While there seems to be an abundant variety of healthy produce, protein options that are lean and versatile can seem limited. Ontario produced veal possesses an impressive protein profile and lean composition compared to other meats and poultry making this meat the perfect protein option for active lifestyles.
The Spiel on Veal’s Protein Appeal:
The Right Foods Help Achieve Training Goals and Promote Better Overall Health
Nutritional needs differ for body builders, avid runners and personal trainers, and even those that consider themselves ‘casually active’, especially when it comes to protein intake. Protein should be consumed in amounts appropriate to an individual’s specific needs. According to registered dietitian and certified personal trainer Alexis Williams, most people can get enough protein through food alone and do not require additional supplements.
“It’s actually quite simple to get enough protein from foods if you aim for a source at most meals and snacks,” says Williams. “Protein is available in so many foods that unless meals cannot be consumed, supplements shouldn’t be necessary. The people most at risk for lacking protein are those who exclude food groups or simply do not eat enough overall calories to support their training.”
A 100 g portion of a veal cutlet contains 36.1 g of protein, compared to 32.8 g in the same portion of roasted chicken breast1. According to Williams, a single portion of veal has enough protein to meet up to a third of a runner’s daily protein requirement.
The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein is 0.8 g/kg of body weight for the average person. Runners for example, require a little more at 1.2-1.7 g/kg, as much as double the amount. Someone engaging in power sports or resistance training requires anywhere between 1.4-1.7 g/kg2. Despite these higher recommended amounts, Williams maintains that with some planning and knowledge, these needs can be met with real food.
“Most of the diets I’ve analyzed in my practice easily obtain these higher recommended amounts,” says Williams. “A 150 lb runner for example, needs between 80-120 g per day. With one serving of lean meat, such as a veal chop, two cups of soy beverage or milk and snacks including soy nuts and cottage cheese, the minimum requirements would easily be met.”
“I’m particularly fond of veal because of its low saturated fat content, high vitamin and mineral content and overall leanness,” says Williams. “It’s the perfect addition to a healthy diet and active life.”
All veal cuts contain 7.5 g of fat or less per 100 g (3-1/2 oz) portion and contain a very low amount of saturated fat. Veal is also an excellent source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12 which are essential for top physical and mental performance and to boost the immune system.
According to a recent consumer survey conducted by Ipsos-Forward Research and commissioned by the Ontario Veal Association, Ontario produced veal is an often overlooked and misunderstood meat protein despite its many health benefits.
Three-quarters of respondents surveyed admitted that overall leanness is important when choosing meat or poultry for a particular meal. Only half of respondents said that veal ranks high on overall leanness proving that a misconception about veal’s health properties exists.
With more than 35 cuts to choose from, the options abound when it comes to incorporating veal into one’s diet. Why not try the nutrient dense Nut Crusted Veal Cutlets or Veal and White Bean soup recipes?
Ontario produces both milk-fed and grain-fed veal, each with its own unique flavour profile. Milk-fed is light pink in colour, very tender and has a subtle taste. Grain-fed veal is a darker pink, also very tender, but has a mild beef flavour. In both cases Ontario veal readily adopts various seasonings and sauces making it a versatile lean protein for a variety of dishes.
Incorporating Ontario veal into a healthy diet makes it easy to follow Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating which recommends eating two to three servings of ‘Meat and Alternatives” daily with a focus on lean food choices.
About the survey
The survey was commissioned by the Ontario Veal Association and conducted by the public opinion research firm Ipsos-Forward Research between May 25th and May 29th, 2009. A total of 1,095 Ontarians were interviewed via an online survey. The results are accurate to within 3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Canadian Nutrient File, 2007 Clinical Sports Nutrition (3rd Edition), 2006 by Burke, L. & Deakin,