RESEARCH: Eating lean pork may help humans to lose weight

06-08-2012 | | |
RESEARCH: Eating lean pork may help humans to lose weight

Regular consumption of lean fresh pork may improve body composition. This was one of the outcomes of research at the Nutritional Physiology Research Centre, University of South Australia.


High protein meat-based diets are commonly promoted for weight loss, supposedly by increasing satiety and energy expenditure. Pork is a good source of protein however little information on the metabolic effects of pork consumption exists.

The pilot study aimed to examine whether regular consumption of fresh lean pork could improve body composition and cardiovascular risk factors in a six-month parallel intervention trial. In total, 164 overweight adults (mean body mass index 32) were randomly assigned to incorporate up to 1 kg pork/week by substituting for other foods or maintain their habitual diet (control). Plasma levels of lipids, glucose and insulin, BMI, waist/hip circumference, blood pressure, heart rate and arterial compliance were measured at baseline and three and six months.

Body composition

Body composition was determined using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. A total of 144 volunteers completed and volunteers in the pork group increased their intake tenfold by substituting pork for mainly beef and chicken. After three months, there were significant reductions in weight, BMI, waist circumference, percentage of body fat, fat mass and abdominal fat in the pork group relative to controls, which persisted for six months.

There was no change in lean mass, indicating that the reduction in weight was due to loss of fat mass. There were no significant effects on other metabolic parameters.

Related website:

University of South Australia

ter Beek
Vincent ter Beek Editor of Pig Progress / Topic: Pigs around the world