Meat and fat: Finding the ideal balance

Flesh protein can vary considerably in its fat content. Since we have individual differences in the amount of both fat and protein that is optimal for good health, it is important to know the fat content in different meat options. Below are lists of high, medium, and low-fat flesh protein (for purposes of this article, “meat” includes poultry and seafood).

High-fat meat choices (over 8 grams per 3.5 ounce serving=100 grams)

  • Anchovy, 10 grams
  • Bacon, 38 grams
  • Beef (although grass-fed is lower in fat than grain-fed): prime rib, ribs, inside skirt steak, 18 grams
  • Chicken (dark meat), 10 grams
  • Duck, 11 grams
  • Goose, 13 grams
  • Herring, 15 grams
  • Lamb, 19 grams
  • Mackeral, 18 grams
  • Pompano, 12 grams
  • Quail, 14 grams
  • Salmon, 10 grams
  • Sardine, 11 grams

Medium-fat meat choices (5-8 grams per 3.5 ounce serving)

  • Abalone, 7 grams
  • Bass (freshwater), 5 grams
  • Beef heart and liver, 5 grams
  • Pork (ham, chops), 8 grams
  • Rabbit, 8 grams
  • Swordfish, 5 grams
  • Trout, 7 grams
  • Whitefish, 8 grams

Low-fat meat choices (less than 5 grams per 3.5 ounce serving)

  • Buffalo, 2 grams
  • Chicken breast, 4 grams
  • Clams, 1 gram
  • Cod, 1 gram
  • Cornish hen, 4 grams
  • Crab, 2 grams
  • Elk, 2 grams
  • Goat, 3 grams
  • Halibut, 3 grams
  • Lobster, 1 gram
  • Mussels, 1 gram
  • Ostrich, 3 grams
  • Oysters, 1 gram
  • Scallop, 1 gram
  • Shrimp, 1 gram
  • Tuna (albacore), 3 grams
  • Turkey (light and dark meat), 1 and 4 grams respectively
  • Venison, 2 grams

Some people thrive on a higher fat diet and others on a lower fat diet. If you have more energy and satiety when you eat more fat, choosing higher-fat meats is wise or you can add additional fat such as coconut oil, olive oil or butter to lower fat meats. Eating the skin on poultry is another way to increase the fat content.

Our ancestors did not just consume flesh protein: they ate the whole animal. Even if you do not do well with large amounts of fat, some fat in the diet is important for overall health.

New Leaf has an excellent selection of meat, poultry and fish from local and sustainable sources. Live Earth Farm now has free-range chickens for sale. Staff of Life has a limited selection of grass-fed beef, but they do offer ground buffalo and ostrich. El Sachichero is also a good source of local, humanely raised meats.

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