The 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 guy 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. It’s no secret lean meats are better for you, but that doesn’t mean you have to ditch red meat 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. But there’s a difference among cuts like top sirloin steak, top round roast, and rib eye steak.

So here’s a handy list of the best cuts of steak you don’t have to feel guilty for indulging in when the craving for meat hits—as well as the ones to bail on at the butcher shop.

Cuts of Steak: The Leanest and Fattiest Options

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.

Nutrition Facts

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 276
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.4g
  • Protein: 49.8g

4. Bottom Round Steak

Taken from the outer part of the round, a well-exercised area of the animal. The meat tends to be tough and typically needs marinating.

Nutrition Facts

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.8g
  • Protein: 33g

2. Filet Mignon (Chateaubriand or Tenderloin)

Tender and sought-after, it’s considered one of the best cuts of beef.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 348
  • Fat: 16g
  • Saturated Fat: 6g
  • Protein: 48g

3. Porterhouse Steak

Very expensive and flavorful. Cut from the choice tenderloin.

Nutrition Facts

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

  • 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.

Nutrition Facts

  • 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. A very marbled cut, it’s flavorful and stays tender while cooking.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 466
  • Fat: 37.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 15g
  • Protein: 30g

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

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