Slices of venison steak on a black table.
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Calories in Venison: Examining the True Healthiness of Our Favorite Wild Game Meat

Just how healthy is venison?

The main reason most of us like to hunt is quite simple: to fill up our freezer with delicious, free range wild game meat.

These days food can be expensive, especially any sort of red meat, and particularly beef. Another reason many of us like to hunt is simply because meats like venison are said to be healthier for you.

On the surface it makes sense, since deer are wild animals that eat organic food sources. They are not subjected to hormones, antibiotics, or other chemicals, unlike some farm-raised animals.

However, for as much talk as we hear about how healthy venison is, we rarely see any hunters expand beyond that. We wanted to take a closer look at the nutritional values of deer meat, and find out how many calories are in a serving size.

We'll also take a brief look at some of the health benefits of switching over to venison as a substitute for beef and other forms of meat.

Ultimately, everyone's body and metabolic system is different. Certain types of red meat, eaten above the recommended limits, are never totally healthy in large amounts.

The information we've dug up can be helpful, but everyone should know eating a balanced diet, with something from all the food groups, is always best. With that in mind, here's what you should know about the caloric levels of venison.

How many calories are in deer meat?

You will often hear that venison is lean when compared to ground beef, and the numbers back that up. According to Michigan State University, a three-ounce cooked serving of ground venison has 159 calories. Compare that to about 204 calories in a serving of beef of the same size, and 252 calories for a serving of pork.

It turns out that venison also has less calories than turkey, chicken, and lamb. For calorie counters having a hard time giving up meat, venison technically presents a good alternative.

According to, venison also beats out beef and pork in amount of fat. That same serving of ground venison only has about seven grams of fat and 3.4 grams of saturated fat. Compare that to 12.5 grams of fat and 4.8 grams of saturated fat for beef, and 18 grams of fat and 6.5 grams of saturated fat for pork.

Venison also has the slight advantage on proteins level. You can expect approximately 22.5 grams of protein per three-ounce serving. It compares closely to beef and pork, which offer 21 and 22 grams respectively.

For the most part, you can expect these numbers not to change too much based on the cut. The tenderloins, sirloin, and backstrap may have slightly more calories and total fat, but not by much.

Venison also contains all ten essential amino acids, which just adds to its value in a regular spot on your food list.

It's important to remember that many ground venison recipes, including sausage and burger meat, typically involves adding fat, often in the form of pork fat or beef fat. This will have to be taken into account if you're looking to incorporate venison as a way of helping eat a more healthy diet.

Is venison healthy for weight loss?

By the numbers, the answer is unequivocally yes. If you involve it as a wider weigh loss regimen, and eat it in moderation, it could take some credit for helping you succeed.

It's been proven that carbohydrates are bad for those using certain efforts to lose weight, and another big benefit of venison is the carb levels.

Deer meat has zero carbohydrates. It's also rich in Vitamin B2 and B3, which are going to help your metabolism, and that will help give you more energy to stay active. This, combined with the low-fat nature of the meat, makes it a great option for anyone seeking to count carbs.

But you're still going to need to consult with a doctor on a switch over to venison in your diet before taking it on to lose weight. Don't take any of this as medical advice, and work with your physician to find a program that works for you and your needs.

Just remember, venison out-performs beef in many areas of nutrition. It is going to depend on how you prepare it, but the clear cut benefits of venison are a good reason to keep our freezer filled of delicious, free-ranging, organic wild game meat.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels