WHICH IS BETTER FOR MY PET: WHITE MEAT OR RED MEAT?
When preparing a home-made meal or BARF ration for your pet, the question inevitably arises as to what type of meat to give them. White meat, red meat... what's the difference? Do they have the same nutritional value?
What is meat?
First and foremost, meat is muscle. And depending on the species it comes from (cow, sheep, duck, horse, tuna, chicken, rabbit, calf...), the muscle will have a different colour: red for the first lot, pink then white when cooked for the second.
Red, white... what's the difference?
Many believe that the colour of meat dictates the amount of protein and amino acids contained in the muscle. Wrong! It’s actually an indicator of iron content. For example, the iron content in red meat and offal is twice as high as in white meat. You should also pay attention to the fat content, which mostly depends on the kind of meat.
A rough summary would be as follows: white chicken meat will generally be "leaner" than red beef. When it comes to fish, the colour doesn't necessarily play a role. You have to understand the type of fish instead.
Which is the fattiest?
In birds, fat is stored under the skin or in the liver and seldom in the muscles, which allow them to fly. Therefore, a chicken or turkey breast will always be lean. Duck meat is a little different since ducks store more fat.
In cows and sheep, fat accumulates in the muscle, but in pigs it's found beneath the skin. In general, young animals (such as lambs or calves) will be leaner than adults.
Oily fish like salmon store fat in their muscles. Cod is famous for its very rich liver. When it comes to fish, white fish are generally the leanest. With one exception: tuna. Despite its beautiful red flesh, tuna is also rather lean, except for some parts, which are very fatty. These fatty parts are known as toro, which is very popular in Japan.
So, does red meat deserve its bad reputation?
People are increasingly wary of red meat and tend to favour white meat. It’s often said that red meat is too fatty, too rich, full of toxins... But is this really the case?
Well, red meat indeed contains more saturated fat. Additionally, white meat is renowned for being less allergenic. However, allergies depend greatly on eating habits: you can only be allergic to foods that you eat frequently. As such, when it comes to our pets, red meat allergies are much more common.
PUBLISHED 04.12.2020 - HECTOR KITCHEN, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
By the Hector Kitchen medical and scientific team
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