White vs Red. Which Meat To Choose?

To answer this question, let’s figure out what meat is red and what is white, and what are the benefits of each.

Red meat

Red meat got its logical name because of its red hues, which are caused by the protein myoglobin, an oxygen-binding protein in skeletal and heart muscles. Myoglobin is involved in the synthesis of red blood cells and, in combination with iron, supplies oxygen to muscle tissue.

Red meat is the No. 1 supplier of iron.

With strength training and an active lifestyle, muscle tissue contracts, which leads to its destruction. Thanks to iron, muscle tissue is restored, which is why red meat is recommended for people who lead an active lifestyle, who experience regular physical activity, and for athletes during aerobic exercise.

Iron is involved in hematopoiesis. It is known that iron deficiency leads to anemia and cardiovascular problems, so it is important for the body to get this precious element to avoid health problems and general well-being. Iron is especially necessary for women during menstruation and during postpartum recovery, as well as for people after surgery and those suffering from anemia.

Eating red meat will help the human immune and nervous system, as it contains magnesium and zinc, vitamins B, PP, and even a little vitamin D.

The presence of phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and fluoride in red meat contributes to the health and restoration of bones, teeth, hair, and nails.

It should be mentioned that red meat is a source of animal protein. And protein is a well-known building block of a living organism. Protein deficiency leads to serious disorders in children’s health, which can slow down the growth and development of the body. In adults, this lack will manifest itself in hormonal imbalance, impaired absorption of nutrients by the body, and deterioration of general health and organs. That is why it is so important not to neglect meat in the diet.

Now you know what properties red meat has.

Red meat includes:

  • Beef.
  • Pork.
  • Lamb.
  • Horse meat.
  • The meat of the “old” rabbit.
  • Chicken legs.
  • Duck meat.

White meat

White meat contains less myoglobin, which you have read about above, so the meat is not red in color, and it looks white or pale pink.

White meat differs from red meat not only in color but also in taste. It is delicate and tender. White meat dishes have a more delicate and refined taste.

It contains less protein than red meat, but also significantly less cholesterol, which gives white meat the right to be considered a dietary product, and, therefore, especially healthy and nutritious. White meat contains a number of amino acids and trace elements necessary for the human body: iron, zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamins A, C, and E.

With such a strong arsenal of nutrients, white meat is recommended in therapeutic diets, when recovering from long-term illnesses, as well as in an active lifestyle and regular physical activity. It is popular in weight loss diets.

White meat contains easily digestible proteins, it is light and almost completely absorbed by the body.

Due to this property, white meat is recommended for babies during the first feeding for the harmonious growth and development of a young body, as well as for the elderly to restore and maintain all body systems.

White meat includes:

  • Veal.
  • Lamb meat.
  • Turkey meat.
  • The meat of a young rabbit.
  • Chicken breast.
  • Chicken wings.
  • Lean pork tenderloin.

In the confrontation between red and white meat, there are no clear winners, as each product has its own benefits and relevance. Don’t forget that no matter how healthy a product is, what is healthy in excessive amounts becomes harmful. Therefore, you should abuse meat, neither red nor white, but use meat in your diet in a balanced way with other foods. And also cook it in ways that preserve its beneficial properties as much as possible: boil, stew, bake, less often eat it fried, and better – grill it.

By following simple rules, listening to your body, and treating food consciously, you take care of your health and longevity, which means you give yourself the opportunity to live a quality and interesting life, full of joy and pleasant sensations, including taste. Properly cooked, both white and red meat can give you these feelings!

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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