Many are surprised to learn that on average, seven popular cuts of pork contain 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat compared to 20 years ago! October celebrates National Pork Month and the contribution pork makes in a healthy, balanced diet. Here are a few reasons pork should be on your plate:
Pork is lean! Six cuts of pork meet the USDA guidelines for “lean,” with less than 10 grams fat, 4.5 grams saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per serving. Some cuts of pork can be just as lean as chicken breast! One of the easiest ways to remember lean cuts of pork is to look for the word “loin” in the name, such as pork tenderloin. Any kind of pork chop is also a lean choice, from sirloin chop to porterhouse chop.
Regularly consuming different protein options promotes better overall nutrition compared to eating the same foods all the time. Pork is a great protein option among the meat department. Not only is it a lean source of protein, but pork contains B vitamins, phosphorous, and zinc, making it a nutritious option for your meals.
In addition to being healthy, pork is very versatile. From chops or a tenderloin in the oven to slow-cooker meals and pulled pork in tacos and sandwiches, there are many easy ways to incorporate pork into your family’s meals.
As with everything, moderation is key. If you enjoy cuts of pork that are less lean, you can still enjoy them, just in smaller portions and as part of a balanced meal. For example, if you enjoy pork options such as ribs or bacon, pair these with healthier sides such as steamed broccoli and baked potato or baked beans.
Gather your family around the table and enjoy this nutritious meal that is sure to please. Pair these Honey Apricot Pork Chops with brown rice and green beans for a balanced meal!
Honey Apricot Pork Chops
- 4 Boneless Pork Chops
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp light olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp chopped dried apricots
- Sprinkle pork chops on both sides with salt, rosemary and pepper; rub in to evenly coat.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add pork chops and cook 3 to 4 minutes until browned. Reduce heat to medium, turn chops over, and cook until browned and internal temperature reaches 150◦F. Remove chops from pan; keep warm.
- Drain any excess liquid from skillet but keep brown bits in pan. Add vinegar; cook over medium-high heat, scraping browned bits from pan, for 2 to 3 minutes, until reduced slightly.
- Stir in apricot preserves, honey, dried apricots and red pepper flakes. Cook until heated through. Serve honey apricot mixture over cooked pork chops.
To see a video of this recipe and other pork recipes from our friends at Smithfield.
This month and always, remember to select lean cuts of pork for your plates and explore the many ways you can prepare delicious meals made with pork! To get started, find special prices on pork in this week's ad! Happy Pork Month!
"This medical and/or nutritional information is not intended to be a substitute for individual advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition."
Stephanie Edson Regional Wellness Specialist
Stephanie is an award-winning registered dietitian who believes in empowering every individual to make nutritious food choices to support a healthy lifestyle. She believes in the power of food as medicine and loves sharing about nutrition with others.