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Which is best meat, lamb, beef, pork, or chicken?

Updated on June 19, 2013

In this hub, I will discuss the most popular meat beef, pork, lamb and chicken and compare them in terms of nutrition, fat, and taste. Less popular meat like duck, rabbit, goose, turkey are not included.

Red or white?

Red meat in culinary terminology refers to meat which is red-colored when raw, as contrasted with white meat. Beef, pork, lamb are considered "red" while chicken and rabbit are invariably considered "white".

Red meat is one of the richest sources of iron and complete protein. It also contains levels of creatine, minerals such as zinc and phosphorus, and vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B12, thiamin and riboflavin. Red meat is the richest source of Alpha Lipoic Acid, a powerful antioxidant.

However, regular consumption of red meat presents several health risks, largely due to the saturated fat content. including a notable increase in cancer risk, e.g. breast cancer, stomach cancer, bladder cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Regular consumption of red meat has also been linked to bone loss, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and arthritis.

The healthy eating pyramid recommends that red meat be consumed sparingly.

Meat form intensive chicken farm

Consumption of white meat has risen dramatically over the past few decades, driven by the availability of cheap, mass-produced chicken. However, the recent exposure of conditions in intensive chicken farm questions the value of chicken meat produced from such poor conditions.

The majority of poultry are farmed intensively in battery cages or overcrowded chicken sheds, mutilated and unable to express their natural behaviours. chickens are made to grow super-fast through a combination of genetics, high-protein feed and often growth-promoting chemicals. Their hearts, lungs and bones struggle to keep pace: the skeleton of a 6-week old bird now carries the equivalent weight of a 12-week old bird. As a result, millions of chickens suffer crippling legs or succumb to heart failure.

Animal disease and its impact on meat

Various animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and avian influenza (birds flu) cast doubts on beef and chicken.

The pig is not an exception, being the carrier of various helminths, like roundworm, pinworm, hookworm, etc. One of the most dangerous and common is Taenia solium, a type of tapeworm. Tapeworms may transplant to human intestines as well by consuming untreated or uncooked pork.

Eat well, and prosper

Based on the above considerations, I personally think that lamb is the best meat of the four.

Lamb is fairly fatty, and, unlike pork, the fat is not entirely edible - it is more like tallow. This contributes to the high price of lamb, because by the time the lamb is trimmed of its fat and other nonedible parts, the resulting meat is only about 40% of its weight.

Some people are turned off by the smell of lamb, but what they are smelling is burning lamb fat, which does have a very "lamby" odor - for these people I recommend leaner cuts that have been well trimmed.


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      Makadchap Organization 19 months ago

      Lamb is actually eatable & delicious non veg food.

      Chicken is eatable but not a actual Flesh. its a Bird Tissues.

      Beef & Pork is on choice but not at all good for health.

      I prefer more Veggies with non-veg stuff around 1:5 ratio.

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      BAMIDELE 2 years ago

      my beloves let not get it wrong all animals are clean and good for consumption ACT 10 VS 13-15 has spoken the main and of GOd over these things which will get wrong

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      buffalo lover 3 years ago

      No matter how good white meat can be, it will never truly satiate the craving for red meat. Buffalo, however, can. It’s probably the reddest meat you’ll ever see and unlike beef, it’s pretty good for you.

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      shaista khan 4 years ago

      hi:-)friends .i also like beef meat bcoz beef is very useful for us by protein.

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      Goran 4 years ago

      Its disgusting when food talk becomes religion and political bullshit!

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      Jessica 4 years ago

      Wow, I was just popping along the internet for good lamb recipes, and ran across this article. The article is interesting. The comments are hilarious! I mean, I like lamb and all (hell, I love meat in general), but geez...

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      The one that's right. 4 years ago

      Well, according to the bible, split hooves animals are unclean, and smooth skinned fish should not be eaten. And also in reference to this bible, the LAMB was used as the sacrifice to God. So beef is not the greatest, it is considered low. LOW, LOW, LOW. Sorry to all those other people that like cow, this is only meant to be of offence to Roger Rump. But chicken may be the best meat because it is cheaper than lamb, but this goes accordingly to the price you are willing to pay. Again, no offence to anyone other than that rump guy. Lamb is better than COW!

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      Douche 4 years ago

      It is a very good and acceptable time to celebrate the facts of life that have astonished us for thousands of years. Once the bear is old enough to plant harvest, he or she will attach the lungs to its spirits and drive by with open fires. Though he may be willing, it all comes down to what species drive the wild into extinction, keeping in mind the value of natures wilderness.

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      Diskusian 4 years ago

      Why Pork is Haram in Islam ~ 15 Things You Should Know About Pigs:

      1) A pig is a real garbage gut. It will eat anything including urine, excrement, dirt, decaying animal flesh, maggots, or decaying vegetables. They will even eat the cancerous growths off other pigs or animals.

      2) The meat and fat of a pig absorbs toxins like a sponge. Their meat can be 30 times more toxic than beef or venison.

      3) When eating beef or venison, it takes 8 to 9 hours to digest the meat so what little toxins are in the meat are slowly put into our system and can be filtered by the liver. But when pork is eaten, it takes only 4 hours to digest the meat. We thus get a much higher level of toxins within a shorter time.

      4) Unlike other mammals, a pig does not sweat or perspire. Perspiration is a means by which toxins are removed from the body. Since a pig does not sweat, the toxins remain within its body and in the meat.

      5) Pigs and swine are so poisonous that you can hardly kill them with strychnine or other poisons.

      6) Farmers will often pen up pigs within a rattlesnake nest because the pigs will eat the snakes, and if bitten they will not be harmed by the venom.

      7) When a pig is butchered, worms and insects take to its flesh sooner and faster than to other animal's flesh. In a few days the swine flesh is full of worms.

      8) Swine and pigs have over a dozen parasites within them, such as tapeworms, flukes, worms, and trichinae. There is no safe temperature at which pork can be cooked to ensure that all these parasites, their cysts, and eggs will be killed.

      9) Pig meat has twice as much fat as beef. A 3 oz T bone steak contains 8.5 grams of fat; a 3 oz pork chop contains 18 grams of fat. A 3 oz beef rib has 11.1 grams of fat; a 3 oz pork spare rib has 23.2 grams of fat.

      10) Cows have a complex digestive system, having four stomachs. It thus takes over 24 hours to digest their vegetarian diet causing its food to be purified of toxins. In contrast, the swine's one stomach takes only about 4 hours to digest its foul diet, turning its toxic food into flesh.

      11) The swine carries about 30 diseases which can be easily passed to humans. This is why God commanded that we are not even to touch their carcase (Leviticus 11:8).

      12) The trichinae worm of the swine is microscopically small, and once ingested can lodge itself in our intestines, muscles, spinal cord or the brain. This results in the disease trichinosis. The symptoms are sometimes lacking, but when present they are mistaken for other diseases, such as typhoid, arthritis, rheumatism, gastritis, MS, meningitis, gall bladder trouble, or acute alcoholism.

      13) The pig is so poisonous and filthy, that nature had to prepare him a sewer line or canal running down each leg with an outlet in the bottom of the foot. Out of this hole oozes pus and filth his body cannot pass into its system fast enough. Some of this pus gets into the meat of the pig.

      14) According to Jewish law, pork is one of a number of foods forbidden from consumption by Jews. These foods are known as "non-kosher" foods. In order for a meat to be kosher, it must first come from a kosher animal. A kosher animal must be a ruminant and have split hooves - therefore cows, sheep, goats and deer are all kosher, whereas camels and pigs (having each only one sign of kashrut) are not kosher.

      15) Quran, Holy book of Muslims also prohibits consumption of pork.

      "He has made unlawful for you that which dies of itself and blood and the flesh of swine and that on which the name of any other than Allah has been invoked. But he who is driven by necessity, being neither disobedient nor exceeding the limit, then surely, Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful." Quran 2:173

      I cannot understand why anyone would eat it. You might as well vacuum all day and then take the vacuum bag and make a nice soup out of it.

      " Of course our Creator has given us the health laws through the Holy Quran and not eating pigs is even CLEARLY mentioned in the Bible (Leviticus 11:07)

      But some humans think they are more intelligent than the Creator so they choose to follow their own desires and live a very painful and troublesome filled life

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      Bill 4 years ago

      I now this opinion has been disqualified by the OP's description, but I've always really liked duck, roasted. It's fatty, gamy, and it goes very well with a variety of sauces. On a theoretical note, meats with low production levels will probably tend to have been raised in more traditional environments simply because industrial meat production is not viable without economy of scale.

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      Umhlali SA 5 years ago

      Pork and chicken cause me to have an outbreak of very painful spots (not acne) on my face, turkey and fish make me itch all over. I eat a small amount of beef and mutton which don't cause a reaction.

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      AussieStoner 5 years ago

      Should all eat more fish, less meat but for a mainstay each week chicken is most popular and one of the healthiest. Pork fillets are 2nd healthiest, then beef, then lamb but forget all that and eat something that tastes good, Bacon! everybody loves bacon and those who don't have lost their taste buds!

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      DiggerNick 5 years ago

      Beef eating master race reporting in, enjoy your peasant tier meats, plebs.

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      khalk 5 years ago

      Lamb is the best braised in the good cossacks wat yummmy with herbs and red modena..

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      Dan 5 years ago

      Lamb wins the taste competition for me. I'm lucky that I'm Croatian/Serbian which means I eat a lot of it. Got no problem with other meats, I love them all. My family respects the source of our food though, we use all parts of the animal that we eat. Sausages out of the intestines, bone marrow, soup from the bones etc...

      Nothing wrong with eating an animal as long as you don't let the life of the animal and the carcass go to waste.

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      mary lamblover 5 years ago

      Great article. may roger rabitt suffocate on an undercooked piece of cow. what an idiot

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      Chizzynigeria 5 years ago

      Lamb is good,beef is better but pork is best. Religious restrictions on pig consumption wz in the old testament. As for muslims dont they ve old testament? Well cooked pork is healthier.

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      fuckteabaggers 5 years ago

      All this noise over what meat is best? Silly.

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      Stan 5 years ago

      Pork for breakfast too once a week.

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      Stan 5 years ago

      I grew up in the restaurant business eating he best beef and lamb that you can not find today. Nowadays I enjoy chicken, preferably organic, four to five times a week along with fish and red meat too. With plenty of vegetables and fruit and vitamins I am pushing 95. Educate yourselves and enjoy a glass of wine too!

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      SwaraT 5 years ago

      Lamb is the best option.

      The beefy is a real idiot...

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      Its Just Meat? 5 years ago

      I guess it's not a big enough issue for me to fight about. In my humble opinion all the fighting seems a little foolish. I'm with @SilentBob, "As for meat, it's all delicious! Enjoy it all in many different dishes and cuts!"

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      charlie 6 years ago

      This website is bullshit because of it's users. I'm never coming back here again.

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      Tanveer 6 years ago

      I think avoid eating pork meat.Because it causes so many diseases.& it should be ban .

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      allhailthesheep 6 years ago

      lamb is the best meat out there, beef and pork tend to cause health problems.

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      lambjalfriezi 6 years ago

      lamb is the cleanest, tastiest and finest meat in my opinion.

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      What the 6 years ago

      That guy ranting about beef is a douchebag, lamb is far superior and healthier.

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      Porkchops Rule 6 years ago

      And bacon strips, and bacon strips and bacon strips...

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      GG Trotter 6 years ago

      How is it you didn't mention horse or Osterich?

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      Min 7 years ago

      Great comparasion but would welcome more detail in numbers such as protein, fat, iron, blah blah per kg.

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      Ross 7 years ago

      Pork for the win, beef can hush it's gums.

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      makalane 7 years ago

      great article,very interesting to know about different meats.

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      SeeingsBelievin' 7 years ago

      Dear friends, It's sad to read anger when the dispute could be possibly cleared up if you could see what I see. Red meat energetically "looks" grayish red. I am sorry to say but our little pig friends are very toxic. Do you understand they cannot remove toxins effectively b/c they cannot sweat? Please avoid them, they are very congestive to the body, especially the nervous system. Our sweet cow friends, goats and sheep fall next in line. The muscle tissue is dense and heavy. It also has a grayish brown energy to it. Chicken is a bit better it's simply a grayish tinge, maybe a bit reddish brown here and there. Fish, I apologize to say that catfish, eel, and fish that eat feces and dead animals from the bottom of the ocean are gray in color and would best be avoided, they are toxic as well. Please try to eat very clean foods, never mind the fat, that is the least of the problem. Fish that swim in the salt water, with scales have the most effective toxin removal abilities. Salt naturally sterilizes them. Don't forget Tilapia and flounder are cheap fish but unclean. Please try to eat organically and grass fed red meats when you are really craving them. They are expensive, I know, but hospital bills and meds are far more costly. I am not a tree hugger but I love the planet and I love people and I never write on things like this. But I can see with my eyes how contaminated the foods are, I am just sensitive this way. Our choices are getting slimmer by the day in the US of what to eat. And religious or not, if you could see what happens when you bless your food before you eat it you would never miss a day of saying "thank's" to some higher power for the meal you're eating. When you put your hands over the food, just say please may this cow, pig, fish, veggie adjust to my body and fill me with all the nutrients and energy I need to be strong, healthy and happy. The food begins to brightly glow! See how you feel after you eat. Are you bloated, crabby, sleepy or energized and clear-headed and ready to finish your day? Everyone and anyone can say this and that about foods, there are arguments for all sides, but you,you, you are the best judge of your own bodies. See how you feel. Trust it. You will never meet me, but I will say this. I send you, all of you, my best that your are healthy, prosperous and successful in all that you do. I wish this for all of you, every day. I am the one who smiles at you for no reason and sends you blessings just because you share the air with me and you are a person who deserves respect and kindness and all this Earth is giving us. I could walk by you tomorrow and you'd never know. I will stop now, maybe I am a foolish young woman, but I care for all of you and your health. Be well.

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      Fania 7 years ago

      I think lamb and beef is better, because they have less saturated fatty than pork.

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      Silentbob 7 years ago

      @Facts not Faith,

      Really? Of all the things you could bring up, you have to bring up religion/theology? I think you are the one suffering from a psychosis, perhaps even a religious one. It seems any mention of religion makes you very angry. You're almost as bad as Mr. Rump when it comes to someone talking down his beloved beef.

      As for meat, it's all delicious! Enjoy it all in many different dishes and cuts!

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      Facts Not Faith 7 years ago

      The FACT is, no animal is "God's animal" because you're basing your opinions on a mythology. I won't debate religion here but some of you are illogical, arrogant, sniveling, pricks who suffer from religious-psychosis. Good day, sirs.

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      Carole 7 years ago

      I have been a Chef for over 30 years and I know for a fact that Lamb IS a better meat than any other red meat! I know this because I also have a Master Degree in Nutrition. and by the Rodger Rump Roast~~You need to seek an Anger Control Center~~going off on a Little Lamb seems to be a little over the top~~

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      adam 7 years ago

      pork is an inferior meat

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      meat lover 7 years ago

      mr roger...very interesting point...but lamb is very expensive these maybe its not that low class anymore..and i have to agree the age and even sex of the sheep adds to the flavor and texture...talking from my own experience...

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      Charlton Tablet 7 years ago

      But we can all agree that chicken is inferior to all the others.

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      Sell a Ri 7 years ago

      What a lot of hype Roger The COW is Gods animal so dont eat it become a vegetarian.

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      lamb and only lamb 8 years ago

      totally agree that lamb is the best cut of meat in its flavour ,aroma and has variable ways of cooking.

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      Chastity Chop 8 years ago

      Ooooooooh! Roger Rump!

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      Roger Rump 8 years ago

      Dear Shanks,

      I don't normally lower myself to such forum sniping, but in your case you have regrettably riled my emotions and I feel compelled to 'bite', as it were.

      It's really very simple, the meat ranks are well defined throughout all cultures and continents of the world.

      1. Beef, God's Own Meat.

      2. Meat of the Feathered Beasts (of all descriptions encompassing Quail to Goose & Gander)

      3. Pig. (Boar through to Long......)

      4. Meat of the Dipped Animals. Dirty cleft hoofed Beasts, lower tier low grade ruminants that are fit only for the plates and palates of peasants. (Sheep are included within this poor catergory of 4th rate foodstuffs.)

      Please keep your repulsive mutton based musings to yourself and cease from disseminating your misleading sheep love fuelled propaganda on an unmonitored unmoderated internet page.

      Yours in Disgust,


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      John Lambshank 8 years ago

      Dear Roger, while I respect your views I would like to take this opportunity to point out that you are quite simply wrong. Sheep can be enjoyed at a variety of ages and colours and indeed some say that this adds to it's unique scent and flavours.

      Can I humbly suggest that you keep your posts to the beef affecionados forums.


      Mr John Lambshank Esq.

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      Roger Rump 8 years ago

      Never in all my born days have I encountered such biased drivel. To say I am appalled would be an understatement. Any animal that has to be eaten in its infancy in order to make it mildly edible can not be ranked amongst the world's truly great meats. Fillet is first, Fillet is finest. Discussion over,



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      John Lambshank 8 years ago

      What a great article. For the record I agree with the conclusion, Lamb is indeed quite possibly the greatest meat ever. Keep up the good journalism!