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Weight Loss: Red Meat Vs White Meat: Which Is Higher In Protein?

Red Meat Vs White Meat: Read here to know the key nutritional difference between red meat and white meat, which one of them is richer in protein and which is better for weight loss.

Weight Loss: Red Meat Vs White Meat: Which Is Higher In Protein?

Read meat contains more iron than white meat


  1. Red meats hold significantly more fat than white meat
  2. WHO classifies red meats as probable causes of cancer
  3. Protein content is uniform across red and white meat

Meat can be a crucial component in your balanced diets. If you're non-vegetarian, you have an abundance of meat options to pick and choose from. You could go for white meats such as chicken and turkey, which are classified as poultry, or you can give red meats like lamb, beef or pork a try. In this situation of a plateful of options, you often end up confused. Its not even like you couldn't go wrong, because you must know your requirements. So, to avoid any further confusion, here is some essential information and a comprehensive set of differentiators for red and white meat.

Also read: What Is Worse For Cholesterol: Poultry Or Red Meats? Think Again

Red meat vs White meat: What's the difference

1. Iron content: Red meats are excellent sources of iron for the human body. They contain roughly 2.7 mg of iron per 100 gm serving. This is double the iron levels in white meats like chicken, where the iron content is only 1.3 mg per 100 gm serving. Although white meats like duck are not far behind when it comes to iron content, red meats are undoubted victors in this category. This is because the red pigment called myoglobin is found in high amounts in red meats, giving them the iron richness.


Red meat has more iron than white meat
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Fat content: White meats are significantly lower on fats as compared to their red counterparts. Red meats tend to be higher in saturated fats. Lamb and beef contain over 20 gm of fat per 100 gm serving each, while chicken and turkey contain 14 gm and 7 gm per 100 gm each. This is significantly lesser, implying if you're conscious about your fat intake, maybe red meats are avoidable. White meats are also generally higher in the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Protein: There isn't much separating white and red meats when it comes to their protein content. Per 100 gm, both of these varieties of meat hold a good 25-30 gm of protein, that must get the attention of all fitness enthusiasts. 

Also read: Why You May Continue Eating Lean Red Meat: It's Not As Bad After All

4. Vitamins: While there is a wide range of proteins available in these meats, vitamin B2, B3, B5 and B6 are present in excellent ratios. These vitamins are vital for the human body and play key roles in the functioning of its various aspects. But, B12 in particular is where the disparity lies. Red meat is significantly higher on vitamin B12. This is a key nutrient to keep blood cells healthy and take care of DNA in your genetic material across the cells in the body. It also helps prevent anaemia.

5. Other nutrients: Red meats are a great source of zinc, and white meat is excellently stocked with selenium, which is important for cognitive ability in the brain, as well as benefits cardiovascular health. Minerals like phosphorous and calcium are abundant in all meats.

6. Heart health: Research suggests there is a relationship between red meat and heart diseases. But, there isn't sufficient study into the matter to ascertain for sure. The higher saturated fats and trans fats in red meats are not great for the heart though.


Red meat can be harmful for heart health
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Here's How Dangerous Red Meat Can Be For Your Heart

7. Carcinogenic agents: The World Health Organisation has classified red meats as a probable cause of cancer. Specially colorectal cancer is a very real possibility when consuming incredibly high levels of red meat.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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