What is the steak to eat on keto?

When following a ketogenic or “keto” diet, choosing the right cuts of steak is crucial. Not all steaks are created equal when it comes to their fat and protein content, which are the primary macronutrients emphasized on the keto diet. Selecting leaner cuts of steak with less marbling allows you to stay within your recommended macro ratios for keto.

Quick Overview: Top 3 Keto-Friendly Steaks

If you’re short on time, here are the top 3 best steaks for keto:

  1. Sirloin
  2. Flank
  3. Round cuts like eye of round or bottom round

These quick picks are leaner cuts that emphasize protein over fat. Now let’s dive deeper into the nutrition facts and details on the best and worst keto steak choices.

Why Steak Macro Ratios Matter on Keto

The ketogenic diet calls for a specific balance of macronutrients (macros) to achieve and maintain ketosis. This is a metabolic state where your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs.

The typical keto macro ratio is:

  • 75% fat
  • 20% protein
  • 5% carbs

Steak can be a great protein source on keto, but you want to choose cuts that aren’t too high in fat compared to protein. Going over your target fat macros can prevent weight loss.

Keto Steak Macro Guidelines

Use the following macros as a guide when selecting keto-friendly steak:

  • Protein: 20-30 grams per serving
  • Fat: 15-25 grams per serving
  • Carbs: 0-5 grams per serving

The Best Cuts of Steak for Keto

To stay within the right macro targets on keto, opt for leaner cuts of steak over higher fat options.

The best keto steak choices include:

1. Sirloin

Top sirloin is a go-to choice with macros that align well with the keto diet. A 6 ounce serving provides:

  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams

This cut from the hip/rear end of the cow is very lean and delivers a good protein punch per ounce. Keep servings around 6 ounces to stay in the ideal macro range.

2. Flank Steak

Flank steak has similar macros to sirloin, though it can be slightly fattier depending on the specific cut. For a 6 ounce serving:

  • Protein: 21 grams
  • Fat: 15 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams

This flat, lean cut comes from the abdominal area. Choose USDA Choice over Prime grades for less marbling.

3. Round Cuts

Round steaks like eye of round and bottom round are extra-lean options that provide all protein. A 6 ounce eye of round steak has:

  • Protein: 36 grams
  • Fat: 4 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams

Round steaks can be tougher but offer great macros for keto dieters looking to up their protein intake.

4. Tenderloin

When prepared without heavy sauces, tenderloin steaks (including filet mignon) can also align with keto macros. A 6 ounce filet mignon has:

  • Protein: 40 grams
  • Fat: 16 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams

This tender cut is very lean and provides quality protein.

5. Strip Steak

Also known as New York strip, this has slightly higher fat than the previous cuts but can still work for keto in moderation. A 6 ounce strip steak has:

  • Protein: 32 grams
  • Fat: 18 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams

Go for USDA Select over Prime or Choice grades to reduce fat content.

Worst Steak Cuts for Keto

On the flip side, these high-fat cuts should be avoided or limited on keto:

1. Ribeye

Ribeye is a crowd-pleaser, but it’s simply too rich for the keto diet. A 6 ounce serving packs:

  • Protein: 33 grams
  • Fat: 30 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams

All that monounsaturated fat gives ribeye its marbled texture and robust flavor, but it blows the keto fat budget.

2. T-Bone

Like ribeye, T-bone contains way more fat than protein in a typical serving:

  • Protein: 26 grams
  • Fat: 32 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams

Balance the rich tenderloin portion with the leaner NY strip portion to minimize fat.

3. Porterhouse

This large, T-shaped steak contains a tenderloin side as well as strip loin. A 6 ounce serving of Porterhouse steak packs:

  • Protein: 26 grams
  • Fat: 27 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams

With almost equal amounts of fat and protein, it’s not an ideal choice for keto.

4. Skirt Steak

While delicious grilled or marinated, skirt steak should be eaten sparingly on keto. A 6 ounce serving contains:

  • Protein: 24 grams
  • Fat: 24 grams
  • Carbs: 0 grams

The macros are nearly 50/50 fat and protein, tilting the ratio too far from the keto zone.

5. Short Ribs

These meaty ribs deliver way more fat than protein or carbs:

  • Protein: 16 grams
  • Fat: 48 grams
  • Carbs: 2 grams

It’s best to avoid short ribs or enjoy them only occasionally if you’re watching your macros.

Comparing Steaks by Keto Macro Ratios

This table summarizes the protein, fat and carb ratios in 6 ounce servings of popular steak cuts:

Steak Cut Protein (g) Fat (g) Carbs (g)
Sirloin 24 14 0
Flank 21 15 0
Eye of Round 36 4 0
Filet Mignon 40 16 0
Strip 32 18 0
Ribeye 33 30 0
T-bone 26 32 0
Porterhouse 26 27 0
Skirt 24 24 0
Short Ribs 16 48 2

As shown, round cuts like eye of round, as well as sirloin and tenderloin, have the best balance of protein, fat and carbs for following a ketogenic diet.

Picking the Best Keto Steak Cuts

When it comes to steak, you have lots of keto-friendly choices. Use the following tips for picking the best cuts at the store:

1. Seek Out Lean Marbling

Look for steaks with lean marbling or streaks of fat throughout the meat. Leaner marbling indicates less overall fat content. Heavily marbled steaks mean more fat.

2. Stick to Select or Choice Grades

Choice grade steaks offer flavor while keeping fat moderate. Select has less marbling than Prime or Choice.

3. estimating Fat Content

The whiter the streaks of fat, the higher the overall fat percentage. Red or pink fat indicates more muscle and less fat.

4. Focus on Round, Loin, and Chuck Areas

Cuts from the round, loin, and chuck tend to be leaner. Rib and short plate cuts have more fat.

5. reference the UsDA National Nutrient Database

Look up the protein, fat and carb content of any cut using the USDA food database online.

Preparing Keto-Friendly Steak

Choosing the right cut is the first step. Be mindful of preparation and serving methods too.

Avoid Unhealthy Fats for Cooking

Skip butter, tropical oils, and hydrogenated fats. Opt for heart-healthy fats like avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil.

Control Portion Sizes

even leaner steaks can lead to excess fat intake if portions are too large. Stick to 4-8 ounces per serving.

Add Veggies as Side Dishes

Pair steak with low-carb vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, spinach, kale, and Brussels sprouts.

Use Dry Rubs and Spices

Flavor steak with keto-friendly seasonings instead of sugary sauces.

Limit Compound Butters

Flavored butter can add significant fat. Use sparingly or avoid.

Keto Steak Recipe Ideas

Here are some recipe ideas to inspire you to cook up keto-approved steak meals at home:

Top Sirloin with Chimichurri Sauce

Serve top sirloin with a zesty chimichurri sauce – an herb-packed Argentine sauce made with parsley, cilantro, garlic, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and white vinegar.

Peppercorn Flank Steak Stir Fry

Slice grilled flank steak into strips. Wok sear with broccoli, bell peppers, onions, garlic, and black pepper.

Seared Filet Mignon with Blue Cheese Butter

Enjoy a petite filet mignon steak topped with a small dollop of blue cheese butter after cooking.

Strip Steak Fajitas

Bring out the spices and fajita flavor with grilled onions, peppers, and strip steak wrapped in low-carb tortillas.

Eye of Round Roast with Roasted Veggies

Take advantage of this extra lean cut by roasting a whole eye of round with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is ribeye steak keto?

Ribeye is high in fat, so it’s not the best option for keto. Stick to leaner cuts like sirloin or round steak.

2. Can you eat steak every day on keto?

You can eat steak daily if it fits within your macros. Be sure to choose lean cuts and vary portion sizes to meet your protein needs.

3. Is filet mignon keto friendly?

Filet mignon is reasonably low in fat, especially if you trim excess fat before cooking. It can be part of a keto diet in moderation.

4. What is the healthiest steak for keto?

The “healthiest” cuts for keto are leaner steaks like eye of round, sirloin, flank and tenderloin. They provide lots of protein without too much fat.

5. Can I eat steak and eggs on keto?

Yes, steak and eggs make a perfect keto-friendly meal combo. Be mindful of portion sizes, as this meal can be high in protein and fat.

The Takeaway

Choosing the right cut of steak is key on the high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet. Opt for leaner cuts like sirloin, flank, round, and tenderloin. Limit high-fat options like ribeye and T-bone.

Select steaks with minimal marbling and use healthy cooking methods. Pair your steak with low-carb sides and control portions to meet your macro goals for keto.

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