For Health Professionals
Research has shown that pork is not only nutritious, but can also play an important role in weight loss diets by improving feelings of fullness and by increasing resting energy expenditure.
As well, pork remains a safe and healthy food product, despite concerns about potential links with the H1N1 influenza (so-called "swine flu") virus. Research has confirmed what food scientists suspected, that pork, even from swine inoculated with the influenza virus, is not a carrier of the virus and remains safe to eat.
Replacement of fat with pork-meat protein increased 24-hr EE by 4.7% along with a decrease in energy intake
Mikkelsen PB, Toubro S, Astrup A Effect of fat-reduced diets on 24-h energy expenditure: comparisons between animal protein, vegetable protein, and carbohydrate. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000; 72:1135-41.
In this study, young, healthy, overweight subjects were provided with different diet interventions to compare the effects of pork-meat protein, soy protein, and carbohydrate on their 24-hour energy expenditure. Respiratory chamber tests showed that 24-hour energy expenditure was higher with pork than with the soy or carbohydrate. Substitution of carbohydrate with 17-18% of energy as protein (from either pork or soy) produced a 3% higher 24-h energy expenditure; while animal protein produced 2% higher energy expenditure than did the vegetable protein from soy. This study provides additional evidence that protein from meat may be important in improving reductions in body weight and fat mass in overweight individuals.
Women who ate more protein, with pork as their only source of meat, felt fuller longer after meals and achieved a greater preservation of lean body mass with weight loss.
Leidy HJ, Carnell NS, Mattes RD, Campbell WW. Higher protein intake preserves lean mass and satiety with weight loss in pre-obese and obese women. Obesity. 2007;15(2): 421-9.
Researchers at Purdue University found that female subjects following a 12-week high protein diet had more positive outcomes than those given "normal" protein diets. The women in the study followed either a high-protein diet (30 % of energy from protein, 45% carbohydrate, 25% fat) or a normal-protein diet (18% protein) calorie-restricted diet. For the higher protein diets, subjects consumed cooked pork (loin, ham, or Canadian bacon) products comprising 40% of their protein intake, while the normal protein subject were given milk comprising 13% of their protein intake. While both groups lost weight, the subjects eating more protein from pork reported more positive overall mood, felt fuller longer after meals, reported more feelings of pleasure during dieting compared to those who ate less protein. Those on the higher protein pork diet also had a greater preservation of lean body mass after losing weight.
Pork is safe to consume. There is no evidence that pork from pigs, even those pigs infected with H1N1 influenza, contains infectious virus.
Vincent AL, Lager KM, Harland, M, Lorusso, A, Zanella, E, Ciacci-Zanella, JR, Kehrli, ME, Klimov, A. Absence of 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza A virus in fresh pork. PLoS ONE. 2009;4(12): e8367. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0008367
During the H1N1 (so called "swine flu") pandemic of 2009, concerns about the possibility of this virus being found in pigs and the safety of pork and pork products were raised. Researchers funded by the US Department of Agriculture sought to determine if there were any potential food safety concerns with eating pork. They questioned "if swine were to become infected with the pandemic virus, would the meat be contaminated with virus and be a potential source of human infection?". Researchers concluded that there was no evidence for systemic disease to suggest that pork from pigs infected with H1N1 influenza would contain infectious virus. These findings support the World Health Organization's recommendation that pork is safe to consume when following standard meat hygiene practices. An important note is that ill swine is not allowed entry into the food supply.
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