Fit Pork into the New Year for a fit you

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By: Michelle Semler

During the holiday season gluttony or over-consumption becomes very common. I’m not ashamed to admit that I, myself, partook in this over-consumption and overindulgence. During the nine days I was back home in Iowa, between Christmas and New Year’s, I consumed more sugar, carbs, fats, and sugar-filled drinks than I usually would in four to five weeks combined!

As I sit here writing this blog my belt has to be a notch looser to compensate my gluttony. I also have a new pair of running shoes ready to be put on and laced up for some much needed time spent on the treadmill. It looks like one of my New Year’s Resolution ones again is to get into shape and improve into a healthier lifestyle.

Hmmmm….improving into a healthier lifestyle can seem like a large burden especially for those people who have struggled with weight, fitness, and making healthy food choices in the past. There’s really no simple fix to these struggles, but taking things one step at a time is usually the best bet to start living a healthier lifestyle.

Exercise alone isn’t the answer. Diet alone isn’t the answer. But a combination of diet and exercise will hopefully help me tackle the bulging belly that has occurred over Christmas break. The exercise part I’ve got down pat. As much as I hate running and lifting I understand what works for me to gain the best results.

But for the diet that’s a bit harder for me to get a handle on. There’s so much confusion out there as to what form of dieting works best: eliminate carbs, eliminate sugars, reduce red meat consumption, etc. These diets all sum up to the same thing to me — eliminating all things delicious and tasty. As a student with an animal science degree and working toward a Masters in Meat Science I get frustrated when negative talk begins to flow that red meat consumption such as beef and pork are “bad for you”.

Pork can fit in your healthy lifestyle and diet —it’s a lot easier than you think. Thanks to Kyla assigning us Peer Mentor students’ homework to complete over the “Quick Facts” published by the Pork Checkoff, I am now better educated on seven cuts of pork that fall between a skinless chicken breast and skinless chicken thigh for total fat content. Those pork cuts are:

1) Pork Tenderloin

2) Pork Boneless Top Loin Chop

3) Ground Pork, 96% lean

4) Pork Boneless Top Loin Roast

5) Pork Bone-In Center Loin Chop

6) Pork Bone-In Rib Chop

7) Pork Bone-In Sirloin Roast

Michelle-New Years Power of Pork for Healthy Living

Chicken is always getting the recognition for being a healthy meat, but seldom is pork mentioned. These seven cuts allow for a wide range of meals that can be prepared allowing pork to fit in a New Year’s Resolution and wellness. Even better, they aren’t painstakingly hard to prepare.

Just remember a serving size of pork is three ounces cooked, which is about the size of a deck of cards. It’s always a good idea to trim off excess fat. Other helpful hints to preparing these lean cuts of pork include using low-fat cooking methods. Instead of frying try grilling, broiling, and stir frying. Also, to reduce the salt content without losing flavor add spices to your pork. Good luck and a Happy New Year!

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