Venison: How does it compare nutritionally to beef and pork?

content provided by

Venison: How does it compare nutritionally to beef and pork?


How does venison compare nutritionally to beef or pork?



The term venison is used specifically to refer to deer meat. Like all meat, venison is a good source of protein. It's also a good source of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 and B-12, iron, zinc and copper. Venison is higher in vitamin B-12 and iron than pork and beef.

Game meat, including deer, elk and moose, generally has less fat than does meat from domesticated animals, such as beef and pork. This is because game animals are typically more active than domesticated animals. However, game meat contains about the same amount of cholesterol as beef and pork do.

Game meat: How does it stack up against beef and pork?
(3 ounces lean)
Calories Fat
(grams or g)
Saturated fat Cholesterol
(milligrams or mg)
Deer 128 2 g 1 g 67 mg
Elk 134 2 g 1 g 62 mg
Moose 114 1 g 1 g 66 mg
Beef tenderloin 185 9 g 4 g 71 mg
Pork tenderloin 159 5 g 2 g 80 mg

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Nutrient Data Laboratory, 2004

The small amount of fat on game meat may have a strong taste, so you should remove it before cooking. For maximum tenderness, cook game meat slowly — either braise it in liquid or roast and baste it frequently.

Last Updated: 01/21/2005
© 1998-2016 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use


Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version