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Is Pork Good For Weight Loss Or Fattening?

This article has been Fact-Checked by Kendall Kennedy MS, RD, RYT

Choosing the right protein sources when trying to lose weight can be confusing. What about pork, is it good for weight loss or fattening?

Pork is the name for meat from pigs. This meat is one of the most popular meats around the world. There are a lot of different ways to eat and recipes with pork.

When talking about the nutritional values of meat you have to keep in mind that different parts of different animals have different values. And not only that, meat from the same area from an animal in the same species can have different nutrition contents because of what they ate and genetic differences (1, 2).

That being said by looking at nutrition values examples you can get a general view of how healthy a certain kind of meat is.

Like most protein sources, many people will benefit in terms of weight loss by eating more pork if they stick to the healthy recipes. Find out just how good pork is for weight loss and what some healthy ways are to implement this food in your diet.

Micronutrients in pork

The first thing to look at are the micronutrients in pork.

Micronutrients are a group of nutrients your body absolutely needs to survive and thrive. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. These are involved in basically every aspect of your health, including weight loss.

100 grams of cooked ground pork provides you with approximately (3):

  • Selenium: 51% of the DV (Daily Value)
  • Thiamin: 40% of the DV
  • Vitamin B12: 38% of the DV
  • Zinc: 24% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 23% of the DV
  • Niacin: 18% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 15% of the DV
  • Vitamin B5: 9% of the DV
  • Potassium: 9% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 8% of the DV
  • Iron: 8% of the DV
  • Copper: 7% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 6% of the DV

And a few other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. The amount of vitamins and minerals in 100 grams of ground pork is very great.

If you have trouble eating enough vitamins and minerals, pork can benefit you a lot.

Sliced pork bacon

Protein in pork for weight loss

Another thing in food that can help you on your weight loss journey is the amount of protein in it.

Cooked ground pork contains about 23.5 grams of protein per 100 grams. To compare, salmon contains around 25.4 grams per 100 grams (4).

Even though there are meats higher in protein, that is a good amount of protein per 100 grams.

Protein is considered to be the most filling of the 3 macronutrients. Hunger and cravings can be a big pitfall for people trying to lose weight, so avoiding this is a big plus.

Eating enough protein will also help you prevent muscle loss. Since muscle helps you burn extra calories throughout the day this is a big plus for protein and pork for weight loss.

Do keep in mind that overdoing it with protein isn’t good either.

Will pork help you lose weight?

To know whether or not you can eat pork while trying to lose weight you still need a final piece of the puzzle. The number of calories in pork.

Cooked ground pork contains around 265 calories per 100 grams. All of these calories come from fat and protein.

This makes pork a great option for low carb diets like the keto diet. Keep in mind that too much protein can also kick you out of ketosis.

The amount of calories in pork is medium to high compared to a lot of other meats for weight loss. Most vegetables and fruits are lower in calories.

Even with that in mind pork can be a good food option when trying to lose weight. It will help you feel fuller without adding too many calories to your diet. This will help you avoid higher-calorie foods. On top of that protein is such a valuable nutrient for weight loss.

In theory, you can overdo it with pork in terms of calories, in that case pork could be fattening. In reality, you will likely feel too full before you reach that point.

Different ways to eat pork for weight loss

You can find pork in many different shapes, sizes, and recipes. Some are better than others for weight loss.

The best pork recipes include this meat in a healthy way with healthy ingredients. That means preferably boiling but also baking and pan-frying. Most vegetables are great for weight loss and something like pork and sauerkraut is extra good because of the probiotics.

The “medium-good” pork recipes are bacon, pork jerky without added sugar, and pork ribs without calorie-rich marinade.

If you are looking to lose weight you want to avoid deep-fried pork recipes, pork ribs with sugary marinade, and pork jerky with added sugar.

Healthy pork recipe

Pork vs other popular meats for weight loss

You now know how good pork is for weight loss but how does it compare to certain other meats? Find out how good pork is for weight loss vs beef and chicken.

Again keep in mind that the actual nutritional values of the meat you buy vary from animal to animal. These examples are great to get a general view of the differences but they are likely not exactly the same as the actual meat you buy.

Pork vs beef

The first comparison is between pork and beef. If you look at the calorie amounts you can see that ground beef contains slightly more. Ground pork contains around 265 calories per 100 grams vs the 273 calories per 100 grams of ground beef (5).

Ground beef contains around 25.4 grams of protein per 100 grams, pork 23.5 grams. These 2 foods are similar when it comes to the amount of vitamins and minerals.

Pork and beef will have a very similar effect on weight loss.

Pork vs chicken

Chicken is another popular type of meat. Ground chicken is a relatively big amount lower in calories than pork, 189 calories per 100 grams (6).

The amount of protein in these two types of meat is very similar. Ground pork has about 23.5 grams of protein per 100 grams vs ground chicken with 23.3 grams. The amount of vitamins and minerals in these 2 types of meat is similar but slightly in favor of chicken.

Chicken will very likely be better for weight loss than pork.

Chart of pork vs beef vs chicken

The meat that really stands out for weight loss is chicken. When making the choice between pork and beef you are mainly deciding with personal preference.

The amounts of vitamins and minerals in the types of meat do matter for weight loss and health but you can’t simplify that in one number. You can check out the numbers for pork (3), beef (5), and chicken (6) to compare.

Values Per 100gGround PorkGround BeefGround Chicken
Calories265 calories273 calories189 calories
Protein23.5 g25.4 g23.3 g
Chart of pork vs beef vs chicken for weight loss

Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.