Lean cuts of pork can be part of DASH diet

Krissa Welshans 1, Feedstuffs Editor

June 19, 2015

7 Min Read
Lean cuts of pork can be part of DASH diet

ADULTS who are following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating pattern to lower their blood pressure can expand their protein options to include lean, unprocessed pork, according to new research from Purdue University.

"This study supports that the DASH diet can include lean, unprocessed red meats in the appropriate serving sizes," Purdue nutrition science professor Wayne Campbell said.

The study, which compared lean, unprocessed pork with chicken and fish as the predominant protein source in a DASH-style diet, was published online in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The research was funded by the National Pork Board, the National Institutes of Health's Indiana Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute and Clinical Research Center and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The study applied only to cuts of unprocessed lean pork, such as tenderloin and fresh, uncured ham trimmed of visible fat. Each serving size was 3 oz. The findings should not be extrapolated to other pork products with higher fat and salt content, Campbell noted.

The effectiveness of the DASH diet is that it limits red meat intake to reduce total fat and saturated fat, as well as sodium.

The DASH diet is often recommended to help people reduce their blood pressure and is focused on increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, poultry and fish while reducing consumption of fats, added sugars and red meats, including pork.

Many cuts of red meat, including beef or pork tenderloin and fresh ham, meet the USDA guidelines for lean, which is less than 10 g of total fat and less than 4.5 g of saturated fat per 100 g. Extra lean is considered less than 5 g of total fat and less than 2 g of saturated fat per 100 g.

"If people have to rely only on fish and chicken, their diet choices can be limited, and our findings support that lean pork may be a viable option for people who are consuming a DASH diet without compromising the effectiveness of the diet plan," said Drew Sayer, a Purdue doctoral student in nutrition science and a co-author on the study.

Hypertension is a risk factor for cardiovascular and kidney disease. About 30% of American adults live with hypertension, and 65% of adults age 60 and older have high blood pressure.

The 19 participants in the study had elevated blood pressure, and their average age was 61.

"The people in the study were at risk for hypertension, and they represent the 60% of Americans with pre-hypertension who are on the road to clinically high blood pressure," Sayer explained.

The study participants consumed a DASH-style diet for two 6-week periods and ate either lean pork or chicken and fish as their main protein source. After a four-week break, they then consumed the alternate meat.

Participants' blood pressure levels were taken throughout the study, including at the beginning of each six-week period and at the end of the study.

Pre- and post-intervention manual and 24-hour blood pressure levels did not differ among participants on either DASH option of pork or chicken/fish. Consumption of these DASH-style diets for six weeks reduced all measures of blood pressure, with no differences in responses between participants who ate chicken and fish and those who ate pork.


Opportunities in Wisconsin

A recent study indicated that certain attributes of Wisconsin offer a competitive advantage and would provide a significant opportunity for regrowth and renewal of the state's swine industry.

The University of Wisconsin-Extension, working in partnership with the Wisconsin Pork Assn., identified options for strengthening the state's swine sector.

"Swine production has historically played a key role in the state's economy. However, changing economic forces within agriculture over the last three to four decades resulted in a decline in hog and pig production in Wisconsin," said Zen Miller, University of Wisconsin-Extension dairy and livestock agent in Outagamie County, Wis., and swine team leader.

He noted that while some of these challenges continue, the availability of low-density locations that are critical to disease prevention, rational and consistent livestock facility siting regulations, available land for nutrient application and the significant number of local processor markets are just a few of Wisconsin's attributes that could strengthen the swine industry.

Miller said the most logical areas of the state for swine operation growth are those where dairy expansion has not yet tied up the available land base and is not likely to.

While there are hog operations in every county except Milwaukee, Wis., hog farms currently are concentrated in the southwestern and south-central part of the state. Grant County, Wis., is home to the largest number of hogs, according to the 2007 "Census of Agriculture."

Observations indicated that the central region of Wisconsin appears to be very promising for hog expansion because cow density in the region is relatively low. Corn acreage density is also low, but corn yields were close to the state average in 2011.

"The challenge will be to encourage and achieve desired growth while at the same time protecting attributes that currently make the state uniquely suited for pork production — superior biosecurity chief among them," Miller said. "Given the current low density of production in most of the state, there is ample room for prudent growth."

The study also highlighted efforts such as the current project to eliminate porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome involving the Wisconsin Pork Assn., the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture & Consumer Protection, the University of Wisconsin, the veterinary community and other industry stakeholders that will help maximize advantages and minimize risks to both current and future producers.


China hog farm

Alltech recently announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding with Jiangsu Guo Ming Agricultural Development Co. during the China Animal Husbandry Expo confirming the companies' commitment to work together to open a new pig farm in Shuyang, China, in Jiangsu province.

The agreement was signed by representatives from Jiangsu Guo Ming, Betco Asia, Big Dutchman, Pipestone, PIC China and Alltech China.

Those companies will support Jiangsu Guo Ming in the development of the farm in their respective areas of expertise. Alltech will provide animal nutrition solutions, Big Dutchman and Betco will work together on the equipment, facility and housing design, PIC will provide genetics and Pipestone will offer management support.

The farm will take approximately two years to complete. It will require the expertise of industry leaders to develop a farm that can serve as a model for farmers and processors on how using the latest technologies, including nutrigenomics, can maximize productivity.

The farm will initially house 5,000 sows and will expand to include grower-finisher barns in a second phase. The plan is to produce antibiotic-free, natural pork products in a highly efficient manner with reduced environmental impact.

"The pig industry in China is transforming from scattered small farms to large-scale farming, and there are lots of opportunities for growth. This new farm will need comprehensive technology; thus, we are partnering with industry leaders to maximize productivity," said Guoming Pan, president of Jiangsu Guo Ming.

Jiangsu Guo Ming aims to create a farm that is environmentally sustainable with high standards for animal welfare. In addition to ensuring traceability from seed to feed, a key objective is to produce a model for manure management that can be replicated on farms across China.

"Alltech is guided by our ACE principle, which stands for the benefit and safety to the animal, consumer and environment, and the base of our products has always been natural. We are proud to work with Jiangsu Guo Ming and other industry leaders to develop a farm that follows this principle and uses the latest technologies to maximize productivity," said Dr. Mark Lyons, Alltech vice president and director of China business operations.

Volume:87 Issue:24

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