1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Cuts of Beef and Other Protein Low in Saturated Fat

Acceptable Meats on the South Beach Diet, Zone, Sonoma Diet and Others


Updated April 04, 2014

flank steak on the grill

Flank steak is low in saturated fats.

Photo © Greg Nicholas

This is a list of the lean meats and other protein foods that are low in saturated fat. It includes low fat cuts of beef, pork, poultry, etc. These meats would be allowed on many diets emphasizing a reduction in saturated fats, including the South Beach Diet, Sonoma, Zone Diet, and other diets emphasizing low-fat, or low saturated fat, meats and proteins.

Fish and Seafood

All fish and seafood are fine, but nothing breaded or deep-fried. Canned tuna should be packed in water.


  • Chicken or Turkey: White meat is fine
  • Dark meat occasionally after Phase One
  • Turkey bacon or low fat sausage OK in moderation
  • Cornish Hen
  • Always remove skin
  • Nothing breaded
  • No goose or duck

Beef: Acceptable Cuts

Beef cuts can be confusing, as names vary a lot. Dr. Agatston has OK’d the following cuts of beef:

Ground Meat:
  • Ground sirloin
  • Ground beef with less than 10-percent fat
Cuts from the short loin (called various name in various places):
  • Short Loin
  • Tenderloin Roast
  • T-Bone steak
  • Porterhouse Steak
  • Tenderloin Steak
  • Filet Mignon
  • Fillet Steak
  • Top Loin Steak
  • Strip Steak
  • Kansas City Steak
  • New York Strip Steak
  • Hotel-Style Steak
  • Sirloin Strip Steak
  • Club Steak
  • Country Club Steak
  • Delmonico Steak
  • Shell Steak
Cuts from the Sirloin, which can be called:
  • Tri-Tip
  • Sirloin Steak
  • Top Sirloin
  • Coulotte Steak
  • Cap Steak
  • Round-Bone Steak
  • Beef Loin
  • Flap Steak
  • Flap Meat
Cuts from the Round, which can be called:
  • Bottom Round
  • Top Round
  • Eye (of the) Round
  • Round Tip Roast
  • Rump Roast
  • Round Tip Steak
  • Ball Tip Steak
  • Beef Sirloin Tip Steak
  • Breakfast Steak
  • Knuckle Steak
  • Sandwich Steak
  • Minute Steak
  • Round Steak
Other Acceptable Beef Cuts:
  • Flank Steak
  • London Broil

Pork: Acceptable List

  • Boiled ham
  • Tenderlion
  • Loin
  • Lean, well-trimmed chops
  • Canadian bacon
  • Occasional crisp-cooked, well-drained bacon (best as a garnish)


  • Leg of lamb, well-trimmed of fat
  • Lamb chop as an occasional treat


  • Top Round
  • Leg cutlet
  • Chop

Lunch Meats

Lunch Meats should be sugar-free and low in fat. Deli turkey is a good choice.

Other Acceptable Protein Sources

  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Beans
  • Low fat meat substitutes
All the South Beach Diet Food Lists

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.