The health benefits and the mouthwatering taste are two very good reasons to eat wild game. Elk, white tail deer, mule deer, moose and antelope are five examples of really good wild game meat. They each have their own distinctive taste and all are healthier than eating beef due to lower fat content and high protein. Elk and buffalo or bison are often found in restaurants. Buffalo is also very healthy but is mostly ranch raised.
Venison or wild game tends to be lower in fat than beef because of their natural green diet and the fact that they are very active in the wild. One misconception about “organic” meat is we assume the animals are allowed to roam free. Sadly, this is not always the case. There is no doubt about the “free range” of wild game. Eating greens in the wild also contributes to a lower content of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids and a higher content of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which is essential for heart and brain health. The feeding of corn and grain to farm animals not only increases the total fat content but also the omega-6 fatty acid content, neither one of which are good for your health. Grass-fed beef or bison have similar increased omega-3 fatty acid content making them healthier than grain fed beef. A three ounce serving of venison has 133 calories and one gram of fat per ounce. Elk specifically, derives only 22% of the meat energy from fat, as compared with 33% for beef. Venison is low in cholesterol, and the ratio of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids is higher than in conventional red meats.
Wild game meat has long provided hunters with an excellent source of protein. A 3 ounce serving of venison contains about 22 grams of protein and a 3oz. serving of buffalo contains about 24 grams. This about the same as a chicken drumstick, slightly less than a chicken breast, and higher than the same size serving of beef. Venison also has less cholesterol per serving than chicken.
With growing concerns about over-consumption of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, you can rest assured a venison steak won’t contain antibiotics or contribute to the proliferation of super-bugs. There are also no added growth hormones or scary fillers.
This type of meat contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B complex. It is richer in iron, niacin, and B vitamins than commercial meats.These nutrients are essential for proper metabolism and healthy maintenance of tissue and nerves. Additionally, venison also contains around 5 to 6 grams of calcium,and it is also high in iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and potassium. These minerals are essential for nerve development, cardiovascular health, and proper regulation of blood serum cholesterol.
Since it is low in fat be careful not to over cook it so you don’t dry it out. Most cuts will cook the same as beef, they just won’t take quite as long. Marinating and some seasoning will enhance the flavor if you need it. Steaks and chops are excellent spread with olive oil, seasoned to taste with seasoning salt, pepper, and whatever herbs you like and cooked on the barbecue grill.
Another health benefit of wild game is the fact you have to go hunting to get it. Hunting is a great form of exercise and just being out in the mountains is good for your body and soul!
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