Wild Game Meat Health Benefits
By Paul Rothbart
The meat that most people eat comes from domesticated animals that are raised on farms. Beef, pork, and various types of poultry are nutritious. If you buy the organic variety they are even more healthy. There is another meat option that hunters consume regularly. That would be wild game. Rabbit, elk, venison, and bison are some of the many types of wild game meat that people enjoy. Many people enjoy hunting and butchering it themselves, but many supermarkets carry bison and specialized markets often carry other game meat. Some people, including me, find the gamey taste unpleasant. But for those who enjoy it, there are health benefits.
Leaner Protein With Less Fat
Wild animals are much more active than the domestic variety. Cattle hang out in a field most of the time, but deer, elk, and other wild game are in a constant fight for survival. Searching for food, evading predators and other dangers keeps them lean and muscular. As a result, wild game meat is very low in fat. Excess fats in foods can raise cholesterol and be bad for heart health. Game meat is also higher in protein, which is essential for good health. Three ounces of bison contains 24 grams of protein while the same amount of venison has 22.
Less Omega-6 Content
Omega-6 fatty acids have been found to increase inflammation which can increase the risk of obesity, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Farm animals generally subsist on a diet heavy in corn and other grains. This increases their overall fat content including omega-6s. Wild animals eat green leafy plants and grass. This reduces the omega-6 content of their meat significantly, making it more healthy than conventional proteins.
Greater Omega-3 Content
While omega-6 fatty acids can be harmful, omega-3s are very beneficial to health. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation. They are excellent for heart health and can lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. They also help increase good cholesterol, prevent hardening of the arteries, and lower blood pressure. Wild game meat has a higher content of omega-3s than domestic meat. This includes the grass-fed bison available in supermarkets.
Zinc and Iron
Game meat is rich in the essential minerals zinc and iron. Zinc is important for the immune system and healing wounds. Iron is necessary for healthy red blood cells and preventing anemia.
Proteins are vital to a balanced diet and good health. While organically-raised, domestic meat is healthy, you may want to try wild game meat. It has more health benefits and some people really enjoy the exotic flavor.
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