How Many Calories Does Pork Chop Have? (Research-Based)

Arianna Foster
Published by Arianna Foster
Last Updated On: December 4, 2023

As a dedicated carnivore, many of my friends come to me interested in learning how healthy pork chops are, including their calorie content.

While bone-in pork chop is not the leanest of meats, they are delicious and have various benefits. Witnessing and experiencing their positive effects captivated me to research in detail and consult dieticians to uncover the hidden facts, which helped me monitor my intake as part of my dietary requirements.

This article will explore the nutritional benefits of incorporating pork chops into your diet and provide information on the average calorie content.

Quick Summary

  • The average pork chop has 210 calories and 12.25 grams of fat.
  • The calories in pork chops vary based on the cut of meat and the manner of preparation.
  • Pork chops contain nutrients such as thiamine, niacin, and vitamin B6.

What Are the CALORIES IN PORK CHOP?

A pork chop standing vertically on a plate

A typical pork chop contains about 52.5 calories per ounce. This means that an average 4-ounce chop will have a calorie count of 210.

When looking at the number of calories in a bone-in pork chop, it's important to consider the different types of pork chops and how you cook them.

All pork chops come from the loin section of the pig, which runs from the shoulder to the hip [1].

There are multiple types of chops in this section - rib, boneless or New York pork chop, porterhouse, sirloin, and others. Generally, cuts from the front of the loin are leaner than those in the rear.

Of course, cooking your chop will significantly impact the calorie content as well.

Cooked pork chop varies in calories, depending on the cooking method. A grilled, broiled, or baked pork chop will have the lowest calories since there is no added fat from frying.

Pan-frying in a small amount of oil will add some calories, but not as many as adding ingredients like breading and then deep-frying.

Lean Vs. Fatty Pork Chop Calories Differences

Lean vs. fatty pork chops can vary significantly in their calories due to the difference in fat content.

Lean pork chop cut from the loin area of the pig is lower in calories as it contains less fat. On average, 85 grams of a serving of lean pork chops contain 150-180 calories.

On the other hand, fatty pork chops cut from the rib section of the pig are higher in calories and fat content.

85 grams of a serving of fatty pork chops contain 250-300 calories due to additional fat content.

Bone-in chops are some of the leanest cuts of pork you can buy.

Fat And Protein In A Pork Chop

Pork chops contain a moderate amount of fat. It has both saturated and unsaturated fats which is beneficial for heart health.

A boneless pork chop weighing 4 ounces has about 12.25 grams of fat, 4.5 of which is saturated.

"While providing a greater amount of vitamins and minerals, many cuts of pork are as lean or leaner than chicken. Pork tenderloin, for example, is just as lean as skinless chicken breast and meets the government guidelines for "extra lean."

-Texas Pork Producers Association

The good news is that pork chops also have plenty of protein. The same 4-ounce chop should give you 23.44 grams of protein that is complete with all essential amino acids.

This is nearly half of the FDA-recommended value of protein for an adult’s daily diet [2].

Health Benefits of Protein in Pork Chops

Eating pork chops comes with various health benefits. Including the following.

  • A rich source of protein: Protein is an essential nutrient needed for our body. Pork Chops are among the good sources one can consume.
  • Enhances immune function: Antibodies made from proteins are the defense mechanisms for our bodies against attack from disease-causing pathogens. Consuming sufficient amounts of pork chops helps support a healthy immune system.
  • Boost the production of energy: Pork chops are also a good source of energy for everyday activities. Eating sufficient pork chops provides the amino acids needed to be converted into glucose when carbohydrates are not readily available.
  • Helps in muscle growth and repair: Protein is crucial for building and repairing muscles. If you want to maintain fitness or increase muscle mass, pork chops will be a good source of protein to include in your diet.

Remember, moderation is the key when it comes to consuming pork chops. Choosing lean cuts and cooking them in a healthy manner is vital to maximize nutritional benefits.

Also Read: How Healthy Is Pork?

Vitamins and Minerals In A Pork Chop

Close up shot of pork chop with pepper

In addition to being a great source of protein, this food contributes a decent amount of several vitamins and minerals, such as:

  • Thiamin: Needed to metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
  • Niacin: Converts food into energy and supports the functioning of body enzymes.
  • Vitamin B6: A substantial amount of Vitamin B6, critical for storing carbohydrates, is also found in pork chops.

However, pork chops have very little sodium, potassium, zinc, selenium, or vitamin C.

Additional Nutrients in Pork Chops

Pork chops also contain several, other important nutrients such as the following:

  • Minerals like Selenium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc that are needed by the body for various functions [3][4].
  • Vitamin B1 and B2, which are vital for energy production, nerve function, and the production of red blood cells [5] .

Pork Chop Alternatives

There are other different cuts of pork that are also lean and healthy.

For example, per the National Pork Board, pork tenderloin is as lean as a skinless breast of chicken.

A 3-ounce serving of foods like boneless loin roast, ham, and even Canadian-style bacon has less than 10 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, and 95 mg cholesterol.

Related Articles:

Is PORK CHOP A Healthy Option?

Pork chop is a healthy option as long as it has low-fat content and high protein levels. A lean cut is ideal for people aiming to reduce their total fat intake and overall weight.

In addition, pork chop offers potential heart health benefits compared to beef and chicken.

It's important to note that certain cooking methods can add more fat to pork chops, so selecting healthier cooking methods is recommended to maintain the nutritional value.

FAQs

Are Pork Chops Heart Healthy?

Pork chops can be healthy if consumed in moderate amounts. They are lean and contain plenty of nutritional benefits.

What Is the Healthiest Way to Cook Pork Chops?

The healthiest way to cook pork chops is by grilling or baking them. Cooked this way, you will reduce the number of calories.

Are Pork Chops Good for Keto?

Pork chops are good for Keto diet because they have next to no carbs.

Are Pork Chops Okay to Eat on a Diet?

Pork chops are okay to eat on a diet as long as you watch your portion size. Just be sure to avoid breading and frying them to keep the fat and calories low.

Are Boneless Pork Chops Lower in Calories?

Boneless pork chops are lower in calories compared to pork chops with bones. When bones are removed, it reduces the calorie content of the meat. However, this depends on the specific cut and preparation method.

 


References:

  1. https://sclydeweaver.com/blog/the-different-cuts-of-pork/
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/196279#
  3. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-912/iron
  4. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-982/zinc
  5. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002399.htm#
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