Chicken or Red Meat?

Nikki LanBlog, Nutrition Advice

Chicken or meat is such a quick win when you are trying to consume enough protein every day. However, it does get tricky when trying to keep fat and calories down. What type of meat and cuts should you be aiming to eat and what should you be watching out for?

Below I break down Chicken, Beef, Pork and Lamb.


Chicken breast is often the go to protein for those on diets. Low in saturated fat and high in protein it’s a no brainer. But not all chicken is the same. Personally, I prefer the taste and texture of a chicken thigh. However, per 100g a chicken thigh has more than 50 more calories and double the amount of fat than the white meat. So, if health and weight loss is at the top of your agenda when it comes to food…opt for a skinless, boneless chicken breast.

100g of skinless chicken breast= 110kcals, 0g carbs, 23.1g protein and 1.25g fat


In the past experts have warned the public away from beef due to its high fat content, but recent studies have shown that only half of the fat content is saturated and in fact the remaining fat is monounsaturated and is in fact good for your heart and cholesterol. It also contains more iron, zinc and vitamin B 12 than chicken.

100g of lean sirloin steak = 135kcals, 0g carbs, 23.1g protein and 4.08g fat (of which 1.5g are saturated)


Pork can be leaner than chicken and often referred to as a white meat, although this is a little grey area as pork does contain more myoglobin than chicken. Myoglobin is a protein within the muscle which when combined with oxygen causes the meat to go red. When it comes to fat content different cuts of meat can range from 7.1g of fat in a pork chop to as little as 2.9 in a tenderloin and a lean piece of pork can contain less calories than a chicken breast which has been cooked with the skin on.

100g of pork tenderloin = 135kcals, 0g carbs, 26g protein and 3.45g fat


Lamb has a similar nutritional value to beef filled with vitamin B12, B3, and B2 it aids nerve function and metabolism as well as helping your body to release energy from food. A very lean loin or leg of lamb will contain approximately 5% fat. Like with all red meats lamb is primarily made up of protein and fat if the right cuts are eaten lamb, like with all red meat can help to maintain and muscle function and tone.

100g leg of lamb= 188kcals, 0g carbs, 27.6g protein and 7.8g fat

Red meat is always going to be higher in fat than chicken or turkey. The benefit of meat comes with the heme iron (found only in animals) which is quickly and easily absorbed by the body and combats anaemia. Red meat is also rich in vitamin B12 which supports the nervous system and maintains red blood cell health and contains all essential amino acids making it a low carb complete protein. We all have different sensitivities to fats and if you find that you are not sensitive to fats (or highly active) then beef, pork or lamb are not off limits. When eating meat or chicken it comes down to the cuts and quality. Choose a lean piece of meat and keep away from things like sausages and fatty cuts. Also, be weary of sauces and marinades, these can be calorific can make a huge difference to weight loss or weight gain. As a rule, at PGPT we generally advise our clients to have no more than two servings a week. Like with most nutritional advice we preach. Anything in moderation is fine.


Nikki Lan

For Nikki health and fitness isn’t just a job, it’s a passion and part of her everyday life. With a keen interest in pre and post-natal training Nikki is always looking for new ideas, articles and studies to broaden her already vast knowledge of the subject.

Whether you’re looking to stay active and strong during pregnancy, tone up, or lose weight, Nikki has the tools and dedication you need to achieve your goals.

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