White vs Dark Meat: Difference and Comparison

Having a proper meal is an important part of the day, and having a protein-rich meal is necessary for every day.

When eating animal meat, you will be exposed to high-quality protein, vitamins like A, B, and D, and sodium and potassium.

Though each type of meat has unique advantages, people still get confused in choosing between white and red meat.

Key Takeaways

  1. White meat comes from poultry’s leaner muscles, such as the breast and wings, while dark meat comes from more active muscles, like the thighs and legs.
  2. Dark meat contains more myoglobin, resulting in a richer flavor and darker color than white meat.
  3. White meat is lower in fat and calories, making it a popular choice for health-conscious consumers, while dark meat offers more moisture and tenderness.

White v/s Dark Meat

The difference between white and dark meat is that the white meat is found in the wings and breasts areas of the chicken or turkey and contains up to 10% of red fibers, whereas the dark meat is found in the leg area of chicken and turkey and has 50% of red fibers.

White vs Dark Meat

White meat, in culinary terms, refers to meat that is colorless or pale before cooking and even after cooking. The most common example of white meat is the meat of poultry.

In the traditional study of food and culture, rabbits and other mammals such as lamb or veal who feed upon milk are also included in the list of white meat animals.

Dark meat, also known as red meat, is obtained from gamey mammals such as horses, venison, boar, etc. This kind of meat has a huge amount of iron and creatine and is a good source of lipoic acid.

It also has little vitamin D, but the offal contains a larger amount than the other parts.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonWhite MeatDark Meat
Obtained fromThe wings and breasts of chicken and turkey.The legs of chicken and turkey.
Red fiber contentContains 10% of red fibers.Contains 50% of red fibers.
State after cookingBecomes dry.Remains juicy and tender.
Colour after cookingRemains the same colourless and pale.Becomes darker and denser.
ProteinHigh in protein.Low in protein.

What is White Meat?

White meat is meat that is either colorless or faded in color before cooking and doesn’t change its color even after being cooked.

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The most common kind of white meat is that of poultry animals, like chicken breasts and wings. White meat is also obtained from animals that feed upon milk, such as lamb or veal and pork, to be precise.

One needs a good quantity of calcium and protein to keep bone health intact.

Chicken and turkey are the animals that are rich in protein, due to their intake, bone problems like arthritis and osteoporosis can be prevented from happening.

The white meat from chicken also helps to strengthen the bones and teeth as it is rich in phosphorus and is beneficial for the kidney, liver, and nervous system.

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, you are needed to take good care of your heart. And when you start to take proper care of your heart, every cardiovascular disease will stay miles away from you.

Cardiovascular disease is mostly caused when there is an increase in the levels of amino acid homocysteine, and can be prevented by eating chicken breasts as it controls the homocysteine level in the body.

White meat from chicken livers contains Riboflavin or Vitamin B 2, which helps prevent shin problems, rejuvenate damaged skin, and treat sore tongues.

Vitamin B6 retain the enzymes and support blood vessels by managing high energy level in the body.

white meat

What is Dark Meat?

Red meat or dark meat is obtained from the adult mammals such as beef, horse, and venison. They turn dark in color when cooked, but when raw, they are red.

This type of meat contains more amount of Myoglobin as compared to any other meat, and myoglobin helps in the transportation of oxygen throughout the muscles in the capillaries.

Most people misunderstand the beneficial properties of dark meat for cholesterol, saturated fat, and high protein.

Apart from being high in protein, red or dark meat is also known for having a good amount of multiple B vitamins. Eating food that is naturally enriched with the goodness of B vitamins is essential to having a healthy body.

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Dark meat comprises B-12, which promotes a strong and healthy nervous system, and B-6, which supports the immune system and makes it strong.

It also contains niacin, which helps in better digestion, and riboflavin, which rejuvenates skin and improves eyesight.

Dark meat also provides a good amount of iron that is necessary for the human body and is more quickly seized than other plant-based iron foods.

Including dark meat in your diet one to two times a week also helps the red blood cells to carry enough oxygen throughout the body. Another rare and important mineral is zinc, that dark meat provides.

Zinc helps in building muscle mass and improves mental health.

dark meat

Main Differences Between White and Dark Meat

  1. White meat is found in chicken and turkey’s wings and breast areas, while dark meat is found in the legs of the same. 
  2. White meat consists of 10% red fiber, while dark meat has 50% red fiber. 
  3. White meat, when cooked, becomes drier, while dark meat remains tender and juicy.
  4. White meat is low in fat, while dark meat has high fat.
  5. White meat is high in protein, while dark meat has a lower amount of protein.
  6. When cooked, the white meat does not change its color, whereas the red or dark meat becomes darker in color. 
Difference Between White and Dark Meat
  1. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jf00058a001
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0032579119380241

Last Updated : 24 June, 2023

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6 thoughts on “White vs Dark Meat: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The post provides crucial information about the nutritional differences between white and dark meat. It’s quite enlightening.

  2. This is an excellent post, emphasizing the importance of understanding the unique qualities of white and dark meat. It’s highly beneficial.


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