Pork Meat

My first contact with pork meat was three decades ago when my daddy [God bless his soul as he rest with Jesus until the resurrection morning] introduced the juicy, sucullent, fatty meat to all of his children.

At that time, while working with UAC Foods in Lagos, every week, he would bring home packs of these fresh bacon and the meat will be the animal used for different delicacies for the family. We ll usually settle down to wash, boil, and relish these meat.

So, when one of our Intern Reporters, Oluchi Opara worked on this article, I could identify with it.

This meat as the edible part of a pig, a domesticated mammal of the swine family is today extensively raised in almost every part of the world as a food animal.

It’s the most commonly consumed red meat worldwide, especially in eastern Asia, but its consumption is forbidden in certain religions, such as Islam and Judaism. For this reason, pork is illegal in many Islamic countries.

It is often eaten unprocessed, but cured (preserved) pork products are also very common. These include smoked pork, ham, bacon, and sausages. Being high in protein and rich in many vitamins and minerals, lean pork can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet. Like all meat, pork is mostly made up of protein.

The protein content of lean, cooked pork is around 26% by fresh weight. When dry, the protein content of lean pork can be as high as 89% — making it one of the richest dietary sources of protein

Reports say, it contains all nine essential amini acids necessary for the body’s growth and maintenance. In fact, the meat is considered as one of the most complete dietary sources of protein.

For this reason, eating pork — or other types of meat — may be particularly beneficial for bodybuilders, recovering athletes, people post-surgery, or others who need to build up or repair muscles.

Pork is a primary source of edible fat. Its red colour can be attributed to the presence of myoglobin, a heme protein . 

Various vitamins, minerals, and protein are responsible for the many benefits of pork. It can be eaten freshly cooked or in the form of preserved food items like ham, bacon, and sausages. Moderate intake of pork may offer several health benefits.

The meat can also be known by so many names. From bacon to ham, we can refer to pork as sowbelly, hog, meat, jowl, pig, loin, patronage, steak, swine and spoil amongst others

Although, pork is a delicious meal, yet many especially some religious sect abhor and forbid any contact with it, more so as they see the meat as unclean.

According to them, pig is a symbol of filthiness and decay hence, a clean person must not have anything to do with the meat.

Well, no matter how it is seen, there is no gain saying that pork meat is enjoyed by many meat lovers, and eating pork meat is still a healthy choice.

Research shows that today’s pork is 31 percent less fat 10 per cent lower in cholesterol and 14 percent fewer in calories than the way it is used to be 20 years ago.

 Most times, pork is not just cooked and eaten without stuffing the meat with other food and fruits, bread crumbs, onions, raisins, pepper, tomatoes and types of vegetables.

Stuffing makes the given special flavour and taste to the pork.

Different countries of the world however have their ways of enjoying this special meat. In China, pork is considered a versatile and economical meat and the Chinese have different ways of preparing and enjoying the meat. Infact, it is opined that they use every part, of the meat from the tender loin to the knuckles.

The Jews and many Muslim nations however do not subscribe to the eating of pork meat. They usually settle for the meat that are acceptable to their religious and cultural beliefs.

In Germany, where the world ‘swine’ originated from, fresh pork is known as shwerin and it is used to produce sausages, hams and bacons.

Even Italy is not left out, infact, in Italy a special pork delicacy known as Italian prosciutto ham is a delight anyday.

Much pepper, chilli and hot spicy ingredients are indispensable in the preparation of pork, why? This is because, without these hot spicy ingredient, vomiting and nausea will be the order of the day.

Health Benefits of Pork

  • Pork is a rich source of certain vitamins and minerals the body needs to function, like iron and zinc.
  • It’s also an excellent source of high-quality protein. Minimally processed, lean, fully-cooked pork eaten in moderation can provide certain benefits when added to your diet.
  • The high-quality proteins in pork are complete amino acids and perfect building blocks for creating new muscle. As we age, we lose muscle mass, which can lead to conditions like sarcopenia — extreme muscle degeneration.
  • Eating high quality protein like that found in pork — as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise — can help slow or reverse sarcopenia. It can also help maintain the healthy muscle tissue you already have.
  • Pork contains amino acid beta-alanine, which helps the body form a compound called carnosine. Carnosine is important for muscle function.
  • Studies have shown that high doses of beta-alanine supplements taken for 4–10 weeks lead to a 40–80% increase in carnosine levels in participant’s muscles.
  • High levels of carnosine have also been linked to lower fatigue and higher muscle performance in humans.

Risks of Pork

  • To avoid parasitic infection, it is advisable to always cook pork thoroughly.
  • Check the temperature with a meat thermometer to ensure the meat has become hot enough to kill parasites and bacteria before serving.
  • Pork can Be High in Sodium and Saturated Fats and these two things should be avoided as part of a healthy diet. If one is on a low sodium diet due to concerns over your heart health or avoiding saturated fats, one should consume the leanest, least-processed varieties of pork you can find.
  • Certain cured pork products like bacon contain sulfates or sulfites, chemical preservatives which one should consume in small quantities or avoid altogether. It is better to look for salt-cured or uncured options instead.
  • Eating undercooked or raw pork can result in parasitic infections. Taenia solium, or pork tapeworm, is an intestinal parasite. Most times, it’s harmless, but it can occasionally cause a disease called cysticercosis, which leads to epilepsy.
  • Eating raw or undercooked pork can also result in trichinosis, an infection of parasitic roundworms called Trichinella. While trichinosis symptoms are usually mild, they can become serious — even fatal — especially in older adults.
  • Preparation of the pork meat can affect its fat content. Instead of frying, the option of grilling, roasting, baking, or broiling is better.
  • It’s best to avoid fat-heavy pork products like bacon. The est option is the leaner varieties that are minimally processed and higher in protein.

So, if you are comfortable with Pork, go ahead and have a porkful time .

photo credit -https://sisijemimah.com/2018/06/26/spicy-peppered-pork-nigerian-pork-stew/

Source – https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/pork-nutrition-fact/

https://www.webmd.com/diet/pork-good-for-you https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/pork#nutrition

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