Pork is an “excellent” source of nutrients important to our health such as thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus and protein and a “good” source of zinc and potassium
Learn how nutrients affects your health as well as the percent Daily Values on food labels. They tell us how much of various nutrients we should consume each day. The following information is based on a 3-ounce serving of pork. As you can see, these key nutrients make pork a nutrient-dense food.
Pork Provides Key Nutrients:
- Iron: Getting enough iron is a problem for some women, especially women of child-bearing age. Heme iron (found in meat) is absorbed more readily than nonheme iron (found in plant-based foods). Thus, anyone who avoids meat without the help of their health professional may increase their risk of iron-deficiency anemia.
- Magnesium: Important for the normal function of many enzymes (catalysts for the body’s chemical reactors), glucose and muscle action.
- Phosphorous: Strengthens bones and generates energy in cells.
- Potassium: This mineral, also known as an electrolyte, plays a major role in water balance and helps maintain normal blood pressure.
- Zinc: A component of more than 70 enzymes, zinc is a key player in energy metabolism and the immune system.
- Thiamin: Without this key vitamin, metabolism of carbohydrate, protein and fat would be significantly compromised. Animal protein is one of the best sources of this nutrient, and among the choices, pork is tops.
- Riboflavin: Next to milk, few foods have as much riboflavin per serving as pork. Riboflavin has an important role in the release of energy from foods.
- Niacin: Important for the normal function of many enzymes in the body and involved in the metabolism of sugars and fatty acids.
- Vitamin B12: Helps build red blood cells and metabolize carbohydrates and fats.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Important for the normal function of enzymes and co-enzymes, which are needed to metabolize protein, carbohydrates and fats. In addition, it plays a critical role in the regulation of glycogen (stored carbohydrates) metabolism.
Based on 3-ounce cooked servings (roasted or broiled), visible fat and skin trimmed after cooking.
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, 2012.
Lean: Less than 10 grams total fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams cholesterol per serving.
Extra Lean: Less than 5 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams cholesterol per serving.