Now here’s a tasty little morsel for your next dinner party: did you know the word “meat” comes from the Old English word “mete“, which referred to food in general?
But as us modern meat lovers know, even though a meal just doesn’t seem complete without meat – it really doesn’t! – meat forms part of a healthy diet. (Someone probably should have given the Old English folk a heads’ up there.)
Not only that, but the kind of meat you choose to eat regularly, matters. The best kind of meat is, or course, lean meat.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend we eat 1-3 serves of lean meat or other healthy protein source every day. Many Australians still have too much red meat in their diets, while other don’t have enough.
The good news is, pork can absolutely be part of a balanced, healthy diet. Pork is full of important vitamins and minerals that our bodies need, as well as support the growth and maintenance of muscles.
Let’s unpack the health benefits of eating pork, shall we?
- The Vitamins and Minerals Pork Provides
Known as the “other white meat”, lean, trimmed pork is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12 and iron, as well as zinc and omega-3s. The leanest pork cuts tend to come from the loin, fillet and the leg, particularly when trimmed of excess fat.
Pork is also a great source of vitamins and minerals like phosphorus, selenium, and thiamine, which helps the body generate energy from nutrients.
Pork actually contains more thiamine than other red meats like beef and lamb.
- Impact on Muscle Development and Maintenance
Eaten as part of a balanced, healthy diet, pork can also help to support muscle growth and development.
The high-quality proteins found in lean pork contain amino acids which act as building blocks for replenishing muscle tissue.
As we get older, our muscles naturally deteriorate, which in extreme cases can lead to conditions like sarcopenia, a form of accelerated muscle degeneration.
Including a high-quality protein like lean pork in your diet can help to ward off or even reverse the effects of conditions like sarcopenia. Lean pork can also help to maintain and support the healthy growth of muscle tissues.
Pass us another pork chop please!
- Improved Physical Performance
Pork also contains the amino acid beta-alanine, which helps your body to produce a compound called carnosine, which is vital for healthy muscle function.
Beta-alanine is commonly taken for improving physical performance and contributing to building lean muscle mass. In fact, studies suggest that high doses of beta-alanine supplements taken for one to two months can lead to a significant increase in carnosine levels in muscles.
Carnosine is widely used as an exercise and performance enhancer in the sports world, with studies showing a positive impact on energy levels and calcium metabolism.
So, next time you’re thinking about what “mete” to cook with your dinner, add more than just variety to your diet with pork! Conveniently, you can pick up a perfectly cooked Hot Roast Pork with Crackle any time you like at your nearest Coles supermarket deli!
Remember, as our friends at Australian Pork say, get some pork on your fork!