing the leanest cuts of meat.  Enjoy!

Want to begin living a healthier lifestyle today? Visit to check out our Wellness Planner. We partnered with the Nutrition Twins® to create this innovative planner designed to help inspire and guide you while you achieve your nutrition and fitness goals.

Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse (“Lyssie”) Lakatos share more than identical features; they share identical success in the competitive field of nutrition and wellness. In 1997 Lyssie and Tammy (known as The Nutrition Twins®) co-founded Healthy Happenings Corporation whose mission is to better the health of its clients through improved nutrition and lifestyle/behavior modification. Since relocating from Atlanta, Georgia, the twins have built a successful private practice in New York City servicing both individual and corporate clients such as AOL-Time Warner and Colgate Palmolive.