Deer meat, also known as venison, has a number of positive benefits that make it a great, and even superior, alternative compared to other meats. Sure, you may be much more familiar and even stuck on the tried and true chicken and beef varieties, but there are many benefits to be found in deer meat. Plus, it simply tastes great!

This article lists our top ten reasons for eating deer meat. Here are the major three benefits to eating deer meat:

1. Lean Protein

2. Low Fat

3. Nutrient Dense

Keep reading on below to learn more about all ten benefits. And stick around to the end to gain some tips on how to best prepare and cook venison.

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The 10 Benefits of Deer Meat (Venison)

1. Lean Protein

Venison is a great source of high-quality lean protein. It contains all the essential amino acids needed to repair body tissues and for your body’s growth. Compared to beef and pork, deer meat is generally much leaner and makes for a great substitute while still giving you the high-quality protein you’re looking for.

There are several reasons for this including deer’s muscle composition and their diet and environment.

Deer are very active animals and thus, they develop strong muscles. Cattle and pigs on the other hand are very sedentary animals. When comparing the two, it’s quite obvious that the active wild animal is going to have a lot of lean muscle while the more sedentary animal will have more fat.

Venison vs Beef

As for their diet and environment, wild deer are just that, wild. They eat grass, leaves, and other plant materials. This natural diet helps give them their lean physique. Whereas on the other hand, animals on a farm may be fed high-calorie diets designed to make them bigger quicker, which leads to less muscle and more fat.

According to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Nutrient Database, three ounces of ground venison contains 159 calories, 22.5 grams of protein, 7 grams of fat and 83 mg of cholesterol. In comparison, a three-ounce cooked serving of 90% lean ground beef with 10% fat contains 173 calories, 21.4 grams of protein, 9.1 grams of fat, and 71 mg of cholesterol. Meanwhile, a three-ounce serving of cooked ground beef that is 95% lean meat and 5% fat provides 139 calories, 22 grams of protein, 5.1 grams of fat, and 71 mg of cholesterol.

2. Lower Fat Content

If you’re looking to reduce your overall fat intake, while still eating meat, lean meats are key, and deer meat is a great option. This goes right along with deer meat containing more lean protein. Deer meat is especially low in saturated fat, which is linked to heart disease, so right there it’s the better choice “cardiovascular-speaking”. It’s also low in intramuscular and subcutaneous fat.

Intramuscular fats are better known as marbling. Marbling can be more commonly seen on meats like beef and pork. It’s the visible fat that is scattered within muscle. Sometimes, people seek this out as it can improve the flavor and tenderness of some meat. But too much of this can lead to simply too much overall fat content.

Subcutaneous fat is the layer of fat that can be found right beneath the skin. Again, deer typically will have much less subcutaneous fat than cows or pigs, contributing once again to deer meat being the better choice for lean meat.

3. Nutrient Dense

Another major benefit of deer meat is that it has a high number of essential nutrients. These include iron, zinc, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin E. These nutrients are vital for maintaining optimal bodily functions, producing energy, immune system support, and metabolism. And they can all be found in venison.

As a quick note, here are some helpful reminders concerning the benefits of these different nutrients:

Iron is crucial for the production of red blood cells, helping transport oxygen throughout the body as well as maintaining a healthy immune function and metabolism.

Zinc also plays an important role in immune system function as well as helping with wounds healing among other benefits.

B vitamins are essential for energy metabolism, nervous system functions, and producing red blood cells.

Selenium has antioxidant properties and helps protect cells from damage, while also being important to support of the immune system and thyroid function.

Vitamin E is important for vision, reproduction health and healthy blood, brain and skin. It also contains antioxidants help protect the body from cell and tissue damage.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Compared to grain-fed animals, deer that graze on a natural diet have much higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are an essential fat that plays an important role in the function of our bodies. They reduce inflammation, improve heart health, support brain function, and provide for healthier skin.

5. Lower Chemical Exposure

Deer, wild deer, will be less likely exposed to things such as antibiotics, hormones, artificial additives, etc., than farmed animals.

6. Allergen-Friendly

Some people are allergic to meats such as beef, pork, and chicken. For those people, deer meat serves as a great alternative with all the benefits listed here.

7. Sustainable & Ethical

Hunting deer can mean less land cleared for intensive farming, the control of deer overpopulation, and promotes the balance of natural ecosystems.

8. Cultural Significance

Hunting deer meat can bring you much closer and foster a deeper relationship to the meat you eat than just simply buying it from a grocery store. The act of hunting alone is a tradition older than time. And even if you do buy it from a grocery store, that may be helping provide for a hunter elsewhere.

9. Versatile

Deer meat can be used and cooked all sorts of ways. From steaks and roasts, to sausages and stews, deer meat has a lot of to offer in a variety of ways.

10. Unique Flavor

And finally, deer meat tastes great! It’s got a unique rich flavor that is also slightly sweet. It can definitely add a unique twist to a recipe that has gone stale from overusing the same type of meat each time.

My Final Thoughts On The Benefits Of Deer Meat

In conclusion, deer meat, or venison, is a great alternative choice to other more widely used meats. It’s a great source of lean protein with little fat and high nutrients. It adds a unique flavor to your meals and is versatile. And furthermore, it is an environmentally friendly option – and if you hunt your own deer meat, it will give you a newfound sense of closeness to the food you eat. Everyone ought to try it!

In case you're interested, we also have a great blog summarizing the Best Deer Hunting States!