Pork is a popular protein in the United States, and some people even like this meat better than beef. Pork chops are juicy and flavorful just about any way you prepare them, and those who enjoy serving them for Sunday dinner or backyard barbecues can take heart knowing that they're not as high in saturated fat and cholesterol as red meat. This meat isn't exactly lean, though, so grilling it is preferable to frying.
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Grilled pork chops are moderately low in calories, as each 4-oz. serving has 130. That is 6.5 percent of your daily recommended intake if you're on a 2,000-calorie diet. A serving of pork chops is lower in calories than other types of meat, such as top sirloin, which has 221 calories per 4-oz. serving.
Grilled pork chops are a rich source of protein, as each 4-oz. serving has 23 g of this nutrient. That is just 1 g less than what four eggs provide. Protein is vital for your overall health, as it builds and repairs muscle and other tissues.
A serving of grilled pork chops has 5 g of fat. Of this, 2 g is saturated. A similar-size serving of top sirloin has more total fat -- more than 1 g. It also has more than twice the amount of saturated fat. Although dietary fat is vital for overall health, too much saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease. For this reason, the American Heart Association recommends that you get 25 to 35 percent of your calories from total fat but less than 7 percent from saturated fat.
Grilled pork chops also have far less cholesterol than red meat. A 4-oz. serving has 55 mg, while a similar serving of top sirloin has nearly 25 percent more cholesterol. Too much cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease, so the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests consuming less than 200 mg daily.
Grilled pork chops don't contain any carbohydrates. Thus, you may find this food appropriate for a low-carbohydrate diet. An analysis of five studies published in the February 2006 edition of "Archives of Internal Medicine" found that low-carbohydrate diets can produce a quicker rate of weight loss than low-fat diets.
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Generic Angela Modify Pork Loin Chop Boneless Grilled
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Top Sirloin Steak (Publix)
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Egg
- American Heart Association; Knowing Your Fats; September 2010
- "Archives of Internal Medicine"; Effects of Low-Carbohydrate vs Low-Fat Diets on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials; A.J. Nordmann et al.; February 2006
- Cleveland Clinic; Nutrition - Cholesterol Guidelines; July 2010