NDSU Extension - Benson County


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Enjoy the Benefits of Lean Pork

A Taste

For Nutrition

By Kimberly Fox, Extension Agent

Family Nutrition Program/Family and Consumer Science


Enjoy the Benefits of Lean Pork

Did you know that today’s pork has 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat in comparison to pork in 1991?  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also analyzed pork for trans-fatty acids and the results proved that pork does not contain artery clogging trans-fat. 


The leanest form of pork is pork tenderloin which has similar amounts of fat as a chicken breast.  When shopping for pork, look for cuts that are labeled with the word “loin” as they will be the leanest meat.  Meat cuts with less visible fat are always a good option as well.  If you do happen to buy a cut with quite a bit of visible fat, cutting it away will significantly reduce the amount of fat in your pork. 


Lean pork can be prepared in a variety of ways to enhance its flavor without adding fat.  Pork can be marinated in juice, wine-flavored vinegar, or fat-free dressing which tends to be much lower in calories than oil-based marinades. 


The pork can also be added to stir fries, broiled, grilled, or roasted.   Juice or broth can be added to give it additional flavor and moisture.  Pork can also be made in a crockpot with broth or other flavorings to provide a tender, lean cut of meat. 


Adding spices and herbs to pork are other great ways to add flavor.  If you happen to be growing fresh herbs in your garden this summer, they would also be a healthy, flavor filled addition.  Try to avoid adding salt or at the very least keep it to a minimum as most Americans tend to get much more sodium than needed in their diet each day. 


Below is a recipe for honey pork tenderloin kabobs.  Add some vegetables to the grill and you are on your way to a delicious meal.  Enjoy!


Honey Pork Tenderloin Kabobs



2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
½ c. honey
½ c. mustard
1 tsp. dried tarragon
3 to 4 sweet potatoes, cut into 24 1-inch cubes
1½ lb. pork tenderloin, cut into 24 1-inch cubes
4 medium ripe peaches, unpeeled, pitted and quartered
4 green peppers, each cut into 8 2-inch pieces
8 yellow onions, each cut into 4 2-inch pieces
olive oil, for grilling


Directions: Soak wood kabob skewers in water prior to adding meat and veggies to prevent burning the sticks on the grill. Mix first four ingredients in a bowl; stir well and set glaze aside. Steam or boil sweet potatoes until crisp-tender. Thread three sweet potato cubes, three pork cubes, two peach quarters, four green pepper pieces and four onion pieces alternately onto each of eight 10-inch skewers. Brush kabobs with honey glaze mixture. Lightly oil grill. Grill over medium-hot coals five minutes on each side or until thoroughly heated, basting occasionally with glaze.


Makes: 8 servings.  Each serving contains 300 calories, 2 grams fat, 47 grams carbohydrates, and 345 milligrams sodium. 


Source: NDSU Extension Service, Now Serving: Lean Pork! August 2016

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