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Chicken meat vs Rabbit Meat - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on November 10, 2021
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Chicken meat
vs
Rabbit Meat

Summary

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.

Introduction

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.

Shelf life

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.

Taste

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.

Classification

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.

Glycemic index

Rabbit meat and chicken meat have glycemic indices equal to 0.

Calories

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.

Carbs

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.

Proteins

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.

Fats

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.

Cholesterol

When it comes to cholesterol, rabbit meat contains more cholesterol than chicken meat.

Minerals

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.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +20%
Contains more Iron +284.9%
Contains more Magnesium +34.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +31.9%
Contains more Potassium +53.8%
Contains less Sodium -45.1%
Contains more Zinc +22.7%
Contains more Copper +166.7%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 5% 48% 17% 78% 20% 11% 53% 22%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 6% 182% 23% 103% 31% 6% 65% 59%
Contains more Calcium +20%
Contains more Iron +284.9%
Contains more Magnesium +34.8%
Contains more Phosphorus +31.9%
Contains more Potassium +53.8%
Contains less Sodium -45.1%
Contains more Zinc +22.7%
Contains more Copper +166.7%

Vitamins

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.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +215%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +140%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +32.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +17.6%
Contains more Vitamin K +60%
Contains more Vitamin E +51.9%
Contains more Folate +60%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +2070%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 10% 6% 0% 0% 16% 39% 160% 62% 93% 4% 38% 6%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 9% 0% 0% 5% 17% 120% 0% 79% 6% 814% 4%
Contains more Vitamin A +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +215%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +140%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +32.6%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +17.6%
Contains more Vitamin K +60%
Contains more Vitamin E +51.9%
Contains more Folate +60%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +2070%

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.

Vegan

Rabbit and chicken meat cannot be consumed in the vegan diet.

Keto

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.

Bodybuilding

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.

Health impacts

Protein poisoning

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)

Cardiovascular health

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

Gout

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)

Cancer

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

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)

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16779921/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3228431/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33672599/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257606/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28391629/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33313747/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11432770/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19239633/
  9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289674478
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19966489/
  11. http://cuniculture.info/Docs/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520977/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15342453/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430905/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: November 10, 2021

Infographic

Chicken meat vs Rabbit Meat infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Chicken meat Rabbit Meat
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in glycemic index Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Chicken meat Rabbit Meat Opinion
Net carbs 0g 0g
Protein 27.3g 33.02g Rabbit Meat
Fats 13.6g 3.51g Chicken meat
Carbs 0g 0g
Calories 239kcal 173kcal Chicken meat
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 0g 0g
Fiber 0g 0g
Calcium 15mg 18mg Rabbit Meat
Iron 1.26mg 4.85mg Rabbit Meat
Magnesium 23mg 31mg Rabbit Meat
Phosphorus 182mg 240mg Rabbit Meat
Potassium 223mg 343mg Rabbit Meat
Sodium 82mg 45mg Rabbit Meat
Zinc 1.94mg 2.38mg Rabbit Meat
Copper 0.066mg 0.176mg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin A 161IU 0IU Chicken meat
Vitamin E 0.27mg 0.41mg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin D 2IU 0IU Chicken meat
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 0mg 0mg
Vitamin B1 0.063mg 0.02mg Chicken meat
Vitamin B2 0.168mg 0.07mg Chicken meat
Vitamin B3 8.487mg 6.4mg Chicken meat
Vitamin B5 1.03mg mg Chicken meat
Vitamin B6 0.4mg 0.34mg Chicken meat
Folate 5µg 8µg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin B12 0.3µg 6.51µg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin K 2.4µg 1.5µg Chicken meat
Tryptophan 0.305mg 0.436mg Rabbit Meat
Threonine 1.128mg 1.477mg Rabbit Meat
Isoleucine 1.362mg 1.567mg Rabbit Meat
Leucine 1.986mg 2.573mg Rabbit Meat
Lysine 2.223mg 2.891mg Rabbit Meat
Methionine 0.726mg 0.826mg Rabbit Meat
Phenylalanine 1.061mg 1.355mg Rabbit Meat
Valine 1.325mg 1.678mg Rabbit Meat
Histidine 0.802mg 0.926mg Rabbit Meat
Cholesterol 88mg 123mg Chicken meat
Trans Fat g g
Saturated Fat 3.79g 1.05g Rabbit Meat
Monounsaturated Fat 5.34g 0.95g Chicken meat
Polyunsaturated fat 2.97g 0.68g Chicken meat

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Chicken meat Rabbit Meat
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet Equal
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
36
Chicken meat
88
Rabbit Meat
Mineral Summary Score
31
Chicken meat
59
Rabbit Meat

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
164%
Chicken meat
198%
Rabbit Meat
Carbohydrates
0%
Chicken meat
0%
Rabbit Meat
Fats
63%
Chicken meat
16%
Rabbit Meat

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Rabbit Meat
Rabbit Meat contains less Sodium (difference - 37mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Rabbit Meat
Rabbit Meat is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 2.74g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Rabbit Meat
Rabbit Meat is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Chicken meat
Chicken meat is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 35mg)
Which food is cheaper?
Chicken meat
Chicken meat is cheaper (difference - $1)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Chicken meat
Chicken meat is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (0 g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (0)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Chicken meat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171450/nutrients
  2. Rabbit Meat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/174348/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.