Meat

Health Benefits of Pork

The pig is the animal that has the reputation of having the fattest meat of all. This is one of the reasons that make her fall victim to the prejudice of some people, who avoid her in the belief that, due to excess fat, it is not good for health. However, as we will see, it all depends on the cut consumed (some, believe me, are less caloric than beef or chicken cuts!), and how it is prepared.

Another important issue against pork is that, for much of the history of domestication of the pig, it was raised in an unhygienic way in fetid pigsties, eating any leftover food that it saw, which made the contamination of its meat by viruses or lethal bacteria much easier than with other types of breeding.

Today, however, they are raised in cleaner facilities, and receive specialized feed, based on cereals such as wheat, barley, corn and soy bran, which even lowers their fat and cholesterol content, making this meat very healthier than it was 20 years ago. Thus, a pig that is raised in this way is technically called a “pig”, which indicates that it is a pig with lower fat content and more lean body mass.

Here, in this text, we will see the properties of pork, its harmful effects, how to make healthy pork and some pork recipes. Keep reading!

PORK BENEFITS

Pork is a great source of protein, along with beef, with the detail that some of its cuts contain more protein and less fat, which does not happen with beef or chicken, commonly taken as protein options more healthy. In addition, it also contains a wide variety of vitamins, check this out:

  • B1 (thiacin): is the most abundant vitamin in pork, acts on the nervous system, energy metabolism and improves appetite.
  • B3 (niacin) : among other functions, it works to improve the digestive system, for example by burning fat.
  • Iron : is important for the transport of oxygen between blood and cells. Its lack in the body causes anemia and fatigue.
  • Selenium : has antioxidant functions, that is, it renews cells and free radical fights, which slow down the organism’s aging and, thus, the appearance of various diseases.
  • Potassium : performs functions in various systems: strengthens bones and teeth, prevents high blood pressure, preventing cardiovascular diseases, works on the functioning of the kidneys and nervous system, etc.
  • Zinc : mineral responsible for the growth of our body, which makes it important since pregnancy. It also has antioxidant functions.
  • Leucine , lysine and valine: amino acids (components of a protein) that strengthen the immune system.
  • Biological value : protein responsible for our weight, therefore important in the growth of our body.

PORK FAT

The issue of fat in pork is complex, especially when compared to other animals – in general, this comparison is usually made with beef and chicken. Pork as a whole still has more fat and calories than these other animals

However, when you consider the cuts rather than the whole, the leaner options – loin, shank and filet mignon – are less greasy than beef and skinned chicken cuts. In addition, there are nutritionists who argue that the unsaturated fat found in pork is even healthier than that found in beef, helping to reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body.

Therefore, it can be considered a healthy option to alternate with beef, chicken and other proteins. Even on the menu of those who diet to lose weight, improve sports performance or develop muscle and lean mass, because:

  • as it takes time to be digested, it prolongs the feeling of satiety, postponing the next meal, or making it more frugal;
  • contains vitamins that improve mood and physical disposition and alleviate tiredness;
  • contains proteins that work on muscle development and regeneration.

WHEN PORK IS BAD

Even so, it’s good to keep in mind: like other meats, it’s not good to eat too often in large quantities. In excess, the saturated fat present in pork clogs arteries and increases the pressure, increasing the risk of cardiovascular problems, especially if the cuts are fatter, such as bacon, ribs, tail, knee and ear, or if they are deep fried of Oil.

It’s also important to know where the pork you’re buying comes from. At the very least, check if the commercial establishment has updated certification in the Ministry of Health. Because, if the pig was not raised according to the precautions listed above, its meat may be contaminated with agents that transmit diseases such as cysticercosis, taeniasis, salmonella, among others, that cause serious physical and mental problems and can lead to death. Or it could be that it contains growth hormones, which are a risk factor for cancer.

In addition, the pig is one of the most used animals in the ultra-processed food industry, that is, sausages, such as sausage, salami, sausage, mortadella, ham, etc. The main problem with these foods is the excessive use of artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, to make their appearance, smell and taste more attractive and increase their shelf life – it has been proven that some of these products, such as nitrite and nitrate, can cause cancer if consumed too often. And the other chemical processes they go through destroy their original nutrients, that is, they are foods that do not feed, but inject a lot of extremely harmful products into the body.

HOW TO MAKE PORK

Even if you are sure of the good origin of the pork you are consuming, do not eat it raw or rare, as there is always a risk of contamination. The ideal is to cook it (between 70 and 90ºC), roast or grill it. It is important that it goes through both cold and heat, to eliminate pathogens, so:

  • if you are going to make it on the same day of purchase, season it and store it in the fridge (leave it to marinate, which also makes it softer);
  • if it takes time to prepare, store it in the freezer and season when removing it.

PORK RECIPES

Pork is extremely versatile in the kitchen and can be either a main dish or a side dish. Goes well with sweet sauces, such as fruit, especially if they are citrus, and a portion of other seasonings – the secret is to marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge before starting to prepare it, so that the meat catches the I like the seasoning and it gets softer. As it must be cooked well, it may require a little more work. Let’s go to recipes.

COOKED PORK MEAT

Ingredients :

  • 1 kg of pork;
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic, salt, black pepper and green scent to taste;
  • 2 tablespoons of oil or olive oil;
  • 6 small whole onions.

Preparation mode:

  • Cut the meat into regular pieces.
  • Season the meat with salt, garlic, pepper and green scent.
  • Let it taste for half an hour.
  • Heat the oil or olive oil in a skillet, place the meat and fry until golden.
  • Add the whole onions, cover the pan and cook over low heat. Gradually add hot water to make the meat tender.

ROASTED PORK

Ingredients :

  •  250 grams of pork loin;
  • 1 lemon juice;
  • 1 clove of garlic;
  • 1 tablespoon of honey;
  • 1 coffee spoon of dried thyme;
  • 20 ml of olive oil;
  • 1 puff of salt;
  • 1 pinch of black pepper.

Way of doing:

  • For the sauce, add honey, lemon juice, chopped garlic and thyme in a bowl, mixing these ingredients well.
  • Season pork with salt and pepper and seal in a pan with a little olive oil. With a brush, add the mixture from the previous step and put the meat in the oven at a temperature of 200 °C for about 45 minutes.
  • Once the meat is ready, let it sit for a while for the juices to settle, and cut it into pieces. Serves with a nice green salad and roasted potatoes.
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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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