If there is one protein source that gets a bad rap, and unjustifiably so, it is pork.
Pork vs. Beef Here is a chart – a tale of the tape, if you will – that compares the nutritional values of 8 ounces of pork tenderloin and 8 ounces of top sirloin (beef). As you can see, pork more than holds its own against another of my favorite sources of protein.
At some point, pork garnered a bad reputation for being fatty. Certainly, some cuts, such as ribs and bacon, are full of fat. But others, such as tenderloin and center-cut chops, are pretty lean. This is partly because pork farmers have responded to dietary trends by breeding leaner pork.
In fact, in 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a study to re-evaluate pork’s macronutrients, and it found that while protein content had remained the same, the fat content of eight cuts of pork was significantly lower.
In addition, the National Pork Board reports that some cuts are 16% lower in total fat and 27% lower in saturated fat. Tenderloin in particular has half the total fat of top sirloin, one of the leanest cuts of beef.
Equally important, however, is the type of fat in pork. While we all know that beef is relatively high in saturated fat – which has been linked to cardiovascular disease in sedentary people – the majority of fat in pork is mono-unsaturated. That is good for a few reasons.
For one, monounsaturated fats – also found in olive oil, nuts and avocados – have been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. They are also more likely to be used by the body as fuel, which of course means they are less likely to be stored as fat. [via]