At Kansas State University, researchers used larger portions - 31/2 ounces as opposed to 3 ounces. Beef contained 221 calories, venison just 158. Beef had 1.75 grams of saturated fat, venison just 1.25.
Numbers don't mean much unless they translate to health benefits, though, and researchers at Colorado State University conducted a study to see how a diet of venison and other game meats differs from a diet of store-bought meats.
Researchers recorded their test subjects' cholesterol and triglyceride levels, had the subjects eat game meat instead of store-bought meat for six weeks, and then repeated the blood tests.
The subjects had lower total cholesterol than before, better proportions of low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol, and lower triglyceride levels.
Paul Johansen, assistant wildlife chief for the state Division of Natural Resources, said the quest for such a high-quality food source lies at the heart of West Virginians' perpetual fascination with deer hunting.
"West Virginians are very resourceful," Johansen said. "They know how to take care of themselves, be it with a vegetable garden or by harvesting a deer during the hunting season.
"Being able to put some nutritious, high-quality meat in the freezer is a huge part of the motivation West Virginians have to deer hunt, and I think that's a good thing."
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.