During stages of life when growth and development needs are high, such as during childhood, adolescence and pregnancy, eating animal-based foods such as pork provides high quality protein. Getting enough protein is important for adults, too. A growing body of research shows that eating a moderate amount of protein, combined with physical activity, is key to maintaining lean muscle mass while optimizing nutritional needs at this stage of life. A 3-ounce portion of pork tenderloin, for example, is an excellent source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus and niacin, and a good source of potassium, riboflavin and zinc, yet contributes only 6 percent of calories to a 2,000-calorie diet.
Getting proper education and behavioral support from trusted registered dietitians about the dietary pattern options that are in line with dietary guidance will help ensure Americans of ALL ages eat a diet high in nutrients, but relatively low in calories.