The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) supports federal dietary guidelines and its goals of reducing obesity and encouraging the consumption of nutrient-rich foods and increasing physical activity.

NPPC points out that many cuts of pork are lean, nutrient-dense sources of protein.

NPPC recognizes the importance of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for food policy and nutrition guidance; the guidelines were issued Jan. 31 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services.

“NPPC agrees with the guidelines’ call for eating nutrient-dense foods, and many cuts of lean pork, including tenderloin and loin chops, contain quality nutrients,” says NPPC President Sam Carney, a pork producer from Adair, IA.

Lean meats provide heme iron, potassium and vitamin B-12, nutrients often lacking in Americans and not found in plant-based foods. On average, Americans’ 2,000 calorie-a-day diet includes 5.3 ounces of meat or meat equivalents. The USDA Food Pyramid calls for two to three servings of 2- to 3-ounce portions of meat, poultry or fish, equaling 4 to 9 ounces a day.

“The solution to the obesity problem is not a shift from animal-based foods to plant-based ones, but rather a shift from nutrient-poor foods to nutrient-rich foods, emphasizing the consumption of lean meats, including pork, along with vegetables, nuts and beans,” Carney says.

The National Pork Board recently became a My Pyramid partner and plans to work with the Agriculture Department to help educate Americans in choosing, preparing and eating healthy food options.