Reducing saturated fat in your diet but still eating meat

By Pat Brinkman - OSU Extension Educator

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend we reduce the saturated fat in our diet. This usually means limiting your intake of red meat, which is high in saturated fat.

The problem with saturated fat is it raises our blood cholesterol level, especially the LDL (bad) cholesterol increasing our risk of heart disease and stroke. However, many of us enjoy eating red meat, at least occasionally.

Using one of more of the following ways can help to reduce the amount of saturated fat in meat allowing you to enjoy occasionally.

· Follow the portion size of three ounces of lean meat, which is about the size of a deck of cards.

· Eat lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat. Lean cuts include “sirloin,” “round,” and “loin.”

· Choose “Choice” or “Select” grades. Be sure to buy extra lean ground beef, if possible or at least lean.

· Trim any visible fat from meat before you cook. Pour off or remove any melted fat after cooking.

· Broil or grill rather than pan-fry hamburgers, steaks and chops.

· When broiling, roasting, or baking use a rack to allow the fat to drain off the meat. Keep the meat moist by marinating or basting with fruit juices, wine, a vegetable oil-based marinade or lower sodium broth, instead of the pan dripping. (When using a marinade, be sure to compare product labels to buy the marinade with the lowest amount of added sugars and sodium.)

· When you need to brown the meat first, use the broiler to brown the meat instead of in a pan. When using a pan, use a vegetable spray to help brown the meat. Drain off the excess grease.

· Try preparing stews, soup stock, boiled meat or other dishes in which fat from the meat mixes in the dish a day ahead of time. Refrigerate the dish overnight and then remove the hardened layer of fat from the top. This removes most of the saturated fat.


American Heart Association, (2016). Heart Insight. Available at

Mayo Clinic, (2015). Heart Disease, Ready to start your heart-healthy diet? Here are eight tips to get you started. Available at

USDA, (2016). Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 Eighth Edition, Available at

By Pat Brinkman

OSU Extension Educator

Pat Brinkman is the OSU Extension Educator for Fayette County.

Pat Brinkman is the OSU Extension Educator for Fayette County.