The South African Food-Based Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming no more than 90g of red meat per portion, preferably opting for low-fat cuts and cooking methods.
Meat and meat products are nutrient-dense foods that provide valuable proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients necessary for good health.
The classification of Pork as red meat stems from its higher myoglobin content than chicken or fish. Myoglobin and haemoglobin are the pigments responsible for the red colour of meat.
Red meat, including Pork, is a valuable source of proteins with high biological value and essential micronutrients such as B vitamins, iron (including free and haem iron), and zinc. Pork is a commonly consumed red meat that provides substantial amounts of energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients to the diet.
Pork is an excellent source of nutrients that are required for good health. Lean fresh Pork is a high-protein, low-fat, nutrient-packed choice for the family and compares favourably with the fat, energy, and cholesterol content of many other meats and poultry.
Pork provides iron, zinc, Selenium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, Thiamine, riboflavin, Niacin, pantothenic acid, choline, and vitamins B6 and B12 to the diet.
Pork is a frequently consumed red meat that provides substantial amounts of energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients to the diet.
An Increased intake of lean Pork was recently associated with improved nutrient intakes of protein, magnesium, potassium, Selenium, zinc, phosphorus, Thiamine, riboflavin, Niacin, and vitamin B6.
Meat consumption is beneficial for maintaining muscle mass and may improve muscle function and physical performance.
Thiamine plays a critical role in energy metabolism and, therefore, in cell growth, development, and functioning.
Pork has been shown to have different nutritional characteristics than other meat sources and to be, for fresh pork consumers, an essential source of protein, Selenium, Thiamine, and vitamin B6.
Niacin works in the body as a coenzyme, with more than 400 enzymes dependent on it for various reactions.
Niacin helps to convert nutrients into energy, create cholesterol and fats, create and repair DNA, and exert antioxidant effects.
Vitamin B6 in coenzyme forms performs a wide variety of functions in the body and is highly versatile, with involvement in more than 100 enzyme reactions, primarily concerned with protein metabolism. Vitamin B6 also plays a role in cognitive development through the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters and in maintaining normal levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood.
Vitamin B6 is involved in gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, immune function (for example, it promotes lymphocyte and interleukin-2 production), and haemoglobin formation.
Selenium is an essential trace element. Selenium is an essential micronutrient that plays a crucial role in the development and a wide variety of physiological processes, including its effect on immune responses.
The immune system relies on adequate dietary selenium intake, and this nutrient exerts its biological effects mainly through its incorporation into selenoproteins. Compared to other meats such as beef or lamb, Pork is richer in several B vitamins, Selenium, phosphorous and potassium and has a comparable or lower fat content than lamb.
Eating more Pork may be helpful for those working to reduce their weight. A study of 164 overweight adults found that those who increased the number of servings of Pork weekly lost weight and reduced their waist circumference and % body fat compared to those who ate more chicken and beef.
After three months, there were significant reductions in weight, BMI, waist circumference, % body fat, fat mass and abdominal fat in the pork group relative to controls, which persisted for six months. There was no change in lean mass, indicating that the weight reduction was due to fat mass loss. There were no significant effects on other metabolic parameters. Regular consumption of lean fresh Pork may improve body composition.
It has been observed that the consumption of a healthy diet with pork meat resulted in the most significant benefits to cardiovascular disease risk by improving the lipid profile, downregulating TGs and ceramide lipid species, and upregulating ether lipids, especially plasmalogens when compared to the other test diets.
They found a beneficial impact on the lipoprotein profile after the pork diet. LDL cholesterol and LDL-TG, as well as total TGs in lipoproteins, non-HDL cholesterol, VLDL and IDL-cholesterol, VLDL-TG, IDL-TG, HDL-TG, VLDL-P, small VLDL-P, large VLDL-P, LDL-P, and non-HDL-P, were significantly reduced after the pork diet, resulting in a better overall cardiovascular risk profile.
Lean Pork, consumed in moderation, can make an excellent addition to a healthy diet. The South African Food-Based Dietary Guidelines recommends no more than 560 g of red meat per week (approximately 80 – 90 g per day), preferably low-fat types and cuts, and cooking methods are preferable options. Lean fresh Pork can be enjoyed as a healthy, varied diet.
Total fat intake should not exceed 30% of total energy intake, and saturated fat intake should be limited to less than 10% of total energy intake. Lean meats such as fresh lean Pork are nutrient-dense protein sources and several other nutrients.
The impact of pork intake compared with other protein sources on early markers for the development of diabetes, i.e., insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and the components of the metabolic syndrome.
They concluded that the glucose-insulin response following the pork meals did not differ from beef, shrimp, or mixed sources of proteins.