Lean Meats (LM) and Very Lean Meats (VLM): Overview and Serving Sizes

This overview of the Lean and Very Lean Meats food group and serving sizes is part of the Healthy Weight-Loss Program.

Meats and vegetarian meats contain protein and fat. This food group is divided into two categories according to their fat content: very lean meats (VLM), and lean meats (LM) contain about 0g to 3g of fat per ounce of meat. In general, follow these serving guidelines:

    1 oz of meat, poultry, fish, or cheese provide one meat allowance
  1. ½ cup tofu provides one meat allowance
  2. ½ cup beans, lentils, and peas provide one-half serving of meat (Legumes are both a vegetarian meat and a starch; the other portion of beans comes from G&S)

    Type Food Serving Size
    Poultry Chicken or Turkey (white meat, no skin), Cornish Hen (no skin) 1 oz.
    Fish Fresh or Frozen Cod, Flounder, Haddock, Halibut, Trout, Lox (smoked salmon), Tuna (fresh or canned in water) 1 oz.
    Shellfish Clams, Crab, Lobster, Scallops, Shrimp, Imitation Shellfish 1 oz.
    Game Duck or Pheasant (no skin), Venison, Buffalo, Ostrich 1 oz.
    Cheese Cheese(with 1 gram of fat or less per ounce), fat-free or low-fat Cottage Cheese 1/4 cup
    Cheese Cheese, Fat Free 1 oz.
    Processed Meats Sandwich Meats, with 1 gram of fat or less per ounce, deli thin or shaved meats, Chipped Beef, Turkey, Ham, Chicken 1 oz.
    Processed Meats Hot Dogs, with 1 gram of fat or less per ounce 1 oz.
    Processed Meats Sausage, with 1 gram of fat or less per ounce 1 oz.
    Eggs Egg Whites 2
    Eggs Egg Substitutes, Plain 1/4 cup
    Meats Kidney 1 oz.
    Beef Lean Beef, trimmed of fat: Round, Sirloin, Flank Steak, Tenderloin, Roast (rib, chuck, rump), Steak (T-bone, porterhouse, cubed), Ground Round 1 oz.
    Pork Lean Pork: Ham (canned, cured or boiled), Canadian Bacon, Tenderloin, Center Loin Chop 1 oz.
    Lamb Lamb (roast, chop, or leg) 1 oz.
    Veal Veal (lean chop, roast) 1 oz.
    Poultry Turkey (dark meat, no skin), Chicken (white meat with skin), Domestic Duck or Goose (well-drained of fat, no skin) 1 oz.