Pork Packs A Nutrient Punch
Did you know that many cuts of pork are as lean as skinless chicken? It’s true! You may assume that any meat that comes from a pig has to be unhealthy but this is not always the case. In fact, according to the National Pork Board, through changes in feeding and breeding techniques, today's pork has 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat as compared to pork from two decades ago. Pork also provides many important nutrients. Each serving provides an “excellent” source of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus and protein and a “good” source of zinc and potassium.
To maximize nutrition when selecting and preparing pork for your family, follow these tips:
- Choose lean cuts- When buying pork, choose cuts that include the word “loin” as these tend to be leaner and lower in fat. Popular lean choices include pork tenderloin and top, center and loin rib chops. Also look for cuts with minimal visible fat.
- Be conscious of your cooking methods: Rather than frying, choose cooking methods that require little to no added fat such as grilling, roasting or broiling. Also, trim away visible fat from pork before cooking and drain any fat that appears while cooking.
- Be smart about serving size: Recommended serving amounts from the Protein Foods group vary depending on your age, gender and activity level but most of us need around 5-6 ounces per day. A good way to judge your serving of pork is to compare it to a deck of cards, which is about the size of 3 ounces of meat. This may seem small, but remember that in addition to meat, your plate should be filled with other nutrient rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy foods.