Three reasons to choose pork
Did you know pork raised on modern pig farms compares favorably to other meats for fat, calories and cholesterol? Pork even provides a greater amount of vitamins and minerals, and many cuts of pork are as lean or leaner than chicken. (Lean = relatively low fat content.) Pig farmers like Jen Sturtevant and Thomas Titus responded to consumers’ desire for lean pork products through improvements in animal feed and farming practices. This resulted in seven common cuts of pork that are 16 percent leaner than they were 20 years ago.
So, if you’re looking for lean, take a break from skinless chicken breast and give pork a try!
Loin = lean
One of the easiest ways to remember lean cuts of pork is to look for the word “loin” in the name, such as pork tenderloin. The loin is the muscle along the back of a pig behind the ribs. Any kind of pork chop is also a lean choice because chops are made by cutting the loin into slices.
Pork tenderloin, for example, is just as lean as skinless chicken breast and meets the guidelines for “extra lean.” In total, six pork cuts meet the USDA guidelines for “lean,” with less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving. Learn more about different cuts here.
Packed with nutrients
Pork isn’t just lean, it’s also an excellent source of nutrients important to our health, such as thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus and protein, and it’s a good source of zinc and potassium. In fact, a 3-ounce serving of pork provides you with 54 percent of your daily value of thiamin! The key vitamin helps with your metabolism.
Pork is naturally low in sodium and a good source of potassium – two nutrients that, together, can help regulate blood pressure. Pork tenderloin is certified as heart healthy by the American Heart Association with its Heart-Check mark, indicating that it contains, among other criteria:
6.5 grams or less of total fat
1 gram or less of saturated fat
480 milligrams or less of sodium per label serving
If you’re looking for a lean, healthy meal, give pork a try! Check out some yummy recipes below to try tonight.
Photo courtesy of the National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff.