The Final Report for project 3B-114, Development of a ‘healthy pork’ resource for use by consumers, health professionals and regulatory bodies: summary and dissemination of Pork CRC human nutrition research, has been received.
The Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC), which operated from 2005 to 2019, funded 16 projects under the ‘Healthy Pork Consumption’ program (Inherent Properties of Australian Pork to Enhance Consumer Health), with the aims to explore potential health benefits of pork and drivers and barriers to pork consumption. A compilation of this work, titled Development of a ‘healthy pork’ resource for use by consumers, health professionals and regulatory bodies: summary and dissemination of Pork CRC human nutrition research, was completed recently through APRIL by Dr Karen Murphy, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Food Sciences and Accredited Practicing Dietitian, at the University of South Australia.
The main purposes of the project were to first, assimilate the scientifically substantiated information on the nutritional properties and health benefits of including fresh lean pork in a diet for consideration in regard to dietary guidelines and diet and health-related messages; and second, apply this research to educate dietitians and health professionals on the benefits and lack of adverse effects of consuming fresh lean pork as part of a healthy dietary pattern.
The report is wide-ranging, covering the breadth and depth of projects that were conducted during the Pork CRC, and summarised studies that, for example, examined commonly consumed pork cuts to determine if there had been any changes in their key nutritional composition compared to 2006; research examining the role of pork in improving muscle mass, body strength and cognitive function in elderly people; a study exploring the health benefits of pork consumption in diets of Australian children; and research studying the effect of a Mediterranean diet with fresh lean Australian pork on a number of health-related parameters in high risk individuals.
In summarising the research conducted, Dr Murphy commented that there are a number of positive attributes for fresh pork that could be used to the benefit of the industry to contribute further to the increase in fresh pork consumption seen recently. “This research showed that there were no adverse effects of fresh pork consumption, but it may help with cardiometabolic health and blood pressure management of type 2 diabetes, weight loss, and preservation of cognition as part of a healthy dietary pattern. Including fresh lean pork in a healthy dietary pattern, in moderation, fits with latest dietary guidelines for good health”.
A Summary of the Final Report is available from the Final Reports page.