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What Are the Health Benefits of Venison?

author image Kelsey Casselbury
Kelsey Casselbury has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park and formal education in fitness and nutrition. Collins is an experienced blogger, editor and designer, who specializes in nutrition, fitness, weddings, food and parenting topics. She has been published in association and consumer publications, along with daily newspapers such as The Daily Times (Salisbury, Md.)
What Are the Health Benefits of Venison?
Venison is gamey in flavor but a healthy protein choice. Photo Credit: Jurajkovac/iStock/Getty Images

The term "venison" commonly refers to the meat of deer, but according to Purdue University, it can also mean the meat of other game animals, including elk, moose, caribou and antelope. These proteins have a gamey flavor because of the diet they eat; however, many of them -- notably, deer meat -- are lower in calories and fat than beef.

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Nutritional Breakdown

The nutritional content of venison will differ based on the cut and preparation method. A 4-ounce patty made of ground venison contains 133 calories, 18 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat, just 2.8 grams of which are saturated. In comparison, a 4-ounce patty made with 90 percent lean ground beef has 194 calories, 22 grams of protein and 4.5 grams of saturated fat. Additionally, venison offers nearly 50 percent of the dietary reference intake of iron for men and 31 percent for women, along with 30 percent of the DRI of vitamin B-6 for adults and 80 percent of the DRI of vitamin B-12. A 3-ounce serving of venison tenderloin is also lower in calories and fat than a beef tenderloin -- just 127 calories and 2 grams of fat, compared to 144 calories and 5.5 grams of fat in beef.

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