Which Is Healthier, Beef or Chicken?


Quick Answer

Chicken is healthier, as red meats like beef and pork generally have more saturated fat and cholesterol. Chicken has about 23 percent fat compared to beef's 29 percent fat.

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Full Answer

The American Heart Association recommends 6 ounces or less of lean meat, skinless chicken or fish per day. Three ounces is the recommended serving size for meat, which is about the same size as a deck of playing cards. To make meat healthier, consumers should cut off any visible fat before cooking and pour off liquid fat after cooking. Healthy ways of preparing beef and chicken include stewing, broiling, grilling and baking.

Chicken and beef are both good sources of protein. However, high levels of animal protein may be bad for the bones, increase the risk for heart disease and impair kidney function. Eating too much meat and chicken can also lead to certain types of cancer, especially when the meat is well-done or charred.

The healthiest type of chicken is boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The leanest cuts of beef come from the loin and are labeled as "sirloin" or "round." Balance is the key to healthy eating. The amount of fat in an individual piece of meat may vary slightly, depending on how the animal was raised and the feed it was given.

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