March is National Nutrition Month, and the Pork Checkoff is aligning with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to inspire consumers to “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day.”
“By choosing nutrient-rich foods like pork, health professionals can help clients focus on what to eat, not what to avoid,” says Adria Sheil-Brown, manager of nutrition communications and research for the Pork Checkoff. “This is a positive way to help build overall healthier eating habits and meet individualized nutrient needs over a lifespan.”
Pork packs a nutrient punch in every lean serving, adds Sheil-Brown, who notes that health professionals are often surprised to learn that pork tenderloin is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast.
The Pork Checkoff’s latest “Healthy Headlines” e-newsletter for health and nutrition professionals notes that a three-ounce serving of pork tenderloin is also an excellent source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, selenium and niacin, and a good source of potassium, riboflavin, choline and zinc, yet contributes only 6 percent of calories to a 2,000 calorie diet.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase lean pork and its nutrient density while highlighting the latest published nutrition research,” says Sheil-Brown, who notes that seven of the most common cuts of pork have, on average, 16 percent less fat and 27 percent less saturated fat than 21 years ago.
Serving food for thought
In “Healthy Headlines,” the Pork Checkoff has compiled a list of helpful tips that dietitians and other health professionals can deliver to their clients who are looking to hit the healthy stride in 2013 while including lean pork in their diets.
• Make it count with breakfast. Research shows eating high quality protein foods like lean Canadian bacon resulted in a greater sense of fullness throughout the day compared to eating additional protein calories at lunch or dinner. To offer a new breakfast option, the Pork Checkoff’s latest “Healthy Headlines” e-newsletter for health and nutrition professionals promotes the recipe for Baked Egg and Canadian Bacon, Tomato and Potatoes.
• Enjoy three daily meals with protein. Including lean pork or other lean proteins in three daily meals rather than six mini-meals resulted in improved satiety throughout the day. Feeling full throughout the day may lead to an overall calorie reduction, reports the journal of Obesity. The Pork Checkoff is encouraging people to add more zest to lean pork with Chili Rubbed Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Ginger Glaze.
• Preserve lean body mass while dieting. A study from the journal of Obesity found that including protein from lean sources of pork could help preserve muscle mass while dieting to lose weight. Results showed that a reduced-calorie diet with a higher but healthy amount of protein - about 30 percent of total calories including 6 ounces of pork on average per day - helped overweight women preserve more lean mass while losing weight compared to women who ate the same calorie amount but less protein. For an easy, nutritious way to revamp the traditional meal of meat and vegetables, the Pork Checkoff is encouraging health professionals to promote a simple recipe for Deluxe Pork Stir Fry.
“Pork can put people on the path to a healthier lifestyle,” Sheil-Brown says. “To help spread the word, we’re encouraging health and nutrition professionals to visit PorkandHealth.org and PorkBeInspired.com for more delicious recipes geared towards today’s busy families.”