The 5 Best Meats to Eat—and 2 to Avoid

Meat 101

Hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken fingers are some all-American meat products—but they’re not your best choices when it comes to meat. But you don’t have to cut out all meat to be healthy, according to Kris Sollid, RD, Senior Director, Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation. That protein meat provides is useful: “Meat can be part of a healthy diet just as a healthy diet can be meatless,” he says. “Whether you choose to eat meat or not is up to you.” It’s a key source of vitamins and minerals like B12 and iron. Malina Linkas Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN, media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommends balance when it comes to mat servings—most Americans eat more than they need. Malkani suggests filling a quarter of your plate with meat and the rest with cooked vegetables, whole grains, and other plant-based foods for a balanced meal.

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