It’s a new year, and for many of us, that means new year’s resolutions! And topping the list nearly all of the time is the desire to be healthier - we want to move more and we want to eat better. Undisputed is the fact that protein is essential for good health, and that animal protein particularly provides all the essential amino acids we need, so how do we continue to incorporate this all-important macronutrient in our diet while making healthier choices?
Short answer? You choose the leanest cut. Long answer? Thanks to our friends at Healthline - read on.
BEEF is a good source of not only protein, but also iron, zinc, niacin, choline and vitamin B-12. In just 80 grams of meat (a steak slightly smaller than the palm of your hand) you get 10 essential nutrients and half the average recommended daily protein intake. The best cuts to choose from are sirloin, top round, loin and also flank steak. Another thing to look out for is cuts with less marbling - the less fat there is, the better it is for you.
CHICKEN is another excellent Halaal certified meat - it’s high in protein, but lower in fat compared to red meat. Similar to beef, chicken is also high in iron, zinc, selenium and B vitamins. An 80-gram serving (a small chicken breast) provides 25 grams of protein and about 130 calories - vs 202 calories in the 80 grams of beef. Similar to beef, one should keep an eye on the fat content, which means choosing white meat over dark (chicken breast over drumstick), although the dark meat is higher in nutrients, so it could be a trade-off.
PORK is a healthier non-Halaal option for those considering ‘other white meats’ - in a BBC list of the 100 most nutritious foods, pork ranked eighth! Pork is a good source of thiamine, vitamin B-6 and B-12, potassium, iron and magnesium. In a study comparing lamb, beef and pork fat, the latter was found to contain more unsaturated fats which means you’re getting in more omega-3 fatty acids. And if you plan to eat more pork, the leanest cut to opt for is tenderloin.
As with most things, quality matters - so, for the best in both Halaal and non-Halaal meat, and let’s not forget Halaal fish, also an excellent and healthy source of protein, look no further than leading Cape Town meat wholesalers, N1!
Happy eating - and here’s to a happier and healthier 2022.