Is pork red meat? – Some facts explored

All meats derived from mammals are classified as red meat. Pig is also a mammal. So, if we take into account this aspect, the answer to question, “Is pork red meat?”, will be – Yes.  However, this is not entirely true. The red meat is the meat of adult mammals, while one can classify the meat of young mammals as white meat. When the red meat is cooked, the parts of red meat become redder and dark red in color; while the white meat remains yellowish or whitish before and after cooking.

Is pork red meat? – Let’s understand nutritional definition

Red meat is dark meat portion which is rich in protein myoglobin, white meat does not contain this protein in abundance. In a chicken leg or breast, the meat is non-dark, and so it is white meat. Mostly, the cuts of pork are red, and other cuts can be white too.

Which cuts of pork are red meat yet lean?

Reputed schools of public health confirm that not all portions of pork are red. So, if you are looking for red meat and want to order pork and still do not want to include too much of fat content in diet, ensure that following cuts of pork are served to you:

  1. Roasted top loin
  2. Rib chop
  3. Boneless top loin
  4. Tenderloin
  5. Center loin chop
  6. Roasted sirloin

According to USFDA, these six cuts of pork contain less than 10g of fat. The saturated fat is less even than 4.5g. The three-ounce of these servings have less than 95mg of cholesterol. Due to such less amount of fat, the people at risk of cardiovascular diseases can go for pork instead of fatty chicken. Of these, tenderloin is extra lean and forms healthier alternative to skinless chicken breast.

What nutritional deficiencies can be supplemented with pork

Red meat is efficient in fulfilling the deficiency of vitamin B 12, zinc, selenium and others. However, red meat obtained from chicken is quite high in fat. This is why, pork red meat is a safer alternative for supplying body with these nutrients. Pork is helpful in maintaining optimal levels of following nutrients:


Pork is rich in proteins. Lean protein has 89% protein in it. This makes it one of the richest source of protein.

Essential amino acids:

Proteins break into amino acids. Thus, the pork is dietary source of amino acids.


Vitamins B6, B12, Niacin, Thiamine are abundantly available in pork


Zinc, Selenium, Phosphorus and Heme Iron are required for various body functions. Reproductive system functioning improves with the help of these minerals, for example. Various other bodily functions such as digestion and mental capabilities improve with the help of zinc, selenium. Phosphorus, along with calcium, contributes to strong bones. Good digestion can reduce intestinal cancer risk too.

Other meat proteins like creatinine, taurine, glutathione and cholesterol are other important components of red and processed meat. These proteins are essential for building muscle mass and also for improving physical abilities. Those who are active in gym but want to stay away from fatty chicken or beef can consider pork for replenishing the body with required proteins.

Is red meat good or bad for you?

Red meat is good according to some scientists and bad according to others. Actually, it is the overall impact of food and lifestyle that decides whether consumption of red meat is advisable to eat or not. Lovers of red meat love it marinated, fried, and charred. However, this way of consuming red meat increases health risks. Baked and boiled versions of red meat are some of the healthier foods that are better.

Red meat has received lot of flak due to its role in aggravating diseases like cardiovascular ailments, colorectal cancer and diabetes type 2. However, there is no direct correlation between the red meat and these ailments. People who cut on vegetables and fruits and resort to harmful practices like binge eating, sluggish lifestyle and binge drinking fall prey to heart disease easily. Similarly, excess of sugary foods, no exercising etc. are responsible for type 2 diabetes.

Red meat should be eaten in moderate amounts. It should be cooked using healthy cooking methods so that its nutritional make-up is retained and the consumer can derive good health benefits from it. Some of the healthy ways of cooking red meat or pork are:

  1. Stewing and steaming
  2. Low flame cooking
  3. Avoid charring
  4. Frequently flip the meat when required cooking on high flame

So, if you are at risk of type 2 diabetes or any of those chronic diseases, red meat like pork is not advisable. Pork has leanest cuts, which can be quite healthy and not contributing to any ill-effects on body.

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