Chicken meat vs Rabbit Meat - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Rabbit meat is richer in most minerals and vitamin B12. It has a lower fat content and is richer in protein. Rabbit meat consumers should take into consideration protein poisoning and avoid it in gout. Chicken meat is richer in most B complex vitamins and it is cheaper.
Table of contents
- What are their general differences?
- Nutritional content comparison
- Diet and weight loss
- Health impacts
- Protein poisoning
- Cardiovascular health
- Diabetes and metabolism
Consumption of rabbit meat is not as common as other types of meat consumption. Rabbit meat is often considered game meat, meaning that it’s a hunt. However, nowadays mostly they are raised on farms as livestock. Farm-raised rabbits are raised in ways that are optimal for consumption when it comes to their nutritional content. Since they are fed highly nutritious foods and are away from danger such as prey which reduces stress on them and keeps their meat more tender than the wild types.
For classification, rabbit meat is classified as poultry.
Chicken meat is one of the most common poultry that is consumed all over the world. Chicken meat is common because it is easy to raise and grow chicken and they don’t need much space to do so. The lifespan of chicken as food is between 8-12 weeks depending on what type of food preparation the chicken is going to be used for.
In this article, we are going to discuss the difference between rabbit meat and chicken meat according to their general differences, nutritional content, weight loss and diet, and health impacts.
What are their general differences?
The general differences between rabbit meat and chicken meat are based on numerous things like price and distribution, shelf life, taste, culinary world usage, and classification.
Price and distribution
Chicken meat is cheaper than rabbit meat and is worldwide more available and in addition to that, it is more sold all over the world.
Since they are both types of meat they don’t have long shelf lives, they need to be immediately eaten if refrigeration is unavailable. However, if refrigeration is available their shelf life can be prolonged. They have low shelf lives if not kept in proper conditions.
Although two different animals belong to two different families. They have similar taste profiling. The difference is in the intensity of the taste and texture. Rabbit meat is dryer and has a gamier taste.
Culinary world usage
Chicken meat is one of the most commonly used meats all around the world. Chicken meat can be grilled, boiled, added to stewed, barbecued, and fried. Rabbit meat also has versatility in the culinary world. It could be said that they nearly could be interchangeable. Rabbit stew is one of the most famous dishes.
Chicken meat is considered white meat due to its very low content of myoglobin. On the other hand, some sources classify rabbit meat as red meat because of its slightly higher myoglobin content and the fact that it is a mammal; however, in the culinary world rabbit meat is classified as white meat because it is very similar to chicken meat.
Nutritional content comparison
In this section, we will compare the nutritional content of both rabbit meat and chicken meat based on 100g of each unless said otherwise. We are taking into consideration stewed rabbit meat and roasted chicken meat with the skin on.
Rabbit meat and chicken meat have glycemic indices equal to 0.
Chicken meat contains more calories than rabbit meat. Chicken meat contains 1.4 times more calories than rabbit meat. These calories can be due to the skin that is left on the chicken.
Chicken meat and rabbit meat have 0g of carbs, their calories are based on fats and proteins. This is an important characteristic in certain diets.
Rabbit meat and chicken meat are both high in protein and have very rich essential amino acid profiles. However, rabbit meat is richer in proteins by 1.2 times compared to chicken meat.
One of the most important features of rabbit meat is the characteristic that it is low in fat. It contains nearly 4 times less fat than chicken. The relationship between fat and protein in rabbit meat will be discussed in the health impact section, protein poisoning.
Saturated and unsaturated fats
For all types of fats, since rabbit meat contains 4 times less total fats than chicken meat, they are lower. It is also important to mention that chicken meat contains low amounts of saturated fats and mostly its fat content is distributed among unsaturated fats.
When it comes to cholesterol, rabbit meat contains more cholesterol than chicken meat.
They both have rich mineral profiles however, rabbit meat is richer in minerals compared to chicken meat. Rabbit meat is richer in phosphorus, zinc, copper, magnesium, potassium, and iron. It is important to note that chicken contains most of these minerals in high amounts however comparatively not as high as rabbit meat.
Below we can see the mineral coverage chart comparing both these foods.
When it comes to comparing their vitamin profiles, chicken has a more versatile and richer vitamin profile. Chicken meat is richer in vitamins B2, B3, B5, and B6. On the other hand, rabbit meat is richer in vitamin B12.
Below we can see the vitamin coverage chart comparing both these foods.
Diet and weight loss
Chicken meat and rabbit meat are ideal for weight loss diets, although it is important to mention the cooking method of both these foods has to be taken into consideration, fried chicken for example is not healthy, however, grilled chicken or roasted is healthy. In addition to that, it is important to mention that consuming chicken without its skin is also important in weight loss diets.
Rabbit and chicken meat cannot be consumed in the vegan diet.
Rabbit meat and chicken meat are ideal in the keto diet. They contain 0 carbs and they have a glycemic index equal to 0. They are rich in proteins. However, in the case of rabbit meat, it is important to associate it with good fats during the keto diet since it is rich in proteins and low in fats.
Both these foods are perfect for bodybuilding and chicken breast is one of the main foods for bodybuilders as a good source of protein, easy preparation, and cheap since a large amount of these would be consumed by bodybuilders. Rabbit meat is also a good option during bodybuilding and mostly to cut down fat and have a leaner physique, however, relying on rabbit meat for protein source for a long duration is not advised since it contains low fat and it would cause more harm than good if consumed in long terms.
Of the most important features when it comes to rabbit meat consumption is protein poisoning. This is when there is a long term for rabbit meat consumption in parallel to consumption of low fats. Rabbit meat is low in fats and no to low fats are eaten from the rest of the diet causing a condition called protein poisoning. So to prevent this, rabbit meat should be associated with butter or other types of fats. (1)(2)
Rabbit meat and chicken meat which are white meats are a good alternative to red meat when it comes to its overall effect on cardiovascular health. Rabbit and chicken meat reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases. (3)
Farm-raised rabbits that consumed a balanced diet are richer in polyunsaturated fats which reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases. In addition to that, rabbit meat is one of the meats that are lowest in sodium which is beneficial in preventing hypertension or controlling hypertension. (4)(5)
Poultry consumption is associated with lower risks of cardiovascular diseases compared to red meat consumption. (6)
Chicken meat consumption, in moderation, has anti-hypertensive, anti-atherosclerotic properties. Overall, it reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases. (7)
Diabetes and metabolism
Avoiding rabbit meat is necessary for Gout arthritis becauselife it's high in purine and the metabolite of purine generates uric acid that causes Gout attacks. Chicken should be consumed in moderation.
Diabetes and obesity
Rabbit meat and chicken meat have 0g of carbs and have glycemic indices equal to 0. Thus they can be eaten for diets modified and catered for diabetic patients to control blood glucose levels and insulin levels. In addition to that, it reduces the risks of developing type 2 diabetes. (8)(9)
Chicken meat has hypoglycemic activity in type 2 diabetes, thus providing blood sugar control. (10)
Linoleic acid present in rabbit meat reduces the risks of obesity and diabetes. (11)
Linoleic acid present in rabbit meat has anti-carcinogenic properties. In addition to that, rabbit meat is considered white meat which is associated with reduced risks of cancer development. (11)(12)
Consumption of chicken meat is not associated with the development of cancer, more specifically colorectal cancer. (13)
Tularemia is a zoonotic infection caused by bacteria (Francisella tularensis) that is frequently associated with rabbit hunters and rabbit meat consumers. Infection can be due to contact with infected tissue during skinning of rabbits or by ingestion of infected meat. Transmission can also occur after a bite from a tick that was residing on the animal’s skin. (14)
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in price|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugar||Equal|
|Lower in glycemic index||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet||Equal|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low glycemic index diet||Equal|