Pork Health Benefits:
- Although some pork products are high in saturated fat, trimmed, lean pork is close to skinless poultry in its fat and calorie content.
- Fresh, lean pork is a good source of high-quality protein.
- Ham and bacon have high levels of vitamin C, which is added as a preservative.
- Lean meat has low calories. A 3-ounce serving of lean roast pork has 185 calories. A typical pork chop, with the fat cut off, contains about 0.3 oz (8 g) of fat.
- Meat contains the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin; and a few minerals, such as calcium, potassium, and iron.
- Nitrites in cured pork products form cancer-promoting nitrosamines. The pink color of cured pork is due to nitrites, which are used to inhibit bacterial growth and preserve flavor. Cured meats, however, supply only about 20 percent of the nitrites that form nitrosamines; the rest come from related compounds in plants. A recent 10-year study, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), found that people red meat a week are more likely to develop colon cancer than people who don’t.
- Salt cured pork products like ham and bacon are extremely high in sodium and should be avoided by people on low-salt diets
- Undercooked pork may carry parasites.
- Pork has a higher proportion of unsaturated fats than other meats; its cholesterol content is also high: 80mg in a 3-ounce pork chop and 100mg in 3 ounces of spare ribs.
Many of us overlooked at the importance of organ meats (liver, heart, tongue, kidneys, brains and intestines) in our diet. Did you know that most predatory animals instinctively eat the organ meats from their kill before moving to the muscle meats? What do the animals know instinctively? They know that the organs contained some of the most concentrated sources of nutrients and were the most important part of the animal to eat. Compared to regular cuts of muscle meat, organ meats are more densely packed with just about every nutrient, including heavy doses of B vitamins such as: B1, B2, B6, folic acid and vitamin B12. Organ meats are also loaded with minerals like phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium and iodine, and provide the important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Brains are higher in cholesterol than any other food; a 4-ounce serving of beef brains has more than 2,000 mg, and pork brains contain an even larger amount. On the plus side, they are an excellent source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 helps alleviate fatigue, increase mental ability, beneficial in nerve’s health, and depression, as well as helps prevent anemia.
- Liver is known to be one of the most concentrated sources of natural vitamin A of any foods. Natural vitamin A works to aid digestion, keeps sex organs/reproductive organs healthy, and is a powerful antioxidant in the body. A 4-ounce serving of beef liver provides more than 10 times the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin A.
- Good source of vitamin B12. Liver contains 35 to 50 times (depending upon how it’s prepared) the RDA of vitamin B12.
- Iron and zinc. Liver contains 100% or more than 50% of the RDA’s for iron and zinc. Iron is necessary for many functions in the body including formation of hemoglobin, brain development and function, regulation of body temperature, muscle activity
- Liver is a great source of folic acid which is important for brain development and function.
- Liver contains many nitrogen-containing compounds that are building blocks for DNA & RNA. In combination with the B vitamins, this makes it extremely helpful to people with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia.
- Heart provides high-quality protein and less fat and cholesterol than other organ meats.
- The heart is a very concentrated source of CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is necessary for the basic functioning of cells, as well as optimizing the heart’s rhythm. CoQ10 levels are reported to decrease with age and to be lower in some patients with some chronic diseases such as heart conditions, muscular dystrophies, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV / AIDS.
- The heart also contains twice as much collagen and elastin than regular meat, which is good for the skin and connective tissue, and actually helps prevent wrinkling and aging.
- Heart is high in vitamin B12, iron, and potassium; in addition, also contains Selenium, Phosphorus & Zinc, along with essential amino acids that help build muscle, store energy and boost stamina and endurance.
Kidneys are low in fat and high in protein. They provide large amounts of vitamin B12, riboflavin, and iron, and they supply useful amounts of B6, folate and niacin.
Tongue contains useful amounts of most of the B vitamins, especially B12.
Tripe provides high-quality protein, a fair amount of potassium, and small amounts of minerals.
Cooking Tip: Heart muscle meat is a bit tougher than other meats, but marinating the meat in an acidic-based marinade helps to tenderize it and add delicious flavor as well.
- Most organ meats are high in cholesterol.
- The liver may harbor toxins from drugs or other chemicals so the best choice for liver is the grass fed kind, without added antibiotic or hormones.
- Excessive liver consumption can cause a buildup of vitamin A. Add liver in your regular diet at least once a week if possible for maximum benefit of its high levels of nutrients.