Which Meat is Healthiest?

Which meat is the healthiest? Chicken is the obvious answer – but it’s not always true.

While organic, pasture-raised chickens are extremely healthy, most of the chickens sold in modern supermarkets are raised differently. Today’s chickens are grown with increased fat and decreased protein. In fact, according to researchers at the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at London Metropolitan University, today’s chickens contain 266% more fat and 33% less protein than chickens from 1971.

In the same way, today’s conventional cows are fattier than ever – thanks, in part, to their diets of corn and supplements. Grass-fed beef, on the other, not only tastes better – but also has improved nutritional content. Grass-fed beef has lower overall fat, lower saturated fat, an increase in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, lower cholesterol and more vitamins.

Next, we must consider the cut of meat. A chicken leg, for example, has 3x more fat than a serving of London broil. Chicken legs, thighs and wings are high in fat; the breast meat is low in fat. Leaving the skin on also increases the fat content. Sirloin steaks and flank steaks tend to be very lean. If opting for pork, tenderloins and loin roasts are healthier options.

When selecting healthy meats, pay attention to how the meat was raised and the cut. If available, read the nutrition information. Though chicken often wins out, you may be surprised!

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  1. THIS IS SO TRUE! KUDOS to good researching Davey! Everyone should watch the movie FOOD INC. we had a today movie lunch break at my office. This documentary is eye opening. Have you seen it Davey?

  2. Kangaroo meat is the bomb! Very high in protein and iron and very very low in fat, about 1%. It’s also only around $7/kg. BARGAIN! Except I don’t know if it’s available in the States ;), plenty of it here in Australia!

  3. Totally agree! Kangaroo is incredibly high in protein will almost no fat at all!
    I’m a Canadian living in Australia and I must say the thought of rearing roo totally threw me, but it’s actually really good!

  4. Hey, I saw on the Doctors that the cold baths they use to chill the birds after butchering contains 50X more chlorine than a swimming pool has. I guess I need to check out the fish supplies!

  5. no one talks about turkey nemore… well except come november n december.. i was label-reading at trader joe’s® the other day.. of the canned chili.. the turkey chili has the least fat, the beef chili is some where in the middle, and the chicken chili has the most fat..
    needless.. i was surprised…

    the rest of the ingredients were same-o.. beans… food starch… seasonings… prolly dead bugs & their droppings too but w/e..

    imo the chicken chili tasted the best… ymmv

  6. But, on a controversial note fat is a hunger suppressant and also rarely breaks down and gets stored as fat as until its needed it remains non glycolytic (natural fats). also I would like to add that during my study and research I have found fish to be the nutritional, be it my own oppinion. Thanks for this great post davey, huge fan =D

  7. most nutritional* sorry

  8. Turkey is also pretty lean, breast especially so. It can turn out bland and dry though, which is why it takes some inventiveness with cooking. I make all sorts of fat-free sauces for it, using tomato, onions, garlic, mustard, milk, lemon, lime, orange, parsley, raisins, mushrooms, leeks, celery, peppers, and what not. I also make stock from leftover bones and herbs, and freeze it in small plastic cups: it makes a tasty base for many sauces. Believe it or not, reading Julia Child has had the biggest influence on my cooking. Not that I would ever cook with all that butter she used, but it made me realize how traditional cooking involved making the most out of everything, and trying never to throw anything away. Which was how things were done pre-refrigerators, pre-supermarkets. For example, I never throw away stale bread. With an onion and a little milk, you can make delicious bread sauce with it.

  9. Hello, I thought this was a nice article. Apreciate you sharing.