We often hear about chicken being the healthiest and leanest of all the proteins; however, there is another white meat that deserves some proper recognition.
According to the FDA, “foods qualify as ‘extra lean’ if they contain no more than 5 grams of total fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams.” Pork tenderloin, pork chops, and skinless chicken breasts, legs, and thighs all fit into this category.
In fact, when it comes to comparing pork and chicken, it’s a bit more like comparing apples to apples than apples to oranges. What I mean by this is that there may be more similarities than differences.
Is Pork as Lean as Chicken?
Often when we think of meat sources from a pig, we think of bacon first. While bacon is a common staple in the ketogenic and paleo diets, it doesn’t necessarily have a regular place in many other meal plans. With one slice of bacon packing more calories and at least three times more fat and fewer nutrients than a 3-ounce serving of other cuts of pork, it is best to opt for leaner, lower calorie choices as your main protein source. (You can still enjoy bacon occasionally.)
The following is a comparison of nutrition information for a 100-gram portion of chicken breast and 100-gram portion of pork tenderloin:
- Chicken Breast: 197 calories
- Pork Tenderloin: 136 calories
- Chicken Breast: 0 g carbohydrates
- Pork Tenderloin: 0 g carbohydrates
- Chicken Breast: 7.7 g fat
- Pork Tenderloin: 5.4 g fat
- Chicken Breast: 29 g protein
- Pork Tenderloin: 21 g protein
I would challenge you to substitute pork in more recipes where you would normally use chicken and then let me know what you think of the “other white meat.” The following recipe is a flavorful and healthy one to get you started.
Pork Tenderloin with Portabella-Brie Sauce
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms
- 8 ounces Brie cheese
- 1 head cauliflower
- 2 tsp garlic, chopped
- 2 Tbsp parsley
- ¼ cup chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- Using the head of cauliflower, make faux mashed potatoes. Set aside. (If you are not familiar with how to do this, the recipe is posted below.)
- Cut pork tenderloin into bite-sized pieces and toss with your favorite seasoning. I opted for McCormick’s Montreal Chicken seasoning.
- Heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil over medium heat and add pork pieces, cooking until brown on all sides.
- Remove pork from pan.
- Add 1 Tbsp coconut oil, mushrooms, and garlic to pan and sauté until mushrooms are tender.
- Stir in broth, and return pork pieces back to pan.
- Cover and simmer on low for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and add brie to pan, stirring gently until all of it has melted.
- Serve over mashed cauliflower.
- Garnish with parsley (optional)
Chef note: Any type of broth will work with this recipe. I have used vegetable broth, and it was just as delicious.
Chef note: To make mashed cauliflower, simply boil the head of cauliflower. Drain water, and using a potato masher, mash and then whip the cauliflower mixture. You may add butter or milk to bring it to the desired consistency.
Chef note: I have absolutely nothing against using mashed potatoes instead of mashed cauliflower; however, it is a simple and tasty way to lighten the calories and carbs, which is why I opted for mashed cauliflower.
Yields 6 servings
- Calories: 312
- Total Fat: 14.6 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 4.8 g
- Dietary Fiber: 1.7 g
- Protein: 39.6 g