The word meat is sometimes confused with meet due to their pronunciation. But meat is the flesh of an animal (especially a mammal) used as a food. Meat offers excellent source of protein
Eating meat, together with marrow, has been part of the human diet 2.6 million years ago by early humans. It is said that hominids started to incorporate meat and marrow into their diet from small to very large animals.
Today, there are several meats that people can opt to eat. Meat is commonly eaten as a main course. Cooking meat has evolved and different dishes from fresh meat have been created. There are also classifications of meat, such as red meats, poultry, fish/seafood, and white and black meat from another managed species.
Their nutritional value also differs from each other. There are meats that have fewer calories and there are also meats that provide stronger flavor. Whether you are a vegetarian who is curious about the health benefits of other meats, you can get some helpful insights by reading the information provided below.
Types of meat
What Are The Different Types of Meat
Processed meat is very common for human consumption nowadays. From cured meat such as bacon, to roasted duck meat, you can find them everywhere. Here are the types of meat that you might not know, or may have been familiar to you already.
Chicken meat is one of the most well-known types of meat, specifically from the poultry types, in the market. Thanks to its lower cost of production compared to other meats from mammals such as cattle or hogs.
On average, chicken meat is a white meat made of 70% water, 20% proteins, and 5% lipids. If you need a quick source of high quality protein and other nutrients that are necessary for proper body functioning such as amino acids and fatty acids, chicken meat can be your go-to option.
A lot of chicken-based food from fried and roasted chicken to chicken soup and even chicken noodles and popcorn are available in the market. One of the reasons why chicken is a go-to for meat eaters is due to the fact that it is affordable.
Aside from that, it also contains less saturated fat but with the same protein content as the other types of meat. Broth made from the chicken also offers more collagen and gelatin as they are easier to be extracted from its lower density chicken bones.
However, it is important to note that handling the meat of the chicken as it can be prone to bacterial contamination such as E. coli and salmonella.
Duck meat is also a type of poultry and white meat, but is less popular than chicken. However, it is popular in Chinese culture where Peking duck is a staple dish.
When it comes to the nutritional value, duck meat offers a lot of health benefits. Aside from being rich in protein, it is said that duck meat contains a significant amount of selenium, phosphorus, and B-group vitamins. It also provides 50% of the iron we need in a day.
Duck meat is generally healthy, unless you indulge it with additives and flavorings which can alter its nutritional value.
Lamb Meat and Mutton Meat
Both of these meats are similar and they are also a type of red meat. Lamb meat is popular for its richer taste with a more intense marbling and it is from a young sheep. Mutton meat is also a type of lamb meat but this one is from an adult sheep.
Lamb chops are the most popular cuts of these meats. They are also used as a replacement for beef when it comes to making ribeye steak.
Lamb meat is said to contain few polyunsaturated fatty acids, thus, it contains lesser fat content. Since they are the same as ground grass fed beef, the omega 6 to 3 ratio is very low. It also contains zinc, selenium and B vitamins which are essential for keeping the body protected against diseases like a heart disease.
When it comes to a type of red meat, beef can be easily picked. It is famous for its ribeye steak and beef jerky. Raw beef is also processed meat into ground beef which is used in different cuisines and recipes.
Grass fed beef offers lean protein and a heart healthy oleic acid, which is also the main fatty acid found in olive oil. When it comes to other nutrients, beef also provides large amounts of iron, zinc, and essential amino acids like vitamin B12.
Creatine, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), and glutathione can also be found in beef. Just like other things, consumption should be controlled when eating beef as it could increase circulating iron to unhealthy levels.
Overly cooked meat like beef can also create carcinogen compounds such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs).
Though there are varieties of fish meat, unlike poultry meat, they can be classified into different types of meat such as red meat and white meat. Fish has been an important source of protein and other nutrients for humans throughout history.
Eating fish is very healthy and there are only a few bad side effects of eating these fishes. You can get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as D and B2 (riboflavin). Aside from that, fish is also rich in calcium and phosphorus, a great source of minerals, such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium.
This is why it is recommended to eat fish at least two times per week as part of a healthy diet.
One of the big three types of meat, pork is actually a red meat rather than being a white meat. Thanks to the large amount of myoglobin found in its meat that gives it a red color.
From the regularly raised hogs to wild boar, pork is one of the most popular types of meat in the world. There are different pork products such as ham and roasted pork tenderloin that you can buy in the market and restaurants. Bacon, sausages, hot dogs, salami, etc. are some of the processed meat products made from pork.
The different cuts of pork also provide different nutritional value. But in general, pork is rich in thiamin (vitamin B1) which is higher than in other meat. Thiamin actually helps in glucose metabolism and protecting cardiac health.
It also has selenium and zinc, which are responsible for boosting the immune system and fights oxidative stress. To add up, pork is also cheaper compared to other types of meat such as beef.
Eating meat such as pork should also be done in average consumption, especially the fatty cuts. You should also store it properly as it can be contaminated easily with bacteria.
One type of white meat, Turkey, is popular in the Americas during Christmas. It is basically one of the main attractions on the table during this season. You can also have both processed and unprocessed turkey meat.
Turkey is a less prevalent form of poultry meats and has a deeper yet drier taste than chicken. Turkey also has different cuts that include thighs and drumsticks. Turkey breast is also available but it is more costly than those other two cuts mentioned.
If you are looking for a lean meat with denser protein content, turkey can be a good option. For every 17.5 grams of protein you can only get 149 calories. Having said that, turkey is one of those meats that can provide high-quality lean protein.
Just like other grass fed meats, goat meat is one of those that you can incorporate in your healthy diet. Chevon or the goat meat from adult goats is most popular in the markets. Young goat meat is called capretto, cabrito or kid.
Eating goat meat is also beneficial as it contains low in saturated fats and has more of the recommended unsaturated fats. Since most goats are fed with grass, it also has lower levels of cholesterol compared to other meats.
If you are looking for a high quality lean protein, you should consider getting goat meat. Mutton commonly means goat meat in South Asian and Caribbean cuisine.
Rabbit may not be a common thing in other parts of the world, but this is commonly cooked in China, some parts of Europe and the United States. In France, rabbit is very popular and is considered to be a delicacy.
Selenium is very high in rabbit meat and it also contains a significant source of vitamin B12. Unlike other types of meat, rabbit meat is not high in protein content but it is very low in fat and calories.
You just have to be careful as undercooked rabbit meat may transmit a pathogen known as tularemia.
Pheasant meat is from a type of lean bird that might provide a dry, tasteless meat when overcooked. It is popular across Europe and the United States, considered as a premium meat due to its flavorful taste.
It has a flavor of game meat, similar to chicken, with a smokey hint. Wild pheasants provide that stronger, more distinctive flavor, pungent, and aromatic. It is also an excellent source of B vitamins. Pheasant may provide dark meat from its thigh and drumstick.
Which Types of Meat is Better
The meat industry is complex and wide. There are other few types of meat that can be found in the market, such as goose meat.
Depending on your preferences, only meats can provide that distinctive taste and flavor. There are different meat dishes that you might not have tried yet.
When it comes to better meat, you might want to consider their nutritional benefits. Aside from that, you also need to check if they are suitable for the recipe that you regularly prepare. If you are going to store them, red meat might be better than white meat as they are less prone to bacterial contamination.
I hope that this post has helped you with some useful information.