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What are some of the nutritional differences between red and white meat?

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Quick Answer

Some of the nutritional differences between red and white meat are that red meat is a richer source of iron, vitamin B12 and protein than white meat, according to WebMD. In contrast, white meat contains fewer saturated fats and more healthy fats than red meat.

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Full Answer

Red meats, such as beef, pork and lamb, are high in saturated fats and increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease, states WebMD. Red meats increase the risk of heart disease by raising body levels of low-density lipoprotein or LDL cholesterol. On the other hand, some white meats contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower the risk of heart disease.

Despite these negatives, red meats still offer important nutritional benefits, states WebMD. Lean red meats are nutrient-dense foods that contain 10 essential nutrients per serving. Nutrients present in red meats include vitamin B12, important for nerve and red blood cell function, and zinc, which helps support a healthy immune system.

To maintain overall health, the American Heart Association recommends that individuals limit how much meat they consume. A recommended portion of meat for one person is 3 ounces or the size of a deck of cards. The AHA advises individuals to consume no more than 6 ounces of lean red or white meat per day.

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