Usually when the media talk about the health benefits of food, it’s discussing things like kale or wine. More often than not, red meats (meats that come from mammals) are not given the same limelight. On the contrary, usually when red meat is discussed at all, it’s about how we’re all eating too much and it’s not doing us any good. But all that bad PR isn’t necessarily fair. From pigs to cows, rabbit to sheep, and bison to elk, we eat a lot of different types of red meat. Each of these meats has a different nutritional value, and at Rangeland, we don’t feel that all red meats should be lumped together.
Low in Fat. Elk is one of the leanest meats commonly available for consumption. While lamb commonly derives nearly half of its energy from fat and fats make up a full third of the energy in beef, elk’s energy mostly comes from its high protein. Less than a quarter of the caloric energy in elk comes from fat.
Low in Cholesterol. In recent years, it seems every doctor and health advice column has come out in support of eating a diet low in cholesterol. When it comes to red meats, elk is once again a leading option for health conscious consumers. It has just 56mg of cholesterol in a 100 gram serving. That’s less than turkey (68mg), chicken breast (83mg), and beef (85mg). Pork and lamb are even higher than beef.
High in Protein. Diets that are rich in protein make it easier to gain muscle. This is because protein has a lot of energy, and evolutionary biology suggests eating meat is one of the reasons humans had the necessary calories to develop such a complex brain and nervous system thousands of years ago. Like all red meats, elk is high in protein.
Vitamins and Minerals. In order to function at our best and be the healthiest people we can, we need numerous vitamins and minerals. A serving of elk provides 100% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin B12, and it also offers 15% of your iron requirement. One serving of elk will also cover 20% of your thiamine, phosphorus, zinc, and B-6 requirement, meets 45% of your riboflavin recommended dose, and finally, it provides 30% of your required niacin.
While red meat can often take a beating in the media as bad for you, elk is actually pretty great. It offers a ton nutritional value in vitamins and minerals, it’s high in protein and low in fats and cholesterol. If you enjoy meat as a part of your diet, elk meat is an excellent option to balance tasty, tasty red meat with health conscious decisions.