There’s a lot of big, juicy news as national media outlets feature pork as the meat of choice for everything from grilling to light, healthy eating.
“Pork is a nutrient-packed powerhouse that does double-duty to keep pace with today’s busy families,” says Adria Sheil-Brown, manager of nutrition communications and research for the Pork Checkoff. “It’s also generating a lot of buzz online.”
In recent weeks:
• Men’sHeath.com highlighted two cuts of pork for its “10 Foods Every Man Must Grill,” championing bacon and pork shoulder.
• EatinWell.com posted a blog about “The secret to cooking juicy pork chops without the fat.” The blog’s author was careful to note pork should be cooked to 145 degrees for best results.
• The Sunday Strategist for CookingLight.com put pork on the list of her recommended menus by featuring grilled pork chops and nectarines for a Thursday night main course.
Serving Food for Thought
Pork also can play a key role in a healthy diet throughout the day, says Sheil-Brown, who notes that people are often surprised to learn that pork tenderloin is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast.
Recent research shows that pork:
• Curbs late-night munchies. Including lean pork or other proteins in three daily meals reduced late-night desires to eat and decreased distracting thoughts about food, both of which derail dieters if left unchecked.
• Helps fill you up.
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
• Preserves lean body mass.
A study from the journal of Obesity found that including protein from lean sources of pork could help preserve muscle mass while people are 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 with 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 recommends 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 consumers, as well as health and nutrition professionals, to visit PorkandHealth.org or PorkBeInspired.com for more delicious recipes.”