In partnership with the National Pork Board, I had the opportunity to interview Adria Huseth, a dietitian who works for the National Pork Board. Check out her unique position and vast amount of responsibilities she has as a registered dietitian.
This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board.
1. Tell me a little about yourself, your background, your experience as a dietitian, etc.
I have a BA in marketing from the University of Iowa. I worked for a year in market research at Maytag and decided to go back to school at Iowa State University where I obtained my Dietetics credentialing. I also recently became a CPT, certified personal trainer through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine). I worked for a year as a clinical dietetic intern at Florida Hospital in Altamonte Springs, FL. I returned to Iowa in 2009 and worked serving as an integral nutritional professional for Mid-Iowa Community Action, Inc. (MICA), a private, nonprofit organization serving children and families affected by poverty in Central Iowa through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and BASICS programs. In 2010, I joined the National Pork Board as their staff dietitian and manager of human nutrition research and communications.
2. What is your role as a dietitian for the National Pork Board?
As the National Pork Board’s manager of nutrition research and communication I serve as the lead dietitian to communicate pork’s healthy attributes for 65,000-pork producer industry. I identify and develop best health and wellness initiatives, strategies and policies related to human nutrition research and consumption of lean pork as part of a healthy, balanced diet. I interact with industry, educational, governmental and global audiences involved in health and nutrition while overseeing all activities related to the well-known brand: The Other White Meat® I work hand-in hand with school nutrition personnel to educate on nutritional guidelines for school breakfast and lunch programs, including meal planning and public speaking on health and wellness. I also develop dynamic resources including recipes, fact sheets, recipe brochures, newsletters, talking points and comments for media, school foodservice personnel and health professionals. I work in conjunction with Pork Board Domestic Marketing and Science and Technology departments to develop yearly plans of work that include leading a Pork Safety, Quality and Human Nutrition Committee while overseeing annual research and marketing priorities and budget for nutrition issues. I provide vital presence at industry events including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual exposition and advisory panel of dietitians to provide information on nutrition research, pork quality and safety, hands-on cooking and product sampling, consumer trends and ways to share this information with clients and consumers.
3. What surprising facts or tidbits have you learned since becoming a dietitian in the pork industry?
America’s pork producers are among the most environmentally and socially conscious food producers in the world. From their continual emphasis on the welfare of the animals under their care, to their stewardship of the soil, water and land they call home, pork producers are leaders on many environmental fronts. They continuously work to ensure that the food they produce is done so in a responsible and caring way for animals, consumers and the environment.
4. How many cuts of pork are there in a pig?
The answer to this question will vary depending on how the pig is further fabricated and processed. Generally speaking, we could break up the pig into cuts as follows:
Head – 3
• Jowl, Cheeks, Ears
Shoulder – 10
• Butt, Collar Butt, Picnic, Teres Major, Pectoral, Cushion, Shank, Hock, Forefoot, Karubi Ribs
Loin – 9
• Country Style Ribs, Ribeye Chops, Loin Chops, T-Bone Chops, Porterhouse Chops, NY Chops, Tenderloin, Sirloin, Back Ribs
Belly – 5
• Belly, Spare Ribs, St Louis Ribs, Rib Tips, Short Ribs
Leg – 8
• Inside, Outside, Knuckle, Eye, Gracilis, Shank, Hock, Hind Foot
Offal – 6
• Skin, Liver, Kidneys, Chitterlings, Snouts, Tails
Guesstimating that this adds up to 41 cuts and or pieces.
5. What are the kind of pork cuts that are considered lean?
Compared to many other meats and poultry, lean pork cuts have less fat and cholesterol and fewer calories. Pork tenderloin is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast – and several pork cuts, called the “Slim 7,” meet USDA guidelines for “lean” or “extra lean.” Many cuts of fresh pork are leaner today than they were two decades ago – on average, about 16 percent lower in total fat and 27 percent lower in saturated fat. An easy way to remember lean cuts is to look for the word “loin” on the label, such as loin chop or pork tenderloin. Lean cuts include:
a. Pork tenderloin
b. Sirloin pork chop
c. New York pork chop (formally top loin chop)
d. Ground pork 96% lean
e. New York pork roast (formally top loin roast)
f. Porterhouse pork chop (formally bone-in center loin chop)
g. Ribeye pork chop (formally bone-in rib chop)
• Aside from being an excellent source of protein, pork provides important vitamins and minerals. A 3-ounce serving of pork is an “excellent” source of thiamin, selenium, protein, niacin, vitamin B6 and phosphorus, and a “good” source of riboflavin, zinc, and potassium.
• In February of 2012, pork tenderloin was certified to carry the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark, indicating that it is a heart-healthy choice in the meat aisle. It’s no surprise—pork tenderloin packs nutrients in every lean serving and, ounce for ounce, is as lean as skinless chicken breast.
6. What are some misconceptions you believe that people have regarding pork nutrition?
• There are a lot of misconceptions around pork products such as it’s not lean or cannot be enjoyed in a healthy eating patterns. Fresh pork is both naturally low in sodium and is a “good” source of potassium. Recent research suggests that the ratio of these two nutrients – lower sodium and higher potassium intake – is a key way to help control blood pressure. A healthy eating pattern can and should include lean protein sources like lean pork. Pork is an excellent source of B-vitamins, iron and zinc.
• Lean Protein Benefits Linked to Body Weight Management: There’s a growing body of evidence that shows that lean, high-quality protein, like pork, has specific health benefits – especially for weight management. Scientific evidence shows that eating lean, high-quality protein like pork can help people lose or maintain weight by contributing to people feeling full and by preserving lean muscle.
• Satiety Power of Protein – Protein has been shown to be more satiating than either carbohydrate or dietary fat, therefore allowing individuals to reduce ad libitum calorie intake, which can lead to significant weight loss
• Hypertension/DASH: Adults following the health-promoting DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan to help lower blood pressure can also include nutrient-rich lean pork as the primary source of protein in their diets, according to new research published last year in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
• Lean meats like pork can often provide higher protein levels in fewer calories than plant-based proteins. For example, a 3-ounce serving of lean pork provides about the same amount of protein as a cup and a half of black beans, but with 21 percent fewer calories. A healthy diet consists of a mixture of plant and animal proteins as evidenced by USDA’s MyPlate recommendations.
7. What is your favorite way to prepare pork? What is one of your favorite pork recipes?
To prepare delicious pork without adding extra calories:
• Choose lean cuts – look for the word “loin” on the label.
• Trim all visible fat and avoid adding large quantities of oil or fat in preparation.
• Use cooking methods that don’t add fat, like grilling.
• Cook to 145 degrees F. (medium rare) and 160 degrees F. (medium), followed by a three-minute rest, for juicy, tender and flavorful pork.
• Cook ground pork, like all ground meat, to 160 degrees F.
Pork tenderloin or a thick cut grilled pork chop is my favorite pork dish.
Pork is so versatile and pairs well with many other foods: One of my favorite salads is a pork and quinoa kale salad with tart cherries and balsamic dressing. Recipe is below.
8. Is there anything you would like to add regarding pork nutrition or the pork industry?
The National Pork Board recommends cooking pork chops, roasts and tenderloin to an internal temperature between 145 degrees F. (medium-rare) and 160 degrees F. (medium), followed by a three-minute rest. Ground pork, like all ground meat, should be cooked to 160 degrees F.
9. What resources are available for additional information on Pork nutrition?
•Visit www.porkandhealth.org for pork nutrition information and materials.
I want to give a big THANK YOU to Adria for allowing me to interview her and get an inside look into a dietitian’s role in the pork industry!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by the National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council and Minnesota Pork Board. I was compensated for my time but my views and opinions on this post are and will always be my own.
This Ask a Dietitian: Interview with a National Pork Board RD post first appeared on Chocolate Slopes.