Levitical guidelines label the pig an "unclean" animal, and prohibit the consumption of pork.
Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, there may be good reason to carefully consider your decision to include pork as part of your diet, as despite advertising campaigns trying to paint pork as a "healthy" alternative to beef, research suggests it may be hazardous to your health on multiple levels.
Pork consumption has a strong epidemiological association with cirrhosis of the liver -- in fact, it may be more strongly associated with cirrhosis than alcohol (although some have questioned the studies that indicate this, and point out that countries with high pork consumption tend to have low obesity rates.)
Other studies also show an association between pork consumption and liver cancer as well as multiple sclerosis.
What's behind this data?
Most U.S. Pigs are Fed Grains, Making Them High in Inflammatory Omega-6 Fats
One contributing factor is the diet upon which the pigs are raised, which will impact the level of polyunsaturated omega-6 fat it contains.
Too many polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) contribute to chronic inflammation, which causes all sorts of problems over the long-term. Inflammation is at the source of just about every chronic disease we see today.
Most pigs raised in the United States are fed grains and possibly seed oils, which dramatically increase their omega-6 content, as well as the highly inflammatory byproduct of omega-6 fatty acid metabolism: arachadonic acid. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, lard from pigs fed this type of diet may be 32 percent PUFAs. On the other hand, lard from pigs raised on pasture and acorns had a much lower PUFA content, at 8.7 percent, while those fed a Pacific Island diet rich in coconut had even less, only 3.1 percent.i
About one third of the staff at Mercola.com is based in the Philippines where pork is a very popular part of their diet. However, unlike the U.S. in which most of the pigs are fed grains, most of the pig diet in the Philippines is vegetable based. My staff tells me that there is a dramatic difference in the taste. So it is possible that many of the adverse consequences being ascribed to pork may be related to the pigs' diet.
As reported by Dr. Paul Jaminet, a trained astrophysicist and his wife Shou-Ching, a Harvard biomedical scientist, who together authored the book Perfect Health Diet:
"So the omega-6 content can cover a 10-fold range, 3% to 32%, with the highest omega-6 content in corn- and wheat-fed pigs who have been caged for fattening. Corn oil and wheat germ oil are 90% PUFA, and caging prevents exercise and thus inhibits the disposal of excess PUFA. Caging is a common practice in industrial food production."
Consumption of this PUFA-rich meat may very well be a factor in liver disease, as studies show feeding mice corn oil (rich in omega-6) and alcohol (which is metabolically similar to fructose) induces liver disease,ii and omega-6 fats have also been linked to cirrhosis of the liver.
Read more of Dr. Mercola's article Pork: Did Leviticus 11:7 Have It Right?