Sometimes when you’re ordering at a steakhouse, you can be riddled with too many options. Which steak is worth ordering? Are all steaks the same when it comes to your health, or do they have different benefits? Unfortunately, not all cuts of steak are created equal — some are much fattier and calorically dense than others, which can negatively affect your health in the long term.
So which steak should you steer clear of if you’re looking to make better nutritional choices while dining out? We asked an expert from our medical board to share their insight.
“Ribeye is one of the worst steaks to order“he says Lisa Young, PhD, RDNauthor of Finally Full, Finally Slim. “It is marbled with fat and full of saturated fat as well. This type of fat is unhealthy for the heart as it can raise your LDL ‘unhealthy’ cholesterol and can clog arteries.”
According to the USDA, a typical ribeye steak contains 63 grams of fat (96% of your daily value), 28 grams of it saturated fat (140% of your DV). As Young explains, eating too much saturated fat can raise the LDL cholesterol in your blood, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke. While the Dietary Guidelines for Americans state saturated fat should only equate to 10% of your total calories, the American Heart Association says to limit even further to just 13 grams a day — and the ribeye steak far exceeds that number.
Plus, because ribeye typically has more fat content than most, Young points out “this steak is also more caloric than others and can contribute unnecessary calories.” A ribeye steak clocks in at 847 calories per serving.
Young suggests the best solution for a steak would be to look for a leaner option — such as top sirloin. A 3-ounce serving of top sirloin is 207 calories and only contains 12 grams of fat and 4.8 grams saturated. Lean steak, such as top sirloin, is also a great source of protein — which contains 23 grams per 3 ounces.
“It’s certainly ok to indulge in this steak every now and then,” says Young. “And if you include veggies, that’s even better.”
If you’re simply grilling up steak at home, load up the rest of your plate with veggies like this Roasted Parmesan Asparagus, this Balsamic Zucchini Sauté, or some Garlic Lemon Spinach.
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more