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May 23, 2012

White Meat vs. Red Meat

White meat is the contrast to red meat, and it is also referred to as light meat. White meat can also refer to lighter colored meat that comes from poultry, which is distinct from the dark meat of poultry. Though the precise definition of white meat largely depends on culture, time and location, it is commonly agreed that white meat consists of meats like rabbit and chicken. Meat that can be considered red meat most commonly comes from the flesh of big mammals like mutton and beef. Goose and duck can also be thought of as red meat, but this is changing in the industry. In the battle between white meat versus red meat, there are pros and cons for both.

White Meat

White meat is best known as meat that is lean, especially in comparison with red meat. The big point about white meat is that its fat content is less in comparison with red meat. Meats traditionally thought of as white (such as veal and even lamb) have been reclassified as red meats. Another advantage to eating white meat over red meat, which is also why health experts recommend it over red meat, is the lower number of calories that it contains. However, the difference in calories between white meat and red meat is not so great that it will absolutely ruin your waistline if you choose to eat some red meat once in a while.

Red Meat

Red meat is the victim of stereotypes that have been exaggerated to the point where it is today somewhat stigmatized as a food that is linked to cancer and higher fat and caloric content. While the cancer issue depends on what studies you look at and the higher caloric content is not that much over white meat, red meat does have benefits that white meat simply lacks. For example, the nutrients zinc, iron, thiamine and riboflavin (in addition to vitamins B12 and B6) appear in much greater abundance in red meat. Moreover, red meat is a great source of muscle-building protein as well as being the best source of the antioxidant called alpha lipoic acid. Still, red meat has been the subject of a lot of studies that connect it to health problems beyond cancer, like cardiovascular disease and even arthritis and hypertension.

Which One to Choose

The bottom line is that no matter which meat you eat, you can guard yourself against health problems if you eat in moderation. While white meat is not tied to as many health problems as red meat is, it does not feature many of the benefits that you get in red meat, such as the vitamins and minerals. So if you want to get a dose of said nutrients, you should eat more red meat, but do so in a way that is only moderate.