Lean, unprocessed pork is now an add-on in the DASH diet. The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that adults who are following the DASH-style eating pattern to lower their blood pressure can expand their protein options to include lean, unprocessed pork.
Purdue University's Wayne Campbell said that this study supports that the DASH diet can include lean, unprocessed red meats in the appropriate serving sizes. This study applies only to cuts of unprocessed lean pork, such as tenderloin and fresh, uncured ham trimmed of visible fat. Each serving size was three ounces.
These findings should not be extrapolated to other pork products with higher fat and salt content, Campbell said. The effectiveness of the DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, limits red meat to reduce total and saturated fat as well as sodium.
The DASH diet is often recommended to reduce blood pressure and is focused on the increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat dairy, nuts, poultry and fish, while reducing fats, red meats, including pork, and added sugars.
Many cuts of red meat, including beef or pork tenderloin and fresh ham, meet the USDA guidelines for lean, which is less than 10 grams total fat and less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat per 100 grams.
Extra lean is less than 5 grams total fat and less than two grams saturated fat per 100 grams. If people have to rely only on fish and chicken their diet choices can be limited, and the 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 co-author Drew Sayer.