The quick answer is- yes!
But let’s fill you in on some more information to back this up.
Protein is a necessity in our human bodies for everyday activity and should be included in any healthy meals. It will help keep you feeling more full, leaving you less hungry and may help increase your metabolic rate. Depending on desired muscle levels or activity level can dictate how much protein you need or want to intake. The levels of protein in both beef and pork can vary depending on preparation or additional ingredients.
Beef provides 7.5 to 9 grams of protein per ounce on average, and pork averages around the 8 grams per ounce mark. For most people, a meal containing 20-30 grams of protein is sufficient.
You might be thinking that both of these red meats are high in calories. While that depends on your daily intake goals, don’t assume that beef and pork. It is always important to look at portion sizes as a way to adhere to caloric intake levels, yet, still gain all the health benefits out of good red meats like beef and pork. Calories also vary greatly across different cuts of meat.
Here are some great charts from the USDA that show the food nutrition facts for various cuts of cooked beef and pork.
But Isn’t Red Meat Bad for You?
You wouldn’t believe all the great nutrients packed into red meat!
Did you know? Beef is the #1 food source for Protein, Vitamin B12 and Zinc, and beef is also the #3 source for iron behind fortified cereal and grains.
The list of nutrients that beef is an excellent source of* (defined as providing 20% or more of the Daily Value per serving) include Phosphorus, Protein, Selenium, Vitamin B12, and Zinc. Those that beef are a good source for (defined as providing 10-19% of the Daily Value per serving) are Iron, Niacin, Vitamin B6, and Riboflavin.
In pork*, you’ll find an excellent source of thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, phosphorus and protein and is a good source of zinc and potassium.
Red meat, such as beef and pork, has gotten a black eye from those presuming it raises risks to heart disease. Yes, some red meats are higher in saturated fats than others, but if high cholesterol is a concern for you, there are many lean beef and pork cuts, that in the right proportions and prepared with healthy options still allow you to enjoy red meat.
Important for Children
If you have children, the nutrients provided in red meat like beef and pork are important to helping them grow strong and healthy. Protein, zinc, phosphorus and iron all contribute to growth, cognitive function, red blood cell development and preventing iron deficiency during adolescent years.
*Based on a 3-ounce serving