Chicken meat vs Veal - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Roasted chicken with skin is higher in calories, protein, healthy fats, and fat-soluble vitamins. Roasted chicken without skin contains the same amount of fats as veal.
Veal is a better source of B-group vitamins and minerals, being 4 times richer in vitamin B12 and 2 times richer in vitamin B9 (folate) and zinc.
Veal is red meat, and chicken is white. Unlike white meat, red meat has adverse effects on health, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
Table of contents
In recent years, the question of red meat vs. white meat has become more prevalent. In this article, we will be looking at veal vs. chicken and comparing their nutritional properties and health impacts.
Veal is the meat of young and domesticated cows and bulls, also known as calves. Veal is classified as red meat, which gets its dark coloring from a high content of iron-containing protein called myoglobin.
On the other hand, chicken is classified as poultry and white meat as it is lower in myoglobin. Chicken legs and wings are darker in color compared to chicken breasts; however, they are still classified as white meat.
Taste and Use
Chicken and veal both have mild flavors, which are usually enhanced with the help of seasonings, such as salt, black pepper, basil, rosemary, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, etc.
One main difference is the texture. Veal is the meat of a younger animal and is usually more tender. This means that it tends to cook faster than chicken. Veal also tends to be more delicate, so it can be more prone to drying out if overcooked.
When making a chicken roast or cooking veal cutlets, it can be incredibly helpful to use a meat thermometer to ensure it is cooked to the proper internal temperature. The recommended internal temperature by the USDA for chicken is 165°F (74°C), while it is 145°F (63°C) for veal.
The nutritional information below is presented for ground, broiled veal, and roasted chicken broilers or fryers with meat and skin.
Chicken and veal are both lean meats and good sources of animal protein, but there are differences in their nutritional contents.
Macronutrients and Calories
Roasted chicken is slightly denser in nutrients compared to broiled veal. Chicken contains 60% water, while veal consists of 67% water and 33% nutrients.
The average serving size of chicken per person is double that of veal. Chicken’s average serving size is one cup of chopped or diced meat, equal to 140g. The mean serving size of veal is 3 ounces (oz) or 85g.
Below, we will compare equal 100g servings of both foods to get a fair idea of their nutritional differences.
Roasted chicken with skin is also considerably higher in calories than veal. A 100g serving of chicken with skin provides 239 calories, while the same serving size of veal contains 172kcal.
However, it has to be mentioned that roasted chicken without skin contains considerably fewer calories - only 167 per 100g serving (1).
Chicken meat with skin is a better source of protein compared to veal. A 100g of chicken meat provides 65% of the daily needed value of protein, while the same serving of veal provides 58%.
Per every 100g serving, chicken meat with skin contains 3g more protein than veal.
However, chicken meat without skin contains approximately the same amount of protein as veal.
Chicken and veal contain high amounts of all essential amino acids. Chicken meat is richer in all of them except for histidine and valine.
Chicken with skin is also considerably higher in fats than veal. Per 100g serving, chicken with skin provides 6g more fats compared to veal.
However, most of the fat is stored in the chicken skin. Roasted chicken without skin contains slightly fewer fats than veal.
The fat composition of chicken can be considered more beneficial, as it contains more polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats but nearly the same amount of saturated fats.
Chicken and veal are both high-cholesterol foods.
However, chicken meat with skin contains less cholesterol. Chicken contains 88mg of cholesterol, while veal has 103mg of cholesterol per 100g serving.
Chicken and veal do not contain carbohydrates.
Veal is a better source of most B-group vitamins, including vitamins B1, B2, B5, B12, and B9 or folate.
Veal is over 4 times richer in vitamin B12 and 2 times richer in folate.
Chicken, on the other hand, contains vitamin A, which veal lacks entirely. Chicken is also richer in fat-soluble vitamin E and vitamin K.
Veal is the winner in this category, being a better source of zinc, copper, potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
More accurately, veal is 2 times richer in zinc.
Surprisingly, despite being white meat, chicken is richer in iron.
Without additionally added salt, the two contain similar amounts of sodium.
Overall, red meat, including veal, has been researched to have various adverse effects on health, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and even premature death (2).
It can be said that unprocessed chicken meat is associated with a lower risk of adverse effects on health compared to veal.
You can find more detailed information about the health impact of red meat on our page.
Unlike poultry, an increased intake of red meat has been researched to lead to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. A study found that gut microbes produce chemicals in the digestive tract after eating red meat, which might explain a significant portion of the increased risk (3).
Studies have also found that poultry intake has neutral, while red meat intake has adverse outcomes on cardiovascular effects related to obesity, weight gain, and stroke risk (4).
Research suggests that poultry, such as chicken, is a healthier alternative to red meat, such as veal when it comes to cardiovascular health (5).
Chicken and veal both have a glycemic index of 0, as they do not contain carbohydrates. However, once again, red meat has been researched to increase the risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome (6, 7).
The risk of developing diabetes can also depend on how you cook the meat. Frequently cooking meats at high temperatures, such as grilling or barbecuing, increases the risk of type 2 diabetes compared to cooking meats at moderate temperatures, such as stir-frying, sautéing, boiling, or steaming (8).
There is strong scientific evidence that high consumption of red meat leads to an increased risk of colorectal cancer (9).
Red meat, such as veal, can also increase the risk of nasopharyngeal, lung, and pancreatic cancers (9).
Poultry intake has potential positive associations with the risk of prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (10).
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Cholesterol|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Sugar||Equal|
|Lower in glycemic index||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
|Vitamin A RAE||48µg||0µg|
|Omega-3 - DHA||0.04g||0g|
|Omega-3 - EPA||0.01g||0g|
|Omega-3 - DPA||0.02g||0g|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet||Equal|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low glycemic index diet||Equal|