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Health Food of the month - Venison

March 2017

venison with rice

Venison is no longer just for royalty!


Previous Health Foods of the Month...

Noodles

Blood oranges

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Diet & Supplements Index

Waitrose Recipes

Venison is the meat of a deer. In the 1950s and 1960s this meat was still considered a rare treat for most households, and associated very much with the aristocracy.

This was really because the Normans introduced royal forests and hunting laws to protect venison and wild boar too. These hunting areas were reserved for the King and invited aristocracy, and hence in those days venison became associated as a meat mainly for the wealthy and powerful.

Today venison, while still classed as game, is available all year round and becoming increasingly popular. Evidently across the UK sales soared by nearly 400 per cent last year.

In the UK the indigenous types of deer were roe and red deer but over the years other types of deer including muntjac, fallow, Chinese water deer and sika have all been successfully introduced. Farmed deer mainly comes from red deer.  It is a fully sustainable meat.

Venison meat is a lean red meat with a stronger more gamey flavour than beef.

One of the reasons for its growing popularity is it considered one of the healthier meats. Gram for gram, it contains less fat than a skinless chicken breast and also has the highest levels of protein and lowest levels of cholesterol compared with almost any other meat.

Unlike many red meats which contain quite a lot of saturated fat, venison levels are low.  Like many meats, venison contains no carbohydrates but is high in protein, a 4- ounce serving of venison offers around 24 grams of protein plus all 10 of the essential amino acids. It also contains iron plus good levels of many of the B vitamins which can help to break down protein, far and carbohydrates in the body and also help with the formation of our red blood cells.

Another good aspect of venison is that its cholesterol levels are low for a red meat; it contains three times less cholesterol than beef, for instance.

There has been mention from the Food Standards Agency and others that sometimes venison might be contaminated by lead because wild deer can be shot with lead based ammunition. 

This is not a problem with venison found at leading supermarkets such as Waitrose where their venison is farmed and therefore safe from any lead. And with its health benefits plus a range of exciting recipes readily available online, today it is not surprising that venison is becoming such a popular addition to normal diets.

 

 


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