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White Meat VS Dark Meat

Updated: Jul 1, 2022

The debate about dark and white meat has been raging since the time the first family members gathered for roast chicken. Certain people aren't a fan of dark meat, whereas others praise its virtues and consume nothing other than it. What is the difference between them, White Meat VS Dark Meat?

The difference in science is due to the amount of myoglobin found in various cuts of meat. Myoglobin is an oxygen-carrying protein (or hemoprotein) responsible for the dark meat's reddish hue. The higher the amount of myoglobin, the darker the meat, and the more nutrients it contains. Myoglobin gives muscles oxygen which is essential to exercise and move. Because chickens don't fly, They make use of both thighs as well as their legs to move around, which makes those areas darker than their wings or breasts.

Dark meat

Turkeys or chickens have a significant amount of time on their feet, so they possess more slow-twitch type 1 fiber inside their legs. These fibers are able to support the production of aerobic energy. Oxygen is utilized in this system of energy to convert fats and carbohydrates into fuel. Myoglobin is a protein that is for oxygen within muscle cells, giving the meat its a dark color.

Since the aerobic system uses fat for fuel and energy, more fat is stored in the thighs and legs. Dark meat has a bit greater amount of calories and saturated fat than white due to the higher fat content. In addition, dark meat has more zinc, iron, Thiamine, riboflavin, and Vitamin B-12.

Light Meat

White meat can be found in the breast as well as the wings. The muscles used to fly utilize explosive force. Fast-twitch muscle fibers, often known as type 2 muscles allow for short bursts of movement. They require fast energy production. Anaerobic energy systems are most commonly used in this area. It is able to break carbs very rapidly, but with no oxygen in abundance.

So, the myoglobin concentration is less, resulting in lighter colors in these muscles. Light meats are also less fat than meat that is dark. Type 2 fibers create energy from carbohydrates, not fat, which means there's not any need to store a large amount of fat. This is the reason white meat has a drier texture than dark meats and fewer calories.

Which Better Between Dark Meat And Light Meat

Both dark meat and light meat are healthy options. Both are excellent sources of protein-rich nutrients that aid in the growth of muscles, weight loss, and overall well-being.

For a long time, dietitians or nutritionists, as well as other experts, have advised eating white meat instead of dark meat due to the fact that white meat has lower fat levels and calories. Today, the battle against fat has been tempered. Fat and saturated fat isn't the food villains we believed they were. Although dark meat does have higher levels of fat than white, it's not as significant as you'd think. In fact, it's the fat added to the meat that gives it that juicy texture. It's also richer in nutrients than white and has more zinc and iron.

It is a common belief that white meat is healthier than dark meat. In reality, it's impossible to go without either. Both provide high-quality, healthy protein as well as are rich in minerals and vitamins.

Skin On vs Skin Off

It is possible to eat poultry with or without the skin part or skin of an animal. You can enjoy both dark meat or white meat skinless or skin-on. In addition, keeping the skin on adds spice and more savory flavor to the meat, but it is a source of nutrients, similar to healthy fats.

However, leaving the skin on will be a good way to add fat to meat (~90 calories per 1-ounce portion of the skin) This could be an important factor for those who want to reduce their intake of calories and fats.


In terms of flavor, the priority comes down to personal taste. Due to the greater percentage of fat in the meat, many discover that darker meat is juicy and delicious. While white meat tends to have a milder flavor, however, it is easier to dry while cooking. White meat or chicken breast cuts are cooked best in sauces stew, broth, or soup to avoid drying out. Dark meats are more suited to roast, bake, grill, broil, or pan-fry without losing taste. If you like food with a richer flavor dark meat is the perfect choice for you! If you like easy, healthy alternatives, white meat could be your best option.

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