Should I eat "white meat" rather than red?

by Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Posted on Oct 17, 10:47 PM in . No comments.

There used to be a time when the recommendation was to avoid red meats and go for “white meat” when considering cholesterol and cardiovascular risk. The usual fare for people trying to keep their fat intake down was chicken, chicken and more chicken!
But it doesnt necessarily need to be all “white meat”.

There are now some good lean cuts of red meat on the market and more evidence that you can have your red meat and still stay healthy.
A recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition compared the effects of eating lean lamb versus lean chicken in a trial using thirty six nuns. The nuns consumed either lamb or chicken three times a week for 5 week periods, along with their usual diet. Cholesterol was measured before and after. They found that there were no significant differences in cholesterol before and after for both groups. The researchers concluded that lean lamb could be exchanged with lean chicken in a healthy diet.
Whether or not five weeks was long enough to say for sure is another question but it looks good for those who want to include a great iron source in their diets plus a little variety when trying to keep cholesterol down. And all the more reason to try Greek style lamb, potato and rosemary kleftiko…


Rocio Mateo-Gallego, Sofia Perez-Calahorra et al. (2011) Effect of lean red meat from lamb v. lean white meat from chicken on the serum lipid profile: a randomised, cross-over study in women. British Journal of Nutrition. Sept.

Tags: Chicken, Cholesterol, Lamb

About the author

Anne Myers-Wright

Anne Myers-Wright RD/APD

Anne is a Health Professions Council (HPC) registered dietitian (RD), an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD- Australia), a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and of The Dietetics Association of Australia.


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