P A Lofgren, Oak Park, IL, USA
© 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Animal source foods are major contributors to the nutrients in the food supply in many countries. Of these foods, animal muscle (or meat) foods and products are excellent examples of nutrient-dense, or naturally nutrient-rich, foods that provide a relatively large amount of many nutrients per the amount of calories provided in a typical serving. For purposes of this article, discussion is limited to the muscle foods: beef, pork, lamb, veal, poultry, and some of the processed products made from these muscle species.
For meat and meat products there are extensive and comprehensive nutrient databases available for reference for particular products of interest. Thus, this article will provide a sampling of the data available for representative meats and meat products.
One of the best and most comprehensive listings of the nutrient values of all meat, poultry, and other meat products is the nutrient database developed and maintained by the US Department of Agriculture. In this database, complete nutrient profiles are listed for more than 700 beef, 200 pork, 195 lamb, 85 veal, 140 poultry, and 130 turkey products. This database can be accessed and searched on-line at the Web site www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp. This database is updated as new data become available for various food products. The most recent version of this database is the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 17, published in 2004.
For another extensive listing of the nutrient values of many meat and meat products, including some by brand name, the reader is referred to the publication Bowes & Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used (18th edn.). This reference, although not as extensive in terms of products listed, provides data directly in common serving sizes and provides available data on some additional nutrient and nutrient-related components of meat products (e.g., values for !-3 and trans fatty acids, glutathione, vitamin D activity, and other vitamin-like compounds).
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