Pork meat is a kind of red meat derived from the flesh of domestic pigs. Pork meat is popularly consumed throughout the world and it is considered as one of the richest sources of red meat apart from mutton and beef. Though pork has some amounts of beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fat, most experts consider that overconsumption of red meats like pork can be truly harmful to your health.
Here Is All You Should Know About Pork Meat:
Pork meat is red meat from pigs that is widely consumed, mainly in parts of Eastern Asia and in other parts of the world, but it is not allowed for consumption in Islamic countries and in countries that follow Judaism.
Pork is consumed both unprocessed and smoked. Some kinds of pork, especially lean pork, are rich in vitamins, proteins, and minerals. According to experts, lean pork is very much beneficial for your health. In fact, experts often advise substituting lean pork for beef and chicken because it does not contain the harmful fats that can cause damage to the heart and your overall health.
Nutritional Contents in Pork:
Pork is filled with a good number of essential nutrients that are beneficial to your health and the proper functioning of the body. Studies show that around 3.5-ounces or 100 grams of cooked, ground pork consists of the following nutrients:
- Calories: 297
- Water: 53%
- Protein: 25.7 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Fat: 20.8 grams
Apart from these, pork also contains some other important nutrients such as:
The vitamins and minerals in Pork:
Experts say that pork is a rich source of numerous vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your health. Some such vitamins in pork are:
- Thiamine. Studiesnowadays are revealing that pork is rich in a vitamin called thiamine which is a class of vitamin B complex and helps in controlling the overall functioning of the body.
- Selenium. Recent experimentssay that pork is filled with essential minerals like selenium that is very much good for health.
- Zinc. Required for proper brain functioning and strengthening the immune system, pork provides an abundant supply of essential elementalzinc.
- Vitamin B12. Pork is a powerhouse of vitamins, especially vitamin B complex that helps in healthy formation of blood and regulates proper brain functioning.
- Vitamin B6. Huge amounts of vitamin B6 in pork helps in proper development of red blood cells in your body.
- Niacin. An important vitamin belonging to the vitamin B group, especially vitamin B 3, niacin in pork helps to regulate proper growth in your body and also promotes healthy metabolism.
- Phosphorus. Apart from containing little amounts of sodium, pork is also a good source of potassium that significantly helps in body’s overall growth and proper functioning.
- Iron. Pork provides an essential mineral, iron, that is very much important for the production of hemoglobin and the maintenance of red blood cells. Proper levels of iron are required to get rid of diseases like anemia that result from iron- deficiency.
Health Benefits of Pork Meat:
Pork consists of a good number of essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins that are highly essential in a balanced diet that will not only keep you healthy but will also improve your body functioning. Some such health benefits of pork are listed below:
Takes good care of Muscle:
The overall mass of the muscles in your body is gradually lost as you grow old. Pork meat, like other red meats, is also filled with highly nutritious protein components and rich amino acids, known as the building blocks of protein, that are significantly known to increase the strength of your body muscles and help to keep your muscle tissues healthy. Consumption of pork meat in moderation provides you with ample amounts of rich proteins in your diet that reduces the risks of developing disorders like sarcopenia, a condition of degeneration of muscles in your older age.
Increased the overall performance of the body:
The rich nutrients in pork, mainly in the rich proteins, vitamins, and minerals, help to enhance the overall performance of your body. The essential protein components in pork meat consist of amino acids like beta-alanine which is known to increase the proper functioning of muscle cells.
Potential Health Risks of having Pork:
Pork meat, after all, is a kind of red meat that is filled with components like saturated fats that may cause health adversities after overconsumption among certain people. Some potential side effects of having pork are as follows:
High in Sodium and Saturated Fats:
The high sodium and saturated fats in pork, like in high processed pork products, can cause extreme health adversities among those who prefer having a low-sodium diet or people with cardiac problems. Moreover, the sulfates and sulfites in processed bacon and pork meats can often worsen cardiac conditions.
So, one must consume pork and pork-based meats in moderation to avoid its downsides and in case of any difficulty, they must positively seek help from a health care expert.
Pork can increase the risk of heart diseases:
Recent research is showing that overconsumption of pork or pork-based products can increase the risks of heart-related diseases among people with cardiac problems. These people become increasingly susceptible to developing heart diseases like heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrest, heart failure, and many related cardiac and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, overconsumption of pork meat causes an increase in LDL cholesterol and affects the levels of good or HDL cholesterol. This causes health problems due to high cholesterol. People with high levels of cholesterol should strictly avoid the consumption of pork-based products or any such red meats.
Several studies thus, I conclude that the consumption of pork and pork-based foods should either be limited or avoided to keep your heart healthy.
Overconsumption of pork may cause cancer:
Studies say that having huge quantities of substances like saturated fats, high proteins through red meats like pork, can significantly increase the risk of developing cancer-related diseases, that are caused by uncontrolled growth of cells and malignancy.
Experts say that high consumption of over-processed meats like pork and pork-based food substances like bacon and so on increases the chances of developing cancer, caused by abnormal cell division and the cancerous cells spread to different parts and organs of the body, causing further worsening of health, and can also lead to death.
Some Health Concerns About Pork:
Though consumption of pork in moderation is otherwise healthy, one should avoid having raw or undercooked pork, because such consumption might contain risks of contamination with several types of parasites. (1)
Tapeworm in pork:
Pork might contain a type of parasite called tapeworm (Taeniasolium) that is around 6.5–10 feet (2–3 meters) in length.
Recent studies say that having undercooked pork can cause tapeworm infections and can often lead to the risk of developing diseases like cysticercosis, a disease characterized by chronic epilepsy.
Parasitic roundworms in raw pork:
Having uncooked or raw pork in large proportions can cause infections by a roundworm like a parasite is known asTrichinella is a family of parasitic that is considered to be responsible for causing a disease known as trichinosis or trichinellosis, that leads to acute diarrhea, abdominal pain, and symptoms of heartburn, accompanied by weakness, fever, body and muscle pain, swelling around eyes and this disease is commonly found to occur among older adults. (2)
Undercooked pork can increase the chances of infections caused by protozoa and parasites like Toxoplasmagondii, a single-celled animal, not visible in the naked eye and only visible under an electronic microscope.
Recent studies and new experiments have found that this disease is commonly found to occur in developing countries where people consume raw or undercooked pork. This disease leads to mild to severe infections in your body causing gradual weakening of your immune system.
So, doctors and several experts advise cooking pork properly and then consuming it. Pork or pork-based meats should not be raw and should not be overcooked. It should be properly cooked to gain all its health benefits and to avoid its side effects.
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