Food Value of Meat

Meat is a highly nutritious food. This is why it has become such a basic part of our diet. Your probably think of meat as strictly a high protein food. But meat is also an important source of many vitamins and minerals.

Protein. Meat is a major source of protein. Meat proteins are highly nutritious because they are complete proteins.

Minerals. Lean meat supplies large amounts of phosphorus and iron. Liver and kidney provide even more of these two minerals. Pork liver supplies the most iron, followed by lamb, calf, and beef livers. Beef, lamb and pork kidneys supply about equal amounts of iron -- more than calf's kidney. Heart muscle is also rich in iron.

Vitamins. Meat is a major source of vitamin B12   and an excellent source of the other B vitamins. Pork is unique among meats for its richness in thiamine. Liver and Kidney are high in riboflavin, niacin, and thiamine.

Liver and kidney also supply large amounts of vitamin A. In addition, liver is high in vitamin C, while kidney contains smaller amounts of vitamin C.

Fat. Different kinds of meant contain different amounts of fat. In addtion, the better grades of meat usually have more fat. The higher the fat content, the more calories the meat supplies. If you are trying to limit intake of calories, trim the fat from the edges of the meat or buy the leanest cuts.

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