Game meat : nutrition, shocking medical use & 3 adverse effects


(Bison, rabbit, venison)

Game Meat Nutritional Profile

• Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate
• Protein: High
• Fat: Low
• Saturated fat: High
• Cholesterol: Moderate
• Carbohydrates: None
• Fiber: None
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins
• Major mineral contribution: Iron, zinc

How Many Nutrients in This Food

• Like other animal foods, game meat has high-quality proteins with sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids. Some game meat has less fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol than beef.

• All game meat is an excellent source of B vitamins, plus heme iron, the form of iron most easily absorbed
by your body, and zinc.

• For example, one four-ounce serving of roast bison has 28 g protein, 2.7 g fat (1.04 g saturated fat), 93.7 mg cholesterol, 3.88 mg iron (25.8 percent of the RDA for a woman of childbearing age), and 4.1 mg zinc (27 percent of the RDA for a man).

How To Serve Nutritious Game Meat Food

• With a food rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude Game Meat Food

• Low-protein diet (for kidney disease)

How To Buying This Food

• In American markets, game meats are usually sold frozen. Choose a package with no leaks or stains to suggest previous defrosting.

How To Storing This Food

Keep frozen game meat well wrapped in the freezer until you are ready to use it. The packaging protects the meat from oxygen that can change its pigments from reddish to brown.

• Freezing prolongs the freshness of the meat by slowing the natural multiplication of bacteria that digest proteins and other substances on the surface, converting them to a slimy film.

• The bacteria also change the meat’s sulfur-containing amino acids methionine and cystine into smelly chemicals called mercaptans. When the mercaptans combine with myoglobin, they produce the greenish pigment that gives spoiled meat its characteristic unpleasant appearance.

• Large cuts of game meat can be safely frozen, at 0°F, for six months to a year.

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How To Preparing This Food

• Defrost the meat in the refrigerator to protect it from spoilage. Trim the meat to dispose of all visible fat, thus reducing the amount of fat and cholesterol in each serving.

• When you are done, clean all utensils thoroughly with hot soap and hot water. Wash your cutting board, wood or plastic, with hot water, soap, and a bleach-and-water solution.

• For ultimate safety in preventing the transfer of microorganisms from the raw meat to other foods, keep one cutting board exclusively for raw meats, fish, and poultry, and a second one for everything else.

• Finally, don’t forget to wash your hands.

What Happens When You Cook Game Meat Food

• Cooking changes the way meat looks and tastes, alters its nutritional value, makes it safer, and extends its shelf life.

• Browning meat before you cook it does not “seal in the juices,” but it does change the flavor by caramelizing proteins and sugars on the surface. Because meat’s only sugars are the small amounts of glycogen in muscle tissue, we add sugars in marinades or basting liquids that may also contain acids (vinegar, lemon juice, wine) to break down muscle fibers and tenderize the meat. (NOTE: Browning has one minor nutritional drawback. It breaks amino acids on the surface of the meat into smaller compounds that are no longer useful proteins.)

• When meat is heated, it loses water and shrinks. Its pigments, which combine with oxygen, are denatured (broken into fragments) by the heat. They turn brown, the naturalbcolor of well-done meat.

• At the same time, the fats in the meat are oxidized, a reaction that produces a characteristic warmed-over flavor when the cooked meat is refrigerated and then reheated.

• Cooking and storing the meat under a blanket of antioxidants catsup or a gravy made of tomatoes, peppers and other vitamin-C rich vegetables—reduces fat oxidation and lessens the warmed-over flavor.

• Meat reheated in a microwave oven is also less likely to taste warmed-over.

How Other Kinds of Processing effect Game Meat Food


Hanging fresh meat exposed to air in a cold room evaporates moisture and shrinks the meat slightly. At the same time, bacterial action on the surface of the meat breaks down proteins, producing an “aged” flavor. (See below, Food/drug interactions.)


Salt-curing preserves meat through osmosis, the physical reaction in which liquids flow across a membrane, such as the wall of a cell, from a less dense to a more dense solution.

• The salt or sugar used in curing dissolve in the liquid on the surface of the meat to make a solution that is more dense than the liquid inside the cells of the meat.

• Water flows out of the meat and out of the cells of any microorganisms living on the meat, killing the micro-organisms and protecting the meat from bacterial damage. Salt-cured meat is higher in sodium than fresh meat.


Hanging fresh meat over an open fire slowly dries the meat, kills microorganisms on its surface, and gives the meat a rich, smoky flavor. The flavor varies with the wood used in the fire.

• Meats smoked over an open fire are exposed to carcinogenic chemicals in the smoke, including a-benzopyrene. Artificial smoke flavoring is commercially treated to remove tar and a-benzopyrene.

Game meat
game meat

Medical Uses and/or Benefits Of Game Meat

Treating and/or preventing iron deficiency.

Without meat in the diet, it is virtually impossible for an adult woman to meet her iron requirement without supplements.

Adverse Effects Associated with Game Meat Food

Increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Like all foods from animals, game meats are a source of cholesterol. To reduce the risk of heart disease, the National Cholesterol Education Project recommends following the Step I and Step II diets.

• The Step I diet provides no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat, no more than 10 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day.

• It is designed for healthy people whose cholesterol is in the range of 200–239 mg/dL.

• The Step II diet provides 25–35 percent of total calories from fat, less than 7 percent of total calories from saturated fat, up to 10 percent of total calories from polyunsaturated fat, up to 20 percent of total calories from monounsaturated fat, and less than 300 mg cholesterol per day. This stricter regimen is designed for people who have one or more of the following conditions:

Existing cardiovascular disease

~ High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or “bad” cholesterol) or low

~ levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, or “good” cholesterol)

~ Obesity

~ Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetes mellitus)

~ Metabolic syndrome, a.k.a. insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that includes type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes)

Food-borne illness.

Improperly cooked meat contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 has been linked to a number of fatalities in several parts of the United States. In addition, meat contaminated with other bacteria, viruses, or parasites poses special problems for people with a weakened immune system: the very young, the very old, cancer chemotherapy patients, andbpeople with HIV.

• Cooking meat to an internal temperature of 140°F should destroy Salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni; to 165°F, E. coli, and to 212°F, Listeria monocytogenes.

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The decline in kidney function.

Proteins are nitrogen compounds. When metabolized, they yield ammonia that is excreted through the kidneys. In laboratory animals, a sustained high-protein diet increases the flow of blood through the kidneys, accelerating the natural age-related decline in kidney function. Some experts suggest that this may also occur in human beings.

Game Meat Food/Drug Interactions

Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors.

Meat “tenderized” with papaya or a papain powder can interact with the class of antidepressant drugs known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors.

• Papain meat tenderizers work by breaking up the long chains of protein molecules. One by-product of this process is tyramine, a substance that constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. MAO inhibitors inactivate naturally occurring enzymes in your body that metabolize tyramine.

• If you eat food such as papain tenderized meat, which is high in tyramine, while you are taking an MAO inhibitor, you cannot effectively eliminate the tyramine from your body. The result may be a hypertensive crisis.


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