Why Elk Meat Is An Excellent Red Meat Option!

Posted on May 8th, 2013 at 4:16 am by


Red meat is characterized by it’s red color before cooking and examples include elk, beef, and lamb meat.  The color comes from the high concentration of myoglobin in the system of these animals.  Myoglobin is a substance that assists muscles in utilizing oxy photo elk_zps30131a67.jpggen more effectively.  This substance turns the meat into a dark color, and it also allows the muscles to be utilized for extensive activities like standing and walking.

Red meat is preferred by some people because of the health benefits while some individuals simply like it because of the intense flavors.  This type of meat contains a lot of vitamins and minerals including: zinc, B12, B6, iron, and thiamine.  In addition, this type of meat is an excellent source of muscle-building protein and antioxidants known as alpha lipoic acid.  If you want to follow a red meat diet but would like alternatives to beef and lamb, you might want to consider elk meat.  It tastes like beef but it is more flavorful.

The Health Benefits Of Elk Meat

Many people are now conscious of what they eat due to increasing obesity rates.  Elk meat is an excellent low fat food source when compared to most of the other meats available on the market.  Based on reports, elk meat has just .07 to 1% fat.  According to the studies done by USDA, other types of meat have the following fat percentages:

  • Chicken Breast has 2-4% fat
  • Salmon has 5-6% fat
  • Ostrich meat has 2-3% fat
  • Beef (another common type of red meat) has 6-10% fat
  • Buffalo has 2-3% fat

Elk meat is known as the leanest red meat and it has less fat than fish or poultry as shown in the studies above.  Although elk meat has low fat, it is still delicious.  In fact, it is considered to be the best tasting wild game meat.  It is an excellent red meat option because it helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis which is one of the major causes of heart failure and stroke.

The following are details concerning the nutritional value of elk meat.

Calories: One serving of elk meat has about 130 calories- 15 calories of which is from fat.  The total fat content of this meat is 1.5 grams which is basically 3% of the daily recommended value.  In addition, it doesn’t contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.

Protein and Carbohydrates: 3 ounces of elk meat contains 19.5 grams of protein, which is nearly half of the daily suggested protein based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Elk meat is also an excellent red meat option for those who are carb-conscious since it contains little to no carbohydrates.  In addition, it does not contain any dietary sugars.

Cholesterol: One serving of this meat contains 60mg of cholesterol.  The suggested cholesterol intake should be around 300mg daily for people with normal levels.  This is according to the counsel of the American Heart Association.  With that said, eating elk meat is considered a very healthy choice.

Vitamins and Minerals: This type of animal protein is also rich in vitamins and minerals.  It contains B-vitamin complex, B6 and B12.  The B12 content of this meat is about 4oz which completes the daily allowance at 110%.  Three ounces of elk meat serving can provide 256mg of potassium and 49mg of sodium.  Other minerals found in elk meat includes: potassium, calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

The nutritional value of elk meat shows that it is one of the healthiest animal proteins available on the market.  If you are looking for a great red meat option, you can’t go wrong with choosing elk meat.

About the Author

The author, Kris Hopkins, is a writer for health and wellness websites where she writes about the nutritional values found in animal protein.  She also occasionally writes for private elk hunting ranches.

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