When it comes to healthy meats, game animals are often overlooked as a low-calorie source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. If trimming down and building muscle are a primary concern, here are a few meats from the forest you may want to consider.
Bison meat comes from buffalo, an animal that eats only grass. Grass-fed animals produce healthy meats that are naturally lower in fat and calories than meat from farm-raised animals. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that bison contains only 2.42 grams of fat per pound, as compared to 11.73 grams for beef and 18.19 grams for pork. It is also higher in protein, having 28.44 grams per pound as compared to 26.11 grams for beef and 23.55 grams for pork. For the best flavor, cook bison to an internal temperature of 110 to 115 degrees and allow to rest for at least three to five minutes before cutting.
Venison meat comes from deer, and is often considered the ultimate red meat because it is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. This meat is also very high in l-carnitine, a compound that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also very low in calories when compared to beef, containing only 134 calories and 3 grams of fat in a three-ounce serving. The same serving of beef contains 247 calories and 15 grams of fat. Season deer meat with salt and pepper and cook in a skilled that has been slightly preheated.
Rabbit meat is significantly higher in protein than either chicken or beef, containing 28 grams in a three-ounce serving. It is also known for being very rich in iron, as a single serving contains approximately 4 mg. Rabbit is also a primary source of some important minerals such as phosphorous and potassium. You can enjoy all this nutrition while taking in very few calories, as there are only 147 calories in every three-ounce portion. Cook rabbit by removing the skin and placing in a pan with celery, onion, cloves, and allspice.
A grouse is a wild game bird that is similar to a chicken, and is prepared much in the same way. A fully-cooked grouse contains 31 grams of protein and only 6.5 grams of fat for every 100 grams of meat. It is also an important source of Vitamins B1 and B2, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, and iron. What is most remarkable is the high magnesium content found in grouse, as some food tables report there is as much as 40,000 mg of this mineral for each 100 grams of cooked meat. Grouse is one of the simplest healthy meats to prepare-just roast with a bit of butter, salt, pepper, and onion until skin is slightly browned.
Healthy meats don’t always come from the grocery store, as many are found in the forest. Not only can eating game be better for you, but you’ll also enjoy an exhilarating workout while hunting as well.