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Nutritional Facts on Red & White Meat

Meat is an essential part of the daily diet for many people. But it often gets difficult to choose between white meat (chicken or fish) and red meat (beef or pork or mutton) due to the numerous health benefits offered by both. Moreover, both kinds of meat have some health risks as well, which should be kept in mind while consuming either of them.

Read on to know how each type of meat may affect your health, and which will be more beneficial for your body.

  • Fat content: People who are more conscious about their weight often tend to choose white meat over red meat because of its lower fat content. For example, fat content in chicken is only about 11%, whereas pork contains about 45% fat. Moreover, the saturated fat content of red meat is about 2.64 times that of white meat.

  • Protein content: 100 gm of chicken breast has about 29.80 gm of protein, whereas the same amount of lamb and pork contain 22.51 gm and 27.55 gm protein respectively. In this case, consumption of white meat will prove to be beneficial as your body can absorb only 74% of the protein in red meat and 80% of the protein in white meat.

  • Other nutrient content: Red meat is rich in niacin, vitamin B12, riboflavin and thiamine, iron and minerals like zinc and phosphorus. While vitamin B12 supports proper nerve health and ensures that the red blood cells function properly, zinc is responsible for strengthening your immune system. Further, white meat contains fewer nutrients in comparison to red meat. However, fish contains a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help in improving lipid profile and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

Health risks:

  • Consumption of both types of meat has been long associated with increased risk of different diseases. The presence of myoglobin, a type of protein in red meat, is responsible for increasing the risk of certain types of cancer. Also, red meat has been often linked to raise the risk of hypertension and heart diseases.

  • These days, feeding antibiotics to chickens for enlarging their size has become a common practice. So, consumption of this type of meat increases the amount of drug-resistant bacteria in your body and reduces the effect of drugs that can be beneficial for you.

  • White meat and red meat, both have their own health benefits and risks, so including small amounts of both in your diet will prove to be beneficial for your body. Determine the amount of each type of meat you will consume depending on your body's specific requirements.


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