Hunting for and bringing home wild game not only provides a time to get outside, but it also allows one to put delicious food on the table.

As an alternative to traditional meats such as turkey, beef, chicken and pork, wild game can offer a wide variety of meat relatively low in calories and fat while high in protein.

Wild game animals typically consume a natural diet and are very active in the wild; this contributes to the lower fat content of the meat.

In addition, wild game eat “greens” in their natural habitat which results in a higher content of good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids.

Wild game meat is also a great source of lean protein and minerals such as iron and zinc.

When considering hunting for wild game, be sure to be mindful of local laws and regulations in the state of Texas to ensure respect for the animals and their natural environment.

Here are the nutritional values of some popular American wild game meats.

Whitetail Deer: The most common “freezer filler” is the whitetail deer. The nutritional value of a 3-ounce serving of roasted whitetail is as follows: Calories: 134, Protein: 26 grams, Fat: 3 grams, Cholesterol: 95 milligrams

Mule Deer: This larger and leaner cousin of the whitetail, named for its distinctive mule-like ears, provides the following nutrients in a 3.5-ounce piece: Calories: 145, Protein: 24 grams, Fat: 1.3 grams, Cholesterol: 107 milligrams

Elk: Elk also go by the name wapiti, which is a Native American word that means “light-colored deer.” A 3.5-ounce piece of cooked elk meat has the following nutrients: Calories: 137, Protein: 22.8 grams, Fat: 0.9 grams, Cholesterol: 67 milligrams

Pronghorn Antelope: The pronghorn is the fastest mammal in North America, running at speeds as high as 60 mph, just short of the Cheetah’s top speed. A 3-ounce slice of rich and lean antelope roast has the following nutritional value:Calories: 128; Protein: 25 grams, Fat: 2 grams, Cholesterol: 107 milligrams

Duck: Ducks of all species can provide some tasty, nutritious poultry. Three ounces of boneless, skinned duck breast gives you the following nutrients: Calories: 102, Protein: 16 grams, Fat: 4 grams, Cholesterol: 64 milligrams

Canada Goose: The Canada goose is found throughout North America in migrating and non-migratory populations. A 3-ounce serving of goose meat, minus the skin, will contain the following: Calories: 201, Protein: 24 grams, Fat: 12 grams, Cholesterol: 81 milligrams

Carey Stites is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Carey is currently the Registered Dietitian working with Wellstone in Harker Heights. Contact her at carey.stites@smchh.org.

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