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The Nutritional Benefits of Pork

Posted January. 08, 2007 03:01,   


It is the year of the pig, and pork is in heavy demand. People are very used to pork, because it makes up a big portion of our diet. Koreans and Chinese especially enjoy pork. Pork is loved for its tenderness and good taste, and has always been a nourishing meal for the poor. Half of the meat consumption in Korea comprises pork. This section looks at the nutritional side of this most beloved meat.

Plenty of protein and vitamins-

Pork contains more protein than most other meat, with 20.9 percent of it being protein. It is also rich with vitamin B, which tallies in at 0.95 percent. The lean meat of short ribs and sirloin contains lots of protein, while the boned rib contains lots of fat. Sirloin and hind leg parts taste less succulent, because they contain less fat compared to boned ribs.

Nutrition-wise, it is better to eat pork than beef. One expert says, “Pork contains less saturated fat, which causes blood vessel problems, compared to beef. It also holds more linoleic acid, which is an unsaturated fat. Linoleic acid blocks out bad cholesterol, which clog up arteries.

Pork hock is especially beneficial to women who gave birth, because it holds lots of vitamin B and protein that helps them produce breast milk. Ancient Asian medicine books claim that pork oil softens human skin and is good for treating skin ailments.

While some even tout that pork rids the body of heavy metals or dust that piled up in the body and thus helps cure pneumoconiosis, this has no scientific backing.

People with poor digestive systems should eat pork in soup-

In terms of oriental medicine, pork is a cold food. Therefore, it is good for those with lots of heat, but can be bad for those who have cold hands and feet, or those who have weak digestive systems.

Professor Lee Eui-ju of the Department of Constitutional Medicine at Kyunghee University Medical Center says, “If you want to eat pork but know that your body cannot hold it well, try cooking it in soup.”

Pork is not good with oriental medicine, because the coldness of pork undermines the effects of the medicine. People who have too much heat in their body may actually benefit from consuming pork while taking oriental medicine.

People with skin allergies should abstain from pork. The conditions can deteriorate especially if you drink alcohol while eating pork. Pork contains more histamines than other meat. Histamines cause allergies, and alcohol can deter the dissolution of this substance.

Fry or boil pork to get rid of germs-

Parasites live in pork. This makes it a perquisite to either fry or boil pork. When frying pork, heat the pan first, and turn the meat when the bottom side is cooked well. If you turn the meat more than a few times, it will make the meat less succulent, cause only the outside to burn, and does not effectively kill the parasites.

Those with artery problems should only eat lean meat of short ribs and sirloin, because these parts contain low amount of fat. They should also boil pork instead of frying in order to separate the fat. Shiitake mushrooms go well with pork, because the abundant fibers in it prevent the body from soaking up the cholesterol.

Pork does not go well with hot foods such as ginseng, honey, royal jelly, rice wine, or eels. These foods go against the coldness of pork. Salted shrimps, boiled beans, and buckwheat help pork-eaters digest fat and protect arteries.