DASH eating plan taps lean pork as menu item

Farm Forum

SIOUX FALLS – Adults following the well-documented Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, eating plan can also include lean pork to help lower blood pressure. According to new research funded by the Pork Checkoff, people with high blood pressure can benefit from a DASH eating plan that uses nutrient-rich lean pork as the predominant source of protein.

“This new Pork Checkoff-funded study further validates the important role of lean pork in a balanced diet,” said Karen Richter, president of the National Pork Board and a pork producer from Montgomery, Minn. “Lean, nutrient-rich pork has many beneficial qualities that make it easy to incorporate into any healthy diet.”

Purdue University researchers found that when adults ate lean pork instead of chicken and fish as their main protein source, the blood pressure benefits were the same. Regardless of the protein source, study participants’ systolic blood pressure dropped about eight to nine points and their diastolic number decrease about four to five points after six weeks. Participants had their blood pressure consistently checked through a 24-hour blood pressure monitoring system.

“The DASH diet has been recognized by government and health organizations as an eating pattern that can promote health and help decrease the risk of chronic diseases,” said study lead author Dr. Wayne Campbell, nutrition science professor at Purdue University. “While the traditional DASH diet includes chicken and fish, our research suggests that lean pork may also be a part of this healthy eating pattern.”

The study included 19 overweight or obese older adults – 13 women and six men – all with elevated blood pressure. Participants were randomly assigned to consume the DASH diet for two six-week periods, which included either chicken and fish or lean pork as the major protein source, or about 55 percent of their total protein intake. The DASH diet emphasizes increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and typically, fish and chicken, along with reduced intakes of sodium and red meats.

“Fresh pork is more than just a good source of protein- lean pork also provides several vitamins and minerals – including thiamin, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.2“ said Stacy Sorlien program and communications director for the South Dakota Pork Producers Council. “Plus, today’s most popular cuts have 16 percent less total fat and 27 percent less saturated fat than they did 20 years ago. Cuts of pork that come from the loin – including chops, roasts and 96 percent lean ground pork – are the leanest cuts of pork available.”

For the latest pork nutrition information, recipes and more, visit porkandhealth.org. For nutritional information and pork recipes or for information about modern pork production, please visit www.sdpork.org.

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Asian Dry Rub

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15-17 minutes

2 pork tenderloins (1 pound each), trimmed

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 145° F. Line a medium baking pan with foil.

Stir together brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt, black pepper, cloves, and cayenne pepper in small bowl. Rub pork with brown sugar mixture.

Place pork in prepared pan and roast for 15-18 minutes or until the pork’s internal temperature reaches 145° F. Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil, and let stand for 3 minutes. Cut into slices.

Serving Suggestion: Serve the sliced pork tenderloin with brown rice tossed with thinly sliced scallions and fresh chopped cilantro. Steamed bok choy or broccoli drizzled with a tiny bit of Asian sesame oil make quick and easy side dish options.

Makes 4 servings, plus leftovers.

Calories: 140, Fat: 2.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 75mg, Sodium: 210mg, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 24g, Fiber: 0g