Meat serves as one of the main sources of protein in the diets of many Americans, and choosing lean meats helps you boost your protein intake healthfully. The University of Michigan Heath System highlights pork tenderloin as a lean-meat option, providing a lower-fat alternative to other cuts, such as pork chops or bacon. Consume pork tenderloin, and you'll introduce more vitamins, minerals and other nutrients into your diet
Calories, Protein and Fat
Pork tenderloin is relatively low in calories; a 3-ounce portion, with any visible fat removed, contains just 93 calories. Roughly three-quarters of these calories come from the tenderloin's 17.8 grams of protein. You can use this protein to make hormones, as well as to maintain strong tissues. Pork tenderloin also contains 1.8 grams of fat per serving, which accounts for 17 percent of its calories. Fat helps you absorb vitamins from your food and also provides energy you need to support your active lifestyle.
Eat pork tenderloin as a good source of the essential minerals selenium and phosphorus. Selenium helps regulate your metabolism by controlling the activity of thyroid hormones, and it also protects the cells that line your blood vessels from damage. A 3-ounce serving of pork tenderloin contains 26.2 micrograms of selenium, or 48 percent of the recommended daily intake. The phosphorus abundant in pork tenderloin helps control enzyme activity, makes up a component of DNA and contributes to strong bone tissue. Each serving contains 210 milligrams, which is 30 percent of your daily recommended phosphorus intake.
Pork tenderloin significantly boosts your intake of thiamin, also called vitamin B-1, and contains choline. The thiamin in your diet activates coenzymes your cells need to perform the Kreb's cycle, a series of chemical reactions that help produce energy. Each 3-ounce portion of pork tenderloin provides you with 0.85 milligram of thiamin -- 77 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 71 percent for men. Pork tenderloin's choline content aids in nerve cell communication and helps your body metabolize cholesterol. Consuming 3 ounces of pork tenderloin boosts your choline intake by 69 milligrams. This makes up 13 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and 22 percent for women.
Preparation and Cooking Tips
Keep your pork tenderloin as lean as possible by trimming away any visible fat before cooking and selecting healthful cooking options -- such as broiling or grilling -- that don't require the use of added fat. Instead of seasoning your pork with barbecue sauce, which can contain added sugar or fat, add flavor with a dry rub made up of paprika, garlic powder and red chilli pepper. Alternatively, cook your pork tenderloin in a slow cooker, along with apple cider, sliced apples and whole cranberries, for a sweet and filling main course. Always cook your pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid food-borne illness, recommends the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- University of Michigan Health System: Healing Foods Pyramid - Lean Meats
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Pork, Fresh, Loin, Tenderloin, Separable Lean Only, Raw
- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Protein
- Iowa State University Extension and Outreach: Fat
- Linus Pauling Institute: Selenium
- Linus Pauling Institute: Phosphorus
- Linus Pauling Institute: Thiamin
- Linus Pauling Institute: Choline
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Food Safety for Moms-to-Be: Safe Eats - Meat, Poultry & Seafood