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Nutritional Facts of Deer Meat

by
author image Jamie Simpson
Jamie Simpson is a researcher and journalist based in Indianapolis with more than 10 years of professional writing experience. She earned her B.S. in animal science from Purdue University and her Master of Public Affairs in public management from Indiana University. Simpson also works as a massage therapist and equine sports massage therapist.
Nutritional Facts of Deer Meat
Cooked venison with cranberry sauce. Photo Credit Shaiith/iStock/Getty Images

Deer meat, or venison, is probably not a common part of your diet, but deer meat can be delicious and healthful. Most deer meat comes from wild game that is completely free range and quite lean. Available as dried jerky, in burgers or as cuts of steak, deer meat is as versatile as any meat you'll find in your supermarket. To make the most of deer meat as a part of your diet, it's important to understand the nutritional facts of deer meat so you can make it a part of a balanced diet.

Serving Size

Venison serving sizes are similar to other meats, with a recommended serving size of three to four ounces, or a cut about the size of a deck of playing cards. MyFitnessPal.com notes that venison has just 33 calories and only 1 gram of fat per ounce. DeerFarmer.com reports that deer meat is a very dense meat, so when cutting serving sizes for cooking you shouldn't expect the meat to shrink during the cooking process.

Protein Content

Deer meat is considered to be an excellent source of protein due to its protein-to-fat ratio. The US Department of Agriculture notes that the amount of protein in a serving of deer meat is nearly 50% of the recommended daily intake of protein for women and just under 50% of the recommended daily protein intake for men.

Cholesterol

Compared to other meats, deer meat is low in cholesterol, according to DeerFarmer.com. There are 66 mg of cholesterol in a 100 g serving of deer meat, which is less than the cholesterol of a similar serving of chicken breast, which has 83 mg of cholesterol.

Vitamins and Minerals

Although it is not considered a good source of calcium or vitamin A, deer meat is a good source of other vitamins and minerals. MyFitnessPal notes that deer meat provides 15% of the daily recommended intake of iron per three ounce serving for adults.

Considerations

Venison is a low-fat meat, and DeerFarmer.com warns that it needs to be cooked carefully to avoid overcooking; thus, cooking times differ from other similar meats. The meat can have a strong gamey flavor, which can be lessened through aging or marinating your venison in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic or other strongly flavored sauces. In your marinades or dressings, watch the level of salt, as this draws out moisture from the venison and can make the finished meal dry and tough. Using herbs, spices and wines can help keep the meat juicy and tender during cooking while also giving it an enjoyable flavor.

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