Stepping into the world of home-cooking can sometimes be a tumultuous experience. Some will tell you that fatty meat is unhealthy, opt only for lean meats to keep you and your family healthy. Others might scoff at the lean cuts and swear only by the juiciness of the fatty cuts. So what to do? We think, like most, that everything can be enjoyed as long as we eat it in moderation!
Lean meat has a lower fat to protein ratio whilst fatty meat has a higher fat to protein ratio.
As we all know, protein is the main building block of our muscles. Protein is important for growing children and for people who are into body-building. It is used to repair and build muscles and can even be used as an energy source.
Meanwhile, fat is nutritious. Fats help with the absorption of some minerals and vitamins, and are essential for building cell membranes. But, as it is caloric dense, eating too much fat might lead to sustained weight gain and its associated health issues.
As such, many of us should be conscious of eating a good balance of lean and fatty meats.
Why then, do we want to eat fatty meat? Isn’t it unhealthy? Well, you don't need to eliminate all fat from your diet. In fact, ingesting some fats actually help promote good health, build healthy cells and maintain a healthy nervous system. Most importantly, fats are tasty and a natural part of our diet.
Animal fats are notorious for being a source of saturated fats that increase our cholesterol levels. However, it is still okay to eat saturated fats so long as we eat it in moderation.
Of course, if one is diagnosed as having chronic high-cholesterol levels from eating too much saturated fats, it might be time to take a break! (Choose to eat unsaturated fats available in fish, fruits and vegetables instead.)
For everyone else, there is no need to restrict our diet by cutting animal fats (and more importantly, enjoyment!) out of our lives. Enjoying good and tasty food can contribute to mental well-being and allow people to enjoy their time together.
Lean cuts are great with moist cooking methods and marinades. As they tend to taste more bland, they act as a great base for seasonings like herbs and spices.
Some lean cuts of muscle meat include:
- Pork fillet (tenderloin)
- Pork lean hind
- Beef tenderloin
- Beef shin/shank
- Chicken breast
Fatty cuts are great with most cooking methods and tend to stay juicy as the fats melt. As they are flavourful, they are great for days when you feel like cooking a dish that's extra tasty and joy-inducing.
Fatty cuts of muscle meat include:
- Pork belly
- Pork shoulder flap
- Beef ribeye
- Beef short-ribs
- Chicken thigh
Some lean recipes to explore:
Sliced Pork with Garlic Sprouts by Budget Pantry
Beef Shin and Carrot Stew by Martha Stewart
Cheat Chicken Rice by Loveswah
Some fattier but delicious recipes to explore:
Garlic Soy Steak by Taste Cooking