Lean meat is a good source of protein with a lower fat content and therefore a lower calorie content.

Lean meat is generally regarded as a safe source of protein there have been some concerns about antibiotic use in poultry farms.

What is lean meat?

Lean meats are meats with a relatively low fat content. Skinless chicken and turkey and red meat, such as pork chops, with the fat trimmed off are examples of lean meat.

The fat on a pork chop accounts for about two thirds of its fat content and the skin on chicken can account for 80 per cent of its fat content

Health benefits of lean meat

Lean meats are a good source of protein and have fewer calories than non-lean meats. Lean meats are popular amongst people following low calorie and low fat diets

Poultry is a good source of selenium, vitamins B3 and B6, and choline.

Selenium has antioxidant properties which help to prevent free radicals from damaging cells. Selenium also helps the immune system. Vitamins B3 and B6 help the body to convert carbohydrate into glucose.

Vitamin B3, also called niaci, helps with production of stress and sex hormones. Choline helps with nerve function and can reduce inflammation.

  • For health benefits of lean red meat, see red meat

Dangers of lean meat

Antibiotics are commonly used in poultry farming and have been linked with people getting infections, such as urinary tract infections, that are resistant to antiobiotics.

Whilst farmers must stick to rules minimising the amount of antibiotics that could pass through us through eating poultry, those that are concerned may wish to look for poultry that is organic or states that antibiotics have not been used.

Lean meats provide moderate levels of purines. Purines are useful for the body but can increase the chance of gout in people that are susceptible to it.

Lean meats and food hygiene

As with other meats, a key danger comes from insufficient cooking and if the meat is not handled and stored appropriately. Always wash hands and utensils which have touched raw meat.

Ensure the meat is fully cooked through before eating and never reheat cooked meat more than once.

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