The Leanest Cuts of Steak That You Should Try

article title in front of steaks on a grill

If you're trying to get stronger and build muscle, finding healthy sources of protein is crucial. Adding moderate amounts of lean beef can add much-needed variety to your routine of chicken breasts and protein shakes. Steak is packed with vital macronutrients and micronutrients that support muscle gains, including protein, iron and Vitamin B12. However, some cuts of steak also contain high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, which may contribute to heart disease. Fortunately, there are several lean cuts of steak that deliver the nutrients and protein you need without the excess fat.

1. Sirloin Tip Side Steak

Stats for 6 oz. (170g)
Calories: 272
Total Fat: 6.7g
Saturated Fat: 2.2g
Protein: 49.7g
One of the leanest steaks you can find, the sirloin tip side steak, also known as a knuckle sirloin tip, is a boneless cut taken from the round primal. These muscles are used to power the hind legs and are involved in the movement. As a result, the sirloin tip side steak is relatively low in fat and high in protein. Furthermore, it's an affordable cut suitable for regular consumption. Its tougher texture makes it great for marinating or roasting. You can also turn this steak into delicious, lean ground beef and make healthier homemade classics like burgers and meatloaf.

2. Eye of Round Steak

Stats for 6 oz. (170g)
Calories: 270
Total Fat: 7.6g
Saturated Fat: 2.8g
Protein: 50.5g
Steak cut from the center of the round is often referred to as the eye of round. This cut is an excellent value because it tastes similar to more expensive steaks but is one of the most affordable and leanest cuts of beef. Because it is tougher and less juicy, you can use a marinade or beat the steak with a mallet to improve the texture before cooking. This tenderizes the meat so that you can cook it in a skillet or on the grill. As one of the leanest steaks, eye of round also works well cubed and cooked slowly in a stew or sliced thinly on a steak sandwich.

3. Top Round Steak

Stats for 6 oz. (170g)
Calories: 356
Total Fat: 10.7g
Saturated Fat: 3.8g
Protein: 60.6 grams
Also known as a London Broil, the top round cut is taken from part of the hip muscles used in locomotion and is located above the bottom round and eye of round anatomically. The top round is an inexpensive cut and one of the leanest steaks, known for its savory flavor that pairs well with strong, tenderizing marinades. Rosemary, garlic and red wine all complement the taste of the top round. Also, cutting these low fat steaks into cubes or slices helps counteract the tough texture. Finally, top round is a great choice for slow cooking techniques like broiling and roasting.

4. Top Sirloin Steak

Stats for 6 oz. (170g)
Calories: 291
Total Fat: 9.1g
Saturated Fat: 3.1g
Protein: 52.0g
Top sirloin is a popular, versatile cut of steak. Firm and flavorful, top sirloin is also juicier than many similarly lean cuts. Taken from the sirloin area behind the loins and in front of the round, top sirloin steaks are suitable for roasting and grilling. Like the other leanest cuts of beef, top sirloin can be somewhat chewy, but you can improve the texture by marinating your steak. Cut top sirloin into chunks and make tasty steak kebabs. You can also enjoy top sirloin in stir-fries or sauteed with your favorite vegetables.

5. Bottom Round Steak

Stats for 6 oz. (170g)
Calories: 350
Total Fat: 10.7g
Saturated Fat: 3.7g
Protein: 59.4g
This affordable, high-protein cut is taken from the outer part of the round. Bottom round steak is firm and full of flavor, with a tighter grain than the nearby top round. Also called a Western Griller, you can reduce toughness and add juiciness to a bottom round with a marinade, then broil or grill for a delicious version of one of the leanest steaks. For a great weeknight dinner, roast your bottom round steak and serve it in thick slices. You can also add cubes of bottom round to your favorite chili recipe.

6. Flap Steak

Stats for 6 oz. (170g)
Calories: 240
Total Fat: 12.0g
Saturated Fat: 3.8g
Protein: 33.0g
The flap steak, or sirloin bavette, is one of the leanest steaks cut from the bottom part of the sirloin. With its coarse grain, this thick cut of steak works well when cooked with flavorful sauces. Similar in texture to flank steak, you can use flap steak in fajitas or slow-cooked recipes like ropa vieja. Faster cooking methods like searing and grilling also work well for flap steak, especially when marinated. You can even cut it into tips and grill it on skewers.

To gain muscle the healthy way, you should include a variety of lean protein sources in your meals to receive a wide range of nutrients without eating too much fat. Low fat steaks can play a valuable role in your diet along with plant-based proteins, chicken and fish. To add more lean protein to your diet, use Prospre, a meal-planning app that helps you track your macros.

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