Is Pork Healthier than Beef?

We know that limiting our intake of red meat can provide some great health benefits, but is pork really a smarter beef alternative?

When people think pork, fatty bacon and glistening BBQ ribs often come to mind. It’s true that these cuts are high in saturated fat – and that, according to the World Health Organization, the American Dietetic Association, American Heart Association and others, saturated fat is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. But other cuts of pork meat, such as tenderloin or center-cut chops, are much leaner.

To compare apples to apples, let’s look at the nutritional differences between a pork tenderloin and a top sirloin (one of the leanest beef cuts available). In an 8-ounce serving, pork has 50 fewer calories, nearly half the fat and saturated fat content and a similar amount of protein.

If you look at 8 ounces of 90% ground beef, the differences become even more dramatic. When compared to pork, the ground beef has 233 additional calories and 5x the amount of total fat and saturated fat.

Moreover, pork manufacturers are responding to consumer dietary trends by breading leaner pork. Today’s pork is leaner than ever – and its reputation is slowly changing. In fact, pork is sometimes even referred to by nutritionists and dieticians as “the other white meat.”

The bottom line: For health-conscious carnivores, lean cuts of pork can be a smarter alternative to red meat.

Are you a pork fan? Let me know in the comments below! Personally, I love pork! But I only eat pork when I’m able to buy cuts from humanely raised animals.

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Comments

  1. Pork tenderloin has been one of my favorite cuts of meat since I was a child. There are endless ways to prepare it, and I’ve found it easier to make than chicken breast. Chicken is easy to make but even easier to overcook, leaving it dry and often unpallatable. Somehow, even when I think I’ve overcooked it and it’ll be dry as hell, the tenderloin comes out juicy and perfect.

    And like this post mentions, pork being “the other white meat” makes it an appropriate, high-protein alternative to chicken breast, and everyone loves options when it comes to their meat.

    Try cooking with a nice pork rub you can buy at the grocery, slice yams or sweet potatoes, and bake it all in the same pan. Delectable.

  2. Pork grosses me out :S

  3. In some countries they add growth hormone in the porks food and other animals as well, I can not imagine that is healthy for any of us because of the vital clean food contains more minerals, in some countries they also fills the meat with glucose water after the animal is slaughtered and divided to increase the weight, glucose is pure sugar.

    I belive healty food is when you know that the meat is clean and you make the food from scratch with no artificial additives and ofcourse you choose the healthiest meat on the animal with the least fat.

    In the U.S. is the bad food cheapest and the most healty food is the most expensive,
    lucky as I am, I live in the richest country in the world and here it is the opposite, healthy food is cheap and unhealthy food is expensive, but that dosent make us any better, it all comes to the choice we make. Its easy to buy process and pre-cooked food because we do not take the time to make the food our self and to think about our health in a busy day, it’s all about priorities.

    This is a litle of topic but i think it is importen, i rather work less to have the time to take care of my health and the time to make my own food, at least i know its healty and gives me the right amount of what i need to survive.

    Finally a big thanks to Davey for his good advice on this topic, it makes my day to see all your channels, videos and blogs. Im your number one platinum fan:)

  4. As my mother sadly points out, the new ‘heart-smart’ lean pork is a faint reflection of the succulent pork roasts of her youth. Seasoned with rosemary, surrounded by apples and onions, and and cooked on a bed of sauerkraut!

    Humans were meant to eat fat. If we don’t eat it, our bodies are perfectly capable of making it. In fact, absence of dietary fat only revs up our ability to make our own. Do cows eat fat? No, they (ideally) eat grass. Does grass have fat? No. Do cows have fat? I refer you to that beautifully marbled T-bone mentioned above.

    Recent research suggests that the saturated meat fats have been unduly villainized. It’s animal fat, just like our own. That foul-tasting canola oil, on the other hand . . . you were never meant to eat that!

    I guess the point of my little screed is that the amount of fat in a moderate portion of rib-eye or fresh ham isn’t going to put me into cardiac arrest or break my scale. For (other) health and ethical reasons, I limit my meat intake to two 8 oz portions/week. I’m going to want it to taste good.

  5. I suppose another relevant question might be how pork compares to a variety of vegetarian protein sources. I’d be quite interested to know that.

  6. christopher says:

    seems to be many lean cuts of pork.beef needs to be raised lean.maybe grass fed beef would yield leaner beef.but it must cost higher to produce.

  7. Popular marketing campaigns aside, pork is actually a red meat. Whether it’s healthier or not can be debated, but it is still a red meat.

  8. There is a theory that pork fat is actually harder for the human body to digest,but moderation and diversity in diet are just as important.

  9. Muslims and some jews don’t know what they are missing because pork is not allowed in their ideology. sad♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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