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  • Real Pork Trust Consortium

Lean Pork Matches Up Well Against Both Beef and Chicken

Lean Pork as a healthy source of protien
Courtesy of the National Pork Board, Des Moines, Iowa

Under the guidance of Dr. Nicholas Gabler, Professor of Swine Nutrition at Iowa State University, Mitch Nisley, Ph.D. student at Iowa State University, summarized this peer-reviewed journal article by Karen J. Murphey and her research colleagues. The research findings discuss how consuming different types of lean meat affects the human body.

Major Finding

Lean meat, like pork, is crucial for essential nutrients such as protein, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B12, and zinc. Over a 6-month period, 75 participants focused on diets centered around pork, beef, or chicken to assess the impact on their health.

Those who primarily consumed lean pork had comparable calorie and nutrient intake to participants opting for beef and chicken, with the exception of higher zinc intake in the beef-consuming group. There were no significant changes in physical activity levels observed between groups. There were no notable differences in measures of body fat or lean mass between groups. The pork group even showed a slight reduction in waist-hip ratio compared to the beef group. This suggests that lean pork can offer similar health benefits and nutrition as other meats.


Why It Matters

What you eat and your overall eating habits play a crucial role in impacting obesity and cardiovascular disease indices. Surprisingly, there's a misconception about pork being an unhealthy dietary choice.

Substantial research indicates that incorporating sufficient amounts of lean meat into your overall diet can enhance body composition and health. This research shows that including lean pork in your diet can have similar health outcomes as beef and chicken, challenging the idea that pork is less nutritious.


How the Research Was Conducted

People who traditionally didn't eat much pork were part of a 6-month study. They were divided into groups: one ate pork, one ate beef, and one ate chicken. The goal was to see how these meats affected their health. Participants got meals with their assigned meat and were asked to include them in their regular diet. Measurements were taken at the beginning of the study, after 3 months, and after 6 months to see any changes in their body composition and habits. The results were compared between the groups to understand the impact of each meat on health.

Learn More

To learn more about this study and how consuming different types of protein influences human health read the full peer-reviewed journal article.

Lean Pork Matches Up Well Against Both Beef and Chicken
Download PDF • 208KB


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