Pork: Good or Bad?

by in Healthy Tips, June 8, 2009

pork tenderloin
We stirred up some controversy recently when we included pork on our list of energy-boosting foods. Some of you questioned whether it was healthy or safe to eat. So you can make your own decision, we thought we’d share pork’s nutrition facts. Is it really the “other white meat”?

Trimming the Fat
If you’re looking for the healthiest pork options, you want lean cuts — tenderloin, loin chops and sirloin roast. Bacon and other fatty cuts are very high in artery-clogging saturated fat and cholesterol and not for everyday eating. Baked ham and lunch meat fall somewhere in the middle when it comes to fat and calories. Just like with other meats, pork is safe when cooked to the proper internal temperature (it’s 160F for pork).

Some folks are conscientious of the environmental impact of meats they eat. If that’s you, look for local and free-range purveyors of pork products — just like you would for chicken and beef. Local or free-range products may have a higher price tag, but you can offset the cost in other ways like committing to a meatless day once a week.

Nutrition Facts
Lean cuts of pork are high in protein, low in fat and have more B-vitamins (thiamin, niacin, B6 and B12) than many other types of meat. These vitamins play a role in a variety of body functions, including metabolism and energy production (that’s why we had it on our “energizing foods” list). For some perspective, let’s compare 3 ounces of cooked pork tenderloin to the same amount of cooked chicken breast — as you’ll see, they aren’t all that different:

Pork Tenderloin
Calories: 96 calories
Total Fat: 3 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Cholesterol: 48 milligrams
Protein: 18 grams
Iron 6%
Thiamin 45%
Niacin 30%
B6 27%
B12 6%

Pork also contains healthy doses of zinc and selenium.

Chicken Breast
Calories: 142 calories
Total Fat: 3 grams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Cholesterol: 73 milligrams
Protein: 27 grams
Iron 5%
Thiamin 4%
Niacin 59%
B6 26%
B12 5%

Chicken is also a good source of selenium.

Of course, what you choose to eat is always a personal decision. If you’re a pork fan, below is a collection of recipes you might want to try. If not, check out alternative meats like bison, which is also lean, or consider a more vegetarian-focused diet.

Pork recipes to try:

TELL US: Where do you stand on the pork debate?

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Comments (131)

  1. Scott Scheidt says:

    Moderation in everything including moderation.

  2. Maria says:

    Who want to eat a scavenger like pigs when there are so many other choices in the meat shelves at the local grossery?
    To eat pork you can likely eat rats and lizzards and other creepy animals they also are full of worms and viruses not healthy for us as humans. We become what we eat, remember that!!! And the last but not least, what we eat also effect our soul so to maintain a good body and soul we have to eat clean and healthy food.

  3. Sandra says:

    A chicken will eat anything it can get its beak on including each other. I eat both pork and chicken. the doctor tells me I am one of healthest 67 year olds he knows.

    • Jackie says:

      Read Isaiah Chap56 & 66 and see what GOD says instead of what your doctor says.
      And chicken is a kosher animal,therefore does not eat garbage like you proclaim.
      When chicken are cooped up, they will do this out of anger AND DESPAIR…
      THEY MUST BE FREE RANGE.

      Oh…but wait a minute – maybe you're one of those fiesty ones who don't give a hoot what GOD says anyway. Good luck lady.

  4. Dave says:

    Chickens are more of a scavenger than a pig. That is why farmers that have cows and chickens always feed the cows corn so that the chickens can eat the corn out of the feces.

  5. Josh2005 says:

    To all those who are discussing pork with regard to Old Testament dietary laws:

    There were three types of laws given in the Old Testament. There were civic laws, which applied only to that particular society and governed things like civil regulations and punishments for the Hebrew community. There were ceremonial laws, which were not based on morality but on the symbolism of cleanliness and sacrifice to prepare the Jews for the coming of the Messiah. And there were moral laws, such as the Ten Commandments, which are meant for all people in all cultures at all times.

    The dietary laws did not and do not apply to Christians. They are ritualistic and ceremonial, not moral. Paul discusses this at length in the book of Romans. Remember how Paul told the Gentiles that they didn’t have to be circumcised? It’s the exact same thing. People need to understand that it is sensible and acceptable for Christians to observe the moral laws given in the Bible (don’t lie, kill, steal, or commit adultery, incest, homosexuality, etc.) but to ignore the purely ceremonial laws (such as not mixing milk and meat, and not planting two different crops in the same field). So if you want to eat pork, eat pork. The end.

  6. SMARTY PANTS! says:

    Okay pork is bad for you even if you cut the skin and all that it is bad coz they take a bath in thair crap and some times they eat it!
    so think about it if u like pork..
    you like pigs crap!

    • lisa says:

      Rabbits eat their own poop as well… People have no problem eating them. Actually, it's necessary for rabbits to eat their pellets (poop) because when there is still some nutritional value to be had for the soft bits.

    • Mimi says:

      Fish, chickens, and pigs eat poop yes, but plants are also fertilized with shit so if we were to go by your logic everyone likes shit.

    • Gloria says:

      You are so wrong!! We raised pigs and they are one of the cleanest animals. They have an area where they go to the bathroom and that's all it's used for. They love to play in the mud and there is a lot of goodness in the soil. Pork is good for you!!! I eat a lot of it, I am 72 and all I eat is fish, chicken and pork. Beef is one meat you should stay away from. It sounds to me that you listen to people that don't know what they are talking about. THEY NEVER EAT THIER OWN CRAP!!!!!!! Where did you hear that from???

  7. carljay says:

    I really really wish I was crazy enough to buy into religion and say that pork is bad, but I'm just not that crazy yet. Maybe if I am sent off to a christian relearning camp I can become as ignorant as several of the posters above me. Until then

  8. chrissy says:

    im not really sure why its even a big deal… if you want to, eat it if you dont, dont. leave the chefs alone… just cause they post a recepie doesnt mean you have to make it. I don't eat any kind of cow meat you dont hear me on here telling them how bad they are for putting up recepies i dont like.

  9. Jean says:

    this comment is for carlijay.

    dont judge the christian faith on what you hear on the web. some people are too depentant on religion, all you really need is to have a relationship with Jesus, i dont think he really minds about what you eat.

    In Mark &:18-19 it says: "Are you so dull?" He asked. "Dont you see that nothing that enters the person from the outside can defile them? For it does not go into their heart but into their body." ( in saying this Jesus declared all foods clean.)

  10. rollins de guzman says:

    old testament says do not eat pork is unclean..the new testament i s lies!!!!!!!

    • Jackie says:

      New Testament did not cancel Torah. Xtians did! They misinterpret what Rav Sha'ul (Paul of Tarsus) said. Misconstrued because the Greeks stole our ancient writings and added their own pagan beliefs,i.e. Xmas/Easter…YESHUA (they call Jesus) said in Mathew 5…"I did not come to cancel TORAH…but to fulfill it". Xtianity is a big false religion and not based on Torah.

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