Last week, I introduced the topic of protein sources and broke it down into 4 groups. Today I’ll like to take a deeper look into beef, poultry, and pork. The numbers I’m using are based on a 3 oz serving of cooked meat, which is the recommend serving size for an adult on the average 2000 calorie diet. Across all the different cuts of beef, poultry and pork, the average protein content is between 22 and 25 grams. I think its easier to keep track of the portion size in ounces, so its good to know they can all be easily exchanged. The calorie and fat content is a totally different story.
There are so many different cuts of beef, it was hard to make a general conclusion to compare to poultry and pork. I picked both a lean and not so lean cut of steak and roast. Both a lean steak and roast cut from the round (the cow’s bottom) have about 180 calories and between 8 and 10 grams of fat. A fattier cut of steak from the loin has 220 calories and 14 grams of fat. Chuck roast (my favorite) has 290 calories and 21 grams of fat. I don’t think this is really surprising since you can easily see the fat ribbons in a cut of meat before its cooked. Beef in restaurants is usually advertised based on the raw weight, some of the fat and water will cook out in different amounts depending on the cut.
I looked at both white and dark meat from chicken and turkey and found they are pretty similar. White meat is about 170 calories and 7 grams of fat per 3 ounce serving. Dark meat was about 200 calories for both, but the chicken was higher in fat (13g for chicken, 10g for turkey).
I don’t cook pork. I’ve tried with near disastrous results every time. Pork was the hardest for me to analyze because I’m not very familiar with the different cuts. I chose the leanest and fattiest options from the list. Pork tenderloin has about 120 calories and less than 4 grams of fat per serving. I was very surprised to see the fat content less than half that of chicken. I always think of chicken being the least fatty option for meat. Ribs had about 330 calories and 25 grams of fat per serving. No surprise there! When we go out to eat ribs are one of the things I tend to pick because they taste to good and I’m no brave enough to try them myself.
I’ve included two pictures show a 3 ounce serving of chicken. A few years ago I spent about two weeks measuring everything I ate to get a feel for what the serving size is supposed to be. I though I was pretty good, but over the weekend I found that I have been underestimating meat portions by almost half. As I’ve said before, I’m not very good at keeping a food journal or counting calories regularly, but I do think its a good exercise to do periodically. You should try it.
Last night our neighbor brought over 10 pounds of venison from his successful hunting season. I don’t remember having venison before and I’ve never cooked it. It will be a lot of fun to try out some new recipes!
Running Challenge Update: Last week was hard. For two different reasons I only made it to the gym once. I’m a little disappointed, but its a new week! Last week: 1.5 miles. Total for the year: 15 miles.
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