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Why exactly is chicken meat healthier than red meat?



While the protein, water, fat and carb calories are about the same, white chicken meat has less fat interspersed in the muscles than some beef cuts do. Beef varies, though, and steaks and prime rib and other very tender cuts are higher in fat than cheaper cuts that need long moist heat to get done without being as tough as shoe leather. Dark meat chicken is higher in fat than white meat.


The difference is due to whether the animal uses the muscles a lot while alive. Commercial poultry producers clip the wing feathers of the birds so they can’t fly away. This would make them have small breast muscles, since these are the flight muscles. But the producers have selected birds with bigger breast muscles and bred those, leading over many generations to birds with more white meat than dark. The legs are used all the time by the birds, so their muscle tissues incorporate more fat to fuel the muscles so the birds can walk around.

red meat

red meat

Many people will tell you that there is more cholesterol in the beef as well, but since cholesterol eaten doesn’t cause a rise in serum cholesterol, but saturated fats do, the bigger effect is due to the higher percentage of saturated fat in beef as compared to chicken.

red meat

As with all food issues, there are other considerations. Red meat has more iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, and several other B vitamins, vitamins D and K, and many others. So there are many benefits to eating red meat in moderstion, some of which are not available in poultry meat.


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