Food Guide

Which Is Better for You: Red Meat or Chicken? Find Out Now!

Many people are trying to eat healthier and wondering what healthier meat is.

A lot of them prefer to eat leaner proteins, such as chicken and fish, but red meat also has its benefits.

In this article, we will figure out whether red meat or chicken is better for your health and how they differ from each other.

What is red meat?

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Red meat is not simply meat that has a red color.

It refers to the meat from mammals, such as pork, beef, mutton, venison, or boar).

The meat from these animals does have a red color when raw but can either turn white or still red after being fully cooked, typically paler.

Commonly eaten red meats are beef, pork, and lamb, while venison and horsemeat are less consumed, just specifically in some areas in the world.

Red meat is especially rich in protein and iron which most people need to get enough energy and stay healthy.

However, it has also been linked to many health problems such as heart disease and cancer risk due to the high amount of cholesterol and saturated fat found in red meat if consumed too much.

Therefore, in general, red meat is not bad at all if we have a proper diet from this type of meat.

And the good news is red meat can be cooked in many ways and seasoned or marinated with different spices.

For example, you can use either a dry rub or sauce to marinate red meat before grilling, roasting, or baking.

You can also slow-cook red meat to make stews or soups to achieve tender meat that can melt in your mouth.

What is chicken meat?

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Chicken meat is a type of animal protein found in poultry.

Chicken meat is considered white meat, which has long been known as a healthier option for red meat like beef, pork, and lamb.

Chicken meat can come from different breeds of chicken, but the flesh is always bright pink (only black chickens produce black meat) and turn white when cooked.

Chicken is a rich source of protein and minerals like potassium, folate, magnesium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, and most important, low in saturated fat.

Chicken can be sold in different forms, such as the whole bird or individual cuts, including chicken breasts, chicken wings, chicken legs, chicken thighs, or chicken drumsticks.

Each cut has a different price, nutrient value, texture, and taste as well, but not significant.

White meat chicken like chicken breast is the leanest part but has a bland taste, while dark meat chicken like chicken legs are fattier but more flavorful.

Chicken can also be cooked in numerous ways, such as grilling, deep-frying, roasting, broiling, braising, or boiling.

What are the differences between red meat vs chicken?

Red meat and chicken (white meat) come from different groups of meat.

Therefore, no wonder why they differ in many ways, as mentioned in the table below:

 Red meatChicken
Type of meatRed meat From mammals like pigs, cows, goats, sheep, horses, or deersWhite meat From the chicken
SizeMuch larger, usually 100 pounds and moreSmaller, averagely five to seven pounds
Type when soldMostly sold in primal cuts, such as loins, legs, ribs, shoulders, necks, hams, etc… Some baby animals with smaller sizes can be sold intact  Equally sold in the whole bird or individual cuts (wings, legs, breasts, etc…)
AppearanceRed or dark pink in colorBright pink in color
TextureTougher and fattierTenderer and leaner
TasteMore flavorful and meatyMilder
Nutritional contentHigher in saturated fat and cholesterol, protein, iron, and B-vitaminsLower in fat, higher in amino acids, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, and magnesium
PriceMore expensiveLower

What are the similarities between red meat vs chicken?

Despite many key differences between red meat and chicken, they do share some similarities as well:

1.    Red meat and chicken meat can be cooked in numerous ways

When you have chicken or any kind of red meat available in your kitchen, there is not much to think about how to cook them because there are plenty of methods for you to choose from.

You can either bake, fry, roast, grill, or stew, using different cuts of the animals, while the bones can be used to make the best stock.

The resulting dishes can be served with numerous side dishes as well, depending on your personal preference.

We recommend combining red meat or chicken dishes with a lot of vegetables to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

2.    Both can benefit our health if consumed properly

As already mentioned, red meat like pork, beef, or lamb, and chicken are rich sources of protein and many essential nutrients that are good for our health in different ways.

Although red meat is higher in bad fat and cholesterol which can pose some risk to your heart health, in general, it is still great to eat occasionally, like one to two servings per week (less than six ounces in total).

3.    Red meat and chicken meat are both popular

Red meat, especially pork and beef, and chicken are very popular in any cuisine.

You can easily find these ingredients no matter where you live, from Asia to Europe or America.

However, in some countries that exist certain religions like Muslim and Hindu, pork and beef are forbidden due to sacred reasons, but they have lamb instead.

Which one is better?

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In conclusion, red meat is not the devil, and chicken is not always the answer.

But if you want to eat healthier, leaner protein like chicken is a good thing to start.

It is also worth trying red meat occasionally so that you can get enough iron for your body, and of course, enjoy the mouth-watering dishes from red meat.

So which one do you think is better for you, red meat or chicken, in terms of health concerns and tastes as well?

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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