Watch out for the saturated fats in animal proteins. Go for lean cuts of meat, and don’t beef up your portions!

Meats like beef and pork are high in protein, but they can also contain a lot of saturated fat, so I recommend always choosing the leanest cuts of these meats. Protein can help you maintain a healthy weight, increase your lean muscle mass, and keep you feeling satisfied longer. In addition to being good sources of protein, meats like beef, pork, and ham contain other important nutrients, including iron, zinc, and the B vitamins — B6, B12, and niacin.

Eating lean cuts of these protein-rich meats in place of their high-fat counterparts can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and help keep your blood sugars balanced, which may lower your risk of diabetes. Vitamins B6 and B12 may help improve memory. Vitamin B6 is also involved in creating dopamine, a mood neurotransmitter that may reduce PMS symptoms. Both niacin and zinc help protect against vision problems: Niacin guards against cataracts, while zinc helps prevent and treat macular degeneration. Zinc, vitamin B12, and iron promote healthy hair. Iron also contributes to nail strength. Note that if you have gout, red meat can increase the uric acid in your body and exacerbate the condition, so even lean cuts should be eaten in moderation. The riboflavin in lean beef may help guard against migraines, but aged beef and any cured, smoked, or canned beef or pork product can be a migraine trigger in individuals who are sensitive.