Flank steak is a popular cut of meat that is known for its rich and beefy flavor. But when it comes to nutrition, many people wonder whether flank steak is considered a lean meat. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the nutritional profile of flank steak and determine whether it’s a healthy option for your diet.
What Is Flank Steak?
Before we dive into the nutritional content of flank steak, let’s first define what it is. Flank steak is a cut of beef that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow. It’s a long and flat cut that has a pronounced grain and is often used in dishes like fajitas, stir-fry, and carne asada.
Is Flank Steak Considered Lean Meat?
When it comes to determining whether flank steak is considered lean meat, we need to look at its fat content. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines lean meat as having less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100-gram serving.
According to the USDA, a 100-gram serving of cooked flank steak contains:
- Total Fat: 9 grams
- Saturated Fat: 3.5 grams
- Cholesterol: 45 milligrams
Based on these numbers, flank steak falls just short of meeting the criteria for lean meat set by the USDA. However, it’s worth noting that not all fats are created equal. Flank steak contains mostly unsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy and can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in the body.
The Benefits of Flank Steak
While flank steak may not be considered a lean meat, it does offer some nutritional benefits that make it a healthy addition to your diet. Here are a few reasons to consider adding flank steak to your meal plan:
1. High in Protein
Flank steak is a great source of protein, with a 100-gram serving containing around 23 grams of protein. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body, making it an important nutrient for muscle growth and repair.
2. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Flank steak is also rich in vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Iron is necessary for healthy blood cells, while zinc plays a role in immune function and wound healing. Vitamin B12 is important for nerve function and the production of DNA.
One of the best things about flank steak is its versatility in the kitchen. It can be grilled, pan-fried, broiled, or roasted, making it an excellent choice for a variety of dishes.
How to Prepare Flank Steak
If you’re ready to give flank steak a try, here’s how to prepare it:
- Start by seasoning the steak with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat up your grill or skillet over high heat.
- Add the flank steak and cook for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare doneness.
- Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
The Bottom Line
While flank steak may not meet the criteria for lean meat set by the USDA, it still offers plenty of nutritional benefits that make it worth incorporating into your diet. With its high protein content, rich vitamin and mineral profile, and versatility in the kitchen, flank steak is a delicious and healthy choice for meat-lovers everywhere.