Leanest and Fattiest Beef Cuts for the Best Steak

Leanest and Fattiest Beef Cuts for the Best Steak

There are few things better than a perfectly cooked slab of juicy steak. The only thing that might come between a man and his beef are the negative effects that red meat, in all its marbled-with-fat and butter-basted glory, has on your heart and your waistline. But that doesn’t mean you should ditch steak altogether. You just need to know what the leanest and fattiest cuts of steak are.

Red meat is packed with protein, which is critical for muscle growth and recovery. It’s also high in iron and vitamin B-12, which boosts the immune system and keeps red blood cells healthy. So here’s a handy list of the best cuts of steak that you don’t have to feel guilty for indulging in once the craving for a slab of bloody meat hits.

Whether it’s a dinner out at your favorite restaurant or a cookout at home with the fellas, here are the cuts of juicy greatness you can put on your plate—as well as the ones to bail on at the butcher shop.


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Note: The American Heart Association recommends limiting lean meat, poultry and seafood consumption to six ounces per day. The USDA defines an extra-lean cut of beef as a 3.5-ounce serving (about 100 grams) that contains fewer than 5 grams total fat, 2 grams of which are saturated fat, and 95 milligrams of cholesterol. 

The Leanest Cuts of Beef

1. Sirloin Tip Side Steak

Taken from the sirloin tip or the top of the round. Very lean, but still holds flavor.

Calories 206; Fat 5.4g; Saturated Fat 2.06g; Protein 39g

2. Top Round Steak

Cut from the hip (part of the round) and considered flavorful and more tender than other cuts from the round.

Calories 240; Fat 7.6g; Saturated Fat 3g; Protein 36.9g

3. Eye of Round Steak

Similar to the cuts taken from the tenderloin, but tougher and less juicy.

Calories 276; Fat 7g; Saturated Fat 2.4g; Protein 49.8g

4. Bottom Round Steak

Taken from the outer park of the round that is a well exercised area of the animal. The meat tends to be tough and typically needs marinating.

Calories 300; Fat 11g; Saturated Fat 3.8; Protein 47.2g

5. Top Sirloin

Has good flavor, but can be tough, so typically needs marinating.

Calories 316; Fat 10.6g; Saturated Fat 4g; Protein 51.6g

The Fattiest Cuts of Steak

1. Flap Steak

Very flavorful, but can be fibrous and chewy

Calories 240; Fat 12g; Saturated Fat 3.8g; Protein 33g

2. Filet Mignon (Chateaubriand or Tenderloin)

The most tender and sought-after, it’s considered on of the best cuts of beef.

Calories 348; Fat 16g; Saturated Fat 6g; Protein 48g

3. Porterhouse steak

Very expensive and flavorful. Cut from the choice tenderloin.

Calories 346; Fat 16.4g; Saturated Fat 6.6g; Protein 46.2g

4. Skirt Steak

Also known as a flank steak. Taken from the plate or chest of the cow, it’s known for its flavor over tenderness.

Calories 348; Fat 17.2g; Saturated Fat 6.6g; Protein 45.4g

5. New York Strip Steak

Very tough cut of meat taken from the T-bone area.

Calories 360; Fat 18g; Saturated Fat 6g; Protein 46g

6. T-Bone Steak

A cut from below the porterhouse. Its high fat content means that it stays tender while cooking.

Calories 376; Fat 25.6g; Saturated Fat 10.6g; Protein 33g

7. Rib-Eye Steak (Rib Roast, Prime Rib)

The crème de la crème of steaks. Very marbled cut, which means it’s flavorful and stays tender while cooking.

Calories 466; Fat 37.6g; Saturated Fat 15g; Protein 30g

Nutritional facts provide by caloriecount.com. Based on a 2000-calorie diet. Nutrition information for a six-ounce serving.

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