Study shows pork lower in fat and leaner than ever before

Jan. 12, 1999

Chicken Vs Pork Comparisons
Lean only
(boneless, skinless, trimmed)
Pork Chicken
Protein
(g/100g)
22 20
Fat
(g/100g)
4.8 3.9
Cholesterol
(mg/100g)
62 84
Calories
(kcal/100g)
138 121
 
As Purchased
(lean, fat and skin)
Pork
(untrimmed)
Chicken
(skin-on)
Protein
(g/100g)
21 18
Fat
(g/100g)
9.5 14.8
Cholesterol
(mg/100g)
64 95
Calories
(kcal/100g)
175 209
 
Cuts Analyzed
Chicken: breast, drum, thigh, wing
Pork: boneless sirloin chop, bnls loin chop, bnls rob roast, bnls loin roast, tenderloin, sirloin roast, loin chop, rib chop

A recently published study shows that fresh pork has enhanced its reputation as the "other white meat."

According to a study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis, pork is lower in fat and leaner than ever before. The pork in your grocer's meat case has 39 percent less exterior fat than it did just ten years ago. Pork loin cuts compared favorably with chicken cuts in fat and cholesterol content, according to researchers at the UW-Madison's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.

The researchers based these conclusions on a nationwide sampling of fresh pork and chicken cuts. Researchers analyzed the nutritional content of the most commonly purchased pork and chicken cuts from supermarkets throughout the United States.

"People are getting more lean pork for their money today," said study leader Dennis Buege, UW Extension meat specialist. Among all the pork cuts in the survey, trimmed lean averaged 81 percent, compared with 75 percent from the same cuts 10 years ago. According to the National Pork Producers Council, the study results show that lean pork can easily fit into a healthful diet.

"Pork has undergone a makeover in the last two decades," explains Ceci Snyder, nutrition communications manager for the NPPC. "Pork producers have used modern breeding and feeding methods to produce much leaner hogs, and butchers today trim nearly all of what little fat remains.

"This study clearly demonstrates the nutritional parity between today's pork and chicken," added Snyder. "Pork provides a great-tasting alternative to chicken that the whole family can enjoy."

The article, "A Nationwide Audit of the Composition of Pork and Chicken Cuts at Retail," appears in the September 1998 issue of The Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. Reprints of the study or copies of a fact sheet that summarizes study results can be obtained from Buege at (608) 262-0555, drbuege@facstaff.wisc.edu.

For more information on the nutritional content of pork, consumers can visit the USDA's Nutrient Data Laboratory database of food composition.