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15 Of The Best Meats For Weight Loss

15 Of The Best Meats For Weight Loss

This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT

You likely know that meat can be helpful when trying to lose weight. But do you know what the 15 best meats are for weight loss?

By definition meat is “the flesh of an animal” so some options of this list are seafood.

When talking about the nutritional details of meat you have to keep in mind that there will be a lot of nuances. Even if you take meat from the same body part from, let’s say, two cows you can have nutritional differences. Reasons for this include what the animals eat, and just genetic variability (1, 2).

Even with that in mind examples of nutritional values of meat can be helpful to get a general idea of what you can expect.

Some meat options are more weight loss friendly than others but when talking about nutrition variety in your diet is usually a good idea.

This list of the best meats for weight loss mainly looks at the calorie and protein contents. Protein is a helpful nutrient when trying to lose weight.

1. Oyster

Oyster is a seafood that can be eaten both boiled and raw. There are even oysters specifically for harvesting pearls. Depending on your definition of meat, oysters are the meat lowest in calories.

When consuming oysters you do have to keep your selenium intake in mind. There is a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of selenium. In simple words that means that too much selenium can cause negative side effects (3).

100 grams of cooked oyster contains (4):

  • Calories: 79
  • Protein: 7 grams
  • Fat: 2.1 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 405% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Zinc: 301% of the DV
  • Selenium: 111% of the DV
  • Copper: 72% of the DV
  • Iron: 43% of the DV
  • Manganese: 21% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

2. Cod

Cod is a popular kind of fish with different species that live in different areas. The liver of this fish can be processed into cod liver oil, a kind of fish oil consumed for its health benefits.

100 grams of Atlantic cooked cod contains (5):

  • Calories: 105
  • Protein: 22.8 grams
  • Fat: 0.9 grams
  • Selenium: 54% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 18% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

You can easily implement cod in a wide variety of recipes. It can for example be your protein source of choice in salads.

3. Shrimp

Shrimp are another kind of sea creature popular all around the world and one of the best meats for weight loss.

100 grams of cooked shrimp contains (6):

  • Calories: 99
  • Protein: 20.9 grams
  • Fat: 1.1 grams
  • Selenium: 57% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 25% of the DV
  • Iron: 17% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

If you’re trying to lose weight you want to avoid deep-fried shrimp, shrimp marinated in a sugary mix, and consuming them with high-calorie dips. Just boiling shrimp is the best preparation method for weight loss.

Shrimp on a plate

4. Chicken

Chicken is one of the most popular dietary protein sources around the world. There are more chickens in the world than any other bird (7).

100 grams of cooked chicken breast contains (8):

  • Calories: 165
  • Protein: 31 grams
  • Fat: 3.6 grams
  • Niacin: 69% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 39% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 30% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 23% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

The preparation methods and recipes for chicken are almost endless which is great if you want to implement this meat into your diet for weight loss.

5. Rabbit

Some people would never eat this animal but for others, it is a great meat for weight loss. Certainly if you lack other sources of vitamin B12 this protein source can be a great addition to your diet.

100 grams of cooked rabbit contains (9):

  • Calories: 173
  • Protein: 33 grams
  • Fat: 3.5 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 108% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Niacin: 32% of the DV
  • Iron: 27% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV
  • Selenium: 22% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 17% of the DV
  • Zinc: 16% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

One example of a popular preparation method for rabbit is stew.

6. Ostrich

Ostrich is not the most popular kind of meat on this list but it can be a great lean source of protein.

100 grams of cooked ostrich contains (10):

  • Calories: 175
  • Protein: 26.1 grams
  • Fat: 7.1 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 96% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 48% of the DV
  • Niacin: 33% of the DV
  • Zinc: 29% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 25% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 22% of the DV
  • Iron: 19% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 16% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

7. Tuna

Another very popular kind of fish on this list of the best meats for weight loss is tuna.

Like most fish, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more tuna. You do have to keep in mind that tuna contains a lot of mercury, a substance that can cause negative side effects if you overconsume it. Some population groups want to avoid tuna altogether.

100 grams of cooked tuna contains (11):

  • Calories: 184
  • Protein: 29.9 grams
  • Fat: 6.3 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 181% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 67% of the DV
  • Niacin: 53% of the DV
  • Vitamin A: 50% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 33% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 26% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 19% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 18% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 16% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Like most fish, tuna finds its way into many recipes. You can also just enjoy a tuna steak on its own.

Sliced tuna meat for weight loss

8. Salmon

Seafood takes in many of the higher spots on this list and that’s not a surprise if you look at their nutrient contents.

Salmon is especially great for helping you reach your daily omega 3 fat goals.

100 grams of cooked salmon contains (12):

  • Calories: 182
  • Protein: 25.4 grams
  • Fat: 8.1 grams
  • Selenium: 67% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 51% of the DV
  • Niacin: 50% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 47% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 29% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 26% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5: 19% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 18% of the DV
  • Potassium: 18% of the DV
  • Copper: 16% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

9. Deer (Venison)

Deer meat, also called venison, can be a nutritious addition to your diet. Availability of this meat varies a lot depending on where you live.

100 grams of cooked ground deer contains (13):

  • Calories: 187
  • Protein: 26.5 grams
  • Fat: 8.2 grams
  • Niacin: 46% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 39% of the DV
  • Zinc: 35% of the DV
  • Thiamin: 34% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 23% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 23% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 19% of the DV
  • Iron: 19% of the DV
  • Selenium: 15% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

10. Pheasant

Pheasant is a kind of bird. This is again not one of the most popular meats but it can be a good addition to your diet due to its high protein content.

100 grams of cooked pheasant contains (14):

  • Calories: 247
  • Protein: 32.4 grams
  • Fat: 12.1 grams
  • Niacin: 38% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B6: 37% of the DV
  • Selenium: 30% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 24% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

You may notice that the calorie count per 100 grams starts becoming higher and higher. When talking about weight loss you often can’t eat unlimited portions of meat. However, a good amount of meat each day is very helpful to reach your protein goals which in turn is important when trying to lose weight.

11. Turkey

Turkeys are another kind of bird popular around thanksgiving but available to eat year round.

100 grams of cooked ground turkey contains (15):

  • Calories: 235
  • Protein: 27.4 grams
  • Fat: 13.1 grams
  • Selenium: 53% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Niacin: 24% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 20% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the DV
  • Zinc: 19% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Like chicken, turkey is a very versatile meat. You want to eat turkey prepared in a “clean” way and with healthy ingredients. Something like a turkey sandwich is generally not great for weight loss.

turkey in oven

12. Buffalo

The buffalo, also called American bison, is an animal of which the meat is available for consumption in some places like the United States. In many other areas of the world finding buffalo meat is a bit harder.

100 grams of cooked buffalo contains (16):

  • Calories: 238
  • Protein: 23.8 grams
  • Fat: 15.1 grams
  • Selenium: 43% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Vitamin B12: 38% of the DV
  • Zinc: 34% of the DV
  • Niacin: 28% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 19% of the DV
  • Iron: 17% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 15% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

13. Beef

Beef is one of the more popular meats on this list. The definition of beef is meat from cattle so depending on the animal and body part the nutritional values will vary.

That being said, seeing an example of nutrition info can get you a general idea of what you can expect from beef.

100 grams of cooked ground beef contains (17):

  • Calories: 273
  • Protein: 25.4 grams
  • Fat: 18.2 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 48% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Zinc: 41% of the DV
  • Selenium: 31% of the DV
  • Niacin: 23% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 19% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 17% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

The list of preparation methods and recipes with beef is extremely long. One typical way to eat beef is as beef jerky.

14. Pork

The next meat for weight loss option is another very popular one. You can find pork basically in stores basically anywhere around the world.

100 grams of cooked ground pork contains (18):

  • Calories: 265
  • Protein: 23.5 grams
  • Fat: 18.2 grams
  • Selenium: 51% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Thiamin: 40% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 38% of the DV
  • Zinc: 24% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 23% of the DV
  • Niacin: 18% of the DV
  • Riboflavin 15% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Bacon is one of the most popular ways to eat pork but there is no shortage of other delicious ways to eat this meat.

15. Lamb

Lastly, there is lamb which is the meat of a sheep that is under one year old. Even though lamb is at the bottom of this list it still has the potential to be a great addition to your weight loss diet.

100 grams of cooked ground lam contains (19):

  • Calories: 283
  • Protein: 24.7 grams
  • Fat: 19.7 grams
  • Vitamin B12: 43% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Selenium: 40% of the DV
  • Niacin: 34% of the DV
  • Zinc: 31% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 20% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 15% of the DV

And some other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.