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 (139)

  1. 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.

  2. and that i Nonetheless laugh hysterically every time I watch it! God Bless you each!

  3. akbraxton says:

    I've created great Southern Collard Greens using smoke ham hocks. Check it out at the HOMEBOY'S COOKIN' SHOW.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsYbax4VlUQ

  4. Vegan <3 says:

    Don't eat meat at all!! "Want to live a long life,don't feed your body death"

  5. Enlightened says:

    I refuse to listen to advise from a people who at their time thought the world was flat!

  6. David says:

    Mr. unblind or Ms. idk… you of course are entitled to believe what you believe and that's your choice, but please let me state that the Bible listed many theories that have been proven. Theories such as: the Earth is round, it hangs in space on nothing, that everything is made up of things we can't see (atoms), stars sing (emit radio waves), air cycle, water cycle and many many more. I believe that Jesus is the Messiah and my Savior, but you have your choice. When you arrive at judgement day though, you won't have an excuse and won't be able to say "I didn't know". And concerning pork, the Bible says in Romans 14 " Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food." and then later "So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God." So if you eat pork that's between you and God, if you don't eat pork, it's between you and God. And who am I to tell you what you can and cannot eat?

  7. Maasie says:

    Moderation of anything is the key.

  8. @punk_fx says:

    The bible should not tell you what to do! You going to go out stone some children for speaking ill of their parents now! Pork is good!

  9. kostya says:

    That book, mr. UnBlind, has shown itself very wise in many areas of human life. Its counsel reveals the knowledge much deeper than the surface, it works fine when applied. So when it says something on the food you eat, there must be reason. Sure enough, just "clinging" to it works no miracles, ha-ha.
    But what wisdom does your comment reveal? That you think other people are stupid and you're that one wise person among them. Not a very good start, eh?
    …OK, since you're talking statistics. The historical evidence is that Jews had a much longer average life span than the neighbouring nations. Among other things like prescribed self-cleanness, the DIET was one other thing that differed. So scientists studying the texts of the Old Testament just marvel at how simple and effective those health prescriptions were. And those same scientists find many reasons why pork must have been pronounced "unclean" back then.
    Today we have refrigerators, we have diagnostics, we know about bacteria as well as many other things unknown back then. But we don't know better counsel on human relations yet, than the one given in that book. It still works best when you care to study it, understand and apply — given that your intentions are good.
    So it ISN'T telling you what you should think. It gives you facts to consider, such as science can't give you. That's only fair and you must be thankful.
    But in any case the decision is yours, mr. UNblind.

  10. Elvis says:

    Speaking of old traditions, the Arabs used only their right hand to eat with. Why? because they reached into the bowl of food that their fellow companions reached into to get their food, and the right hand was reserved as the clean hand. This was back in the ancient days of living in the desert with scarce water resources (they weren't washing their hands with water to clean them). The left hand was used for unclean things (like wiping one's butt after going to the bathroom). That was then, not now (technology has changed, water is much more abundant for washing oneself with, along with soap).

    Likewise with pork. In the ancient times pigs were scavengers and ate anything. By doing this they picked up worms and diseases (like trichina worms). They also needed a wet environment to live in (therefore they were competing with humans for water). Raising pigs was not suitable for a desert climate.

    Today, pigs are raised on pig farms and fed regular dietary food. They are not scavenging and eating whatever they find. They live in a wet, muddy environment to keep their skin moist because it can dry out without the wet, muddy environment. The mud also helps protect their skin from sunburn.

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