When it comes to the lean meats we include in our diet when trying to lose weight our minds often jump to chicken, beef and lamb as the most logical and popular choices for our plates. Poor old pork rarely gets a look in. This is actually a bit of a shame as lean pork meat can be a nutritious (and delicious) addition to your diet.
The reason pork appears less popular than other red and white meats is most likely due to it’s reported saturated fat levels along with it’s association with it’s cousin, bacon. While pork meat DOES contain slightly higher levels of saturated fat, the cut or type of pork that you are eating has a lot of bearing on whether those levels remain on the acceptable or not acceptable scale.
Lean cuts, like tenderloins, loin roasts and chops can contain fewer calories and less fat and cholesterol than some cuts of chicken (i.e. lean pork tenderloins are a better option than chicken thighs with the skin left on). An 85g serve of pork tenderloin contains only 3g of fat, which is less than what you’d find in a skinless chicken breast of the same size.
If you choose the right cut, and prepare it in the right way, a serving of pork will add a whole range of essential vitamins and minerals to your diet, including vitamin B-6 and B-12, niacin, thiamin and riboflavin along with minerals zinc and potassium. The type of iron found in pork is also more easily digestible than the iron found in plants like spinach, making it a good choice for those who need to boost their iron levels.
This super simple meatball recipe uses lean ground pork mince along with caramelised onions and apples for sweetness and flavour, without the sugar or salt.
- 300g lean pork mince
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup salt reduced vegetable stock
- 2 red apples, cored and thickly sliced
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- In a large bowl, combine mince, herbs and the beaten egg.
- Using wet hands, form the mixture into meatballs (this much mince should make around 16 small balls).
- Set aside to firm up in the fridge.
- While meatballs are firming, heat the olive oil over a low heat in a small frypan or saucepan
- When warm, add the onions and allow to soften slowly and gently.
- Once onions start to turn a golden colour, add balsamic vinegar and stir to ensure onions are fully coated.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes then remove from heat.
- Remove the meatballs from the fridge and place in a large frypan over a medium/high heat.
- Once browned, add the caramelised onions, stock and apple slices.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes until sauce has thickened.
- Serve with spaghetti, cous cous or a salad.