Do You Know Nutrition: Wild game vs. farm raised, which is best?

By Phylis Canion
Oct. 23, 2012 at 5:23 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

I eat wild game because of the health benefits, but I am not a red meat eater. When I tell friends that they always ask me what the difference is. Hoping you can explain better than I can. Thanks.

Wild game, such as deer, elk, antelope, moose, caribou and the like, tends to be very lean because of their active lifestyle and natural diet.

Therefore, wild game meat is lower in total and saturated fat than red meat. The fat from wild game has a higher portion of polyunsaturated fatty acids, is lower in cholesterol and higher in vital nutrients like B vitamins, iron and phosphorus.

Although there is no comparison between red meat and wild game as far as flavor, the texture is similar.

A note to remember is that deer meat (venison) contains purines, which can cause gout, so it should be eaten in moderation.

Also, pork is considered "red meat" by the USDA because it is red before cooking, although its nick name is "the other white meat."

A thought to remember is that many non-farm raised animals are resistant to most diseases and therefore do not live on a diet of antibiotics and steroids.

What would be your number one nutritional recommendation for someone with heartburn?

My first suggestion is that you drink more water. Heartburn is a signal of water shortage in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, and a major thirst signal of the human body.

My recommendation is that you drink one half of your body weight in ounces of water daily (i.e. if you weigh 120 pounds, you should drink 60 ounces of water daily).

Every function of the body is monitored and regulated by the efficient flow of water, so it is very important to keep hydrated.

Here are a few additional nutritional recommendations: chew your food well, (at least 20 to 25 bites for each mouthful of food), avoid fried foods, fatty foods, sugar and processed foods.

Excessive consumption of citrus fruits, chocolate and tomato-based foods should be reduced or eliminated.

Also, it is best to eliminate canned drinks, beverages and foods that contain caffeine and milk. Milk might seem to have a soothing effect but it actually contains fats and proteins that cause your stomach to secrete more acid and could make your heartburn worse.

An important note to remember is that the mucous that lines the stomach to protect it from hydrochloric acid (which is necessary for the breakdown and digestion of many foods), is 98 percent water. Here is a simple test to determine if you need hydrochloric acid (HCL). Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. If this makes your heartburn go away, then you need more stomach acid. If it makes your symptoms worse, you have too much HCL.

Thought for the week: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, e-mail her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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