When trying to eat healthier, choosing a piece of meat to grill or smoke can be a challenging task, as they all seem pretty unhealthy sometimes. You may need to feed a crowd, but you don’t want to give up on your healthy eating, and you may have heard that brisket could be healthier than pulled pork, but is this true?
Brisket and pulled pork are almost the same nutritionally when comparing the meat alone. The difference in health is the spices and sauces used to prepare and serve the meats. The BBQ sauce used for pulled pork has added sugar and preservatives that make it less healthy.
So, what are the nutritional value of brisket and pulled pork per portion?
You may be surprised by how similar these two cuts of meat are, so keep reading to find out!
Brisket Vs. Pulled Pork: Which One Is Healthier?
We have all been there, you receive an invitation to a BBQ at a friend’s house, or you cannot resist having a BBQ at your own house as the summer weather is perfect, but you also promised yourself that you would start eating better and “get into shape” again.
This brings about the age-old dilemma: Can you do both without offsetting the other?
Well, let’s take you through two of the options you have to BBQ: brisket and pulled pork.
Brisket and pulled pork have been a staple at BBQ for decades; you can always count on seeing these two types of meat at the BBQs you go to.
They are outdoor enthusiasts’ favorite because both types of meat could be smoked, grilled, or roasted. And this versatility is why they are so popular.
But is brisket healthier than pulled pork, like most people claim? Let’s go through all the information you need about these two types of meat.
The Nutritional Value Of Brisket
Brisket is a popular cut of meat that most people know about and have tried at least once in their lives, but what do you actually know about briskets?
The brisket is a cut of meat taken from the lower chest or breast of the cow, which is just below the chuck portion of the cow. The brisket will contain both the cow’s superficial and deep pectoral muscles when cut properly.
This cut of meat is quite tough; as the muscles it is cut from are hardworking muscles that get used every day in the cow’s life. This can make the brisket tough when cooked, so most people choose this cut of meat for smoking.
You need to remember that the nutritional value of the brisket can vary depending on the spices and sauces used in the process of preparing the brisket. But there is the base nutritional value of one portion of brisket:
- Calories – 387
- Total fat – 0.9 oz or 26g (saturated fat – 0.3 oz or 10g)
- Cholesterol – 123mg
- Sodium – 519mg
- Total Carbohydrates – 0
- Protein – 1.2 oz or 36g
This is only the nutritional value of the brisket itself and does not include any of the spices and sauces you may use on the brisket during prep or put on the brisket when you eat it.
Generally, smoking the brisket requires a lot more spices, so smoked briskets are less healthy than regular roasted briskets.
The Nutritional Value Of Pulled Pork
Pulled pork is a popular meat option at BBQs as it is packed with flavor and easy to prepare. But what cut of meat is used to make pulled pork, and what is the meat’s nutritional value?
Pulled pork is generally made from one of two cuts of pork, either the pork shoulder or the pork butt.
Although pork shoulder and pork butt are somewhat similar cuts of meat, they are different meat cuts. The pork butt is cut from the foreleg, and the pork shoulder is cut slightly further down the pig’s leg. So, you will need to treat these meat cuts somewhat differently if you want the best pulled pork.
These meat cuts are tougher as they get used by the animal regularly throughout the animal’s life, which is why these two cuts of meat are chosen for smoking and roasting as these cooking styles for these meats.
As with the brisket, the way you prepare, cook, and eat your pulled pork will affect the nutritional value of the meat. Here is the base nutritional value of pulled pork per portion:
- Calories – 140
- Total fat – 0.1 oz or 3g (saturated fat – 0.01 oz or 1.5g)
- Cholesterol – 35mg
- Sodium – 630mg
- Total carbohydrates – 0.5 oz or 17g
- Total protein – 1.3 oz or 10g
This is only the nutritional value of the pork itself and does not include any of the spices and sauces you may use on the pork during prep or put on the pork when you eat it.
Generally, smoking the pork requires a lot more spices, so smoked pork is less healthy than regular roasted pork.
What Makes Brisket And Pulled Pork Unhealthy?
As you can see, pulled pork and brisket are generally healthy foods to eat when you have the meat alone. But what makes these meats unhealthy?
The method you use to prepare these two cuts of meats before you cook them can make them less healthy. If you do not trim the cuts correctly and leave more fat on the meat than you should, this can drastically increase the fat content for both these types of meat.
If you use a rub on the meat you brought from the store. This can have added sugar, making the meat less healthy to consume. Then, adding sauces to the meats will greatly affect the nutritional value of the two types of meat, especially the BBQ sauce that we like to drench out puled pork in.
All the condiments you use with your meat can have added sugar and preservatives if they are not homemade, making both the meats quite unhealthy.
So, Is Brisket Healthier Than Pulled Pork?
Brisket and pulled pork are very similar when comparing only the meats themselves. The pulled pork has less protein and less fat than the brisket, but they are still healthy and good for you. The only places you need to watch for are the spices and sauces used on the two different types of meat.
Pulled pork is generally soaked in BBQ sauce, and brisket is usually served with the brisket drippings as a sauce; both can make your meal less healthy than it could be if you only ate the meat.
Brisket and pulled pork are about the same nutritionally, but if you are trying to stay healthy and avoid extra calories and sugars, you need to eat the meats only, as the sauces and spices can quickly catch up to you in this regard.
Enjoy your brisket or pulled pork; whichever you go for, you are bound to have a great meal!
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