Game and a healthy diet

by Annabel Warne February 02 2016

How many of you have maintained your January resolved to eat healthily?  Too often eating well seems boring and a sense that you have to give up delicious food, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

Game, especially wild rather than farmed, is leaner and lower in fat than farmed meat. Wild game is packed with flavour from its natural grazing too so you don’t need to make any compromises on taste when choosing a leaner meat. Added to this wild animals are not treated with growth-promoters or antibiotics.

Venison is exceptionally healthy, leaner but with more protein than any other red meat - it has about 1% fat compared to 10% in lamb or 11% in beef. It has high levels of iron, about twice as much as beef and is high in Vitamin B which helps to regulate the metabolism. One serving of venison contains about a third of the recommended daily allowance of iron, compared to less than a quarter in beef.

Rabbit is a cheap and lean source of protein. It has a good balance of Omegas 3 and 6 and is rich in selenium which may protect against cancer. Wild rabbit is a good source of phosphorous and iron which are needed for strong teeth and bones.

Pheasant and partridge are also low in fat, high in protein and good source of minerals including iron, zinc and selenium. Together with pigeon, these game birds have less fat than duck and chicken.

A recent diet trend has been the Paleo Diet, created in the US by a Professor Loren Cordain who believes that we should stick to the foods our cavemen ancestors ate – meat, vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts – and avoid grains and things prehistoric man wouldn’t have known like dairy, pulses, sugar and, of course, processed food.  If Paleo is your thing you, wild game should be a regular part of your diet.

So if you are trying to eat well why not try swapping pheasant or partridge for chicken or duck - they’re just as simple to cook roasted or pan-friend fillets and switch to venison from beef or lamb for a rich mix of minerals and a significantly leaner meat with just as much taste.

The Game to Eat web site has a table of the nutritional values of game, visit: http://gametoeat.co.uk/gte/article/nutritional-facts