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Rabbit meat vs Goat meat: Which one is more nutritious and healthy?

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on July 17, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan
Goat
vs
Rabbit Meat

Summary

Compared to goat meat, rabbit meat contains more calories. Goat meat and rabbit meat contain no carbs, so they have glycemic indices equal to 0. Their calories are mainly based on fats and proteins.

Rabbit meat has higher protein than goat meat, with 33.02g and 27.1g per 100g, respectively. Both are high in essential amino acids, which are important for a lot of physiological functions. Rabbit meat and goat meat have almost equal overall fat content.

Rabbit meat has more iron and less sodium compared to goat meat. Rabbit meat is also high in vitamin B12, unlike goat meat.

Introduction

Rabbit meat and goat meat are not part of most people’s everyday diets, and consumption of both is not as typical as other types of meat consumption.

Goats and rabbits are mammals, but rabbit meat falls under the proper and ground game categories. Farm-raised rabbits are raised optimally for human consumption in terms of nutrient content.

Today, we will compare rabbit meat and goat meat, highlighting the main differences and health impacts.

What’s The Actual Difference?

Classification

Rabbit meat is generally classified as poultry meat. Nonetheless, due to its slightly higher myoglobin content and the fact that it is a mammal, some sources classify rabbit meat as red meat.

In the culinary world, rabbit meat is classified as white meat due to its similarity to chicken meat.

Goat meat is classified as red meat, but it is leaner and contains less cholesterol and fat than beef; thus, it necessitates low-heat, slow cooking to retain tenderness and moisture.

Taste and Culinary 

Besides the fact that goat meat is packed with nutrients and has many health benefits, it is also delicious. It is sweet and slightly gamy. You can use goat meat in different dishes, such as Mexican and Jamaican dishes, curries, and so on.

Rabbit meat tastes like chicken meat, but rabbit meat is gamier and dryer. In comparison to red meat, rabbit meat has a lighter taste.

You can cook rabbit meat in the same way as chicken meat. When baking rabbit meat, it is recommended to keep the oven temperature at least 163 °C.

Price

In general, rabbit meat and goat are equal in price. 

However, depending on the quality, rabbit meat may cost $5 to $7 per pound, whereas prices for goat meat range from $13.63 to 18.24 per pound.

Nutrition

The nutritional values are described for 100-gram servings of rabbit meat (wild, cooked, stewed) and goat meat (cooked, roasted).

Both rabbit meat and goat meat have an average serving size of 85g.

At the bottom of this page, you can find nutritional infographics that visually show the differences between rabbit meat and goat.

Calories

Compared to goat meat, rabbit meat contains more calories. Goat meat contains 143 calories per 100g, compared to 173 in rabbit meat.

Protein

Rabbit meat has higher protein than goat meat, with 33.02g and 27.1g per 100g, respectively. Both are high in essential amino acids such as methionine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine, leucine, lysine, valine, and histidine, which are not synthesized in the human body but are crucial for numerous physiological functions.

Fats

Rabbit meat and goat meat have almost equal overall fat content. In particular, goats contain less saturated fat and more monounsaturated fat. However, rabbit meat has more polyunsaturated fat than goat meat.

Rabbit meat has 1.6 times higher cholesterol than goat meat. Rabbit meat contains 123 mg of cholesterol, while goat meat has 75mg.

Carbs

Goat meat and rabbit meat contain no carbs, so they have glycemic indices equal to 0. Their calories are mainly based on fats and proteins.

Minerals

Now, let’s discuss the mineral content of these two products. Both are rich in minerals. Rabbit meat has more magnesium, ironphosphorus, and selenium and less sodium than goat meat. On the other hand, goat contains more potassium, manganese, copper, and zinc.

Both products are equal in calcium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Contains more Potassium +18.1%
Contains more Zinc +121.4%
Contains more Copper +72.2%
Contains more Iron +30%
Contains more Magnesium +∞%
Contains more Phosphorus +19.4%
Contains less Sodium -47.7%
Contains more Selenium +28.8%
Equal in Calcium - 18
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5.1% 140% 0% 86% 36% 11% 144% 101% 5.5% 64%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5.4% 182% 22% 103% 30% 5.9% 65% 59% 0% 83%
Contains more Potassium +18.1%
Contains more Zinc +121.4%
Contains more Copper +72.2%
Contains more Iron +30%
Contains more Magnesium +∞%
Contains more Phosphorus +19.4%
Contains less Sodium -47.7%
Contains more Selenium +28.8%
Equal in Calcium - 18

Vitamins

Overall, rabbit meat is relatively richer in vitamins. It contains more water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B3, B6, B9, B12, and fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin E and vitamin K, than goat meat, which is higher in vitamins B1 and B2. It should be noted that rabbit meat contains 5.4 times more vitamin B12 compared to goat meat.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Goat
2
:
Contains more Vitamin B1 +350%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +771.4%
Contains more Vitamin E +20.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +62%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +∞%
Contains more Folate +60%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +447.1%
Contains more Choline +22.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +25%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 6.8% 0% 0% 23% 141% 74% 0% 0% 3.8% 149% 58% 3%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 0% 8.2% 0% 0% 5% 16% 120% 0% 78% 6% 814% 71% 3.8%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +350%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +771.4%
Contains more Vitamin E +20.6%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +62%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +∞%
Contains more Folate +60%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +447.1%
Contains more Choline +22.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +25%

Health Benefits

Weight Loss and Diets

Goat and rabbit meat are good choices for some diets, but it's important to note how you prepare both of these foods.

Keto Diet

Since the Keto diet requires low-carb and high-fat foods, rabbit and goat meat are excellent choices in the case of Keto diet (including Atkins and other types) because both have zero carbs and are high in proteins (1).

It should be emphasized that high-protein diets may be associated with a variety of metabolic problems that may be dangerous to kidney function (2).

The Mediterranean Diet

Whole grains, healthy fats (fish, olive oil, nuts, etc.), vegetables, fruits, fish, and very little non-fish meat consumption are all part of the Mediterranean diet profile. As a result, goat and rabbit meats can be ingested in moderation throughout this diet.

DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension)

The DASH diet includes potassium, calcium, and magnesium-rich foods. These nutrients aid in blood pressure regulation. The diet restricts sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. Based on this, rabbit and goat meats are allowed in moderation during this diet.

Cardiovascular Health

Because rabbit and goat meats include proteins that may block angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE), they play an essential function in lowering arterial blood pressure and avoiding artery and myocardial remodeling. These effects are important for patients with arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure, and people who have had a myocardial infarction (3.4.5).

Both of these products are low in fat, which is important for preventing metabolic syndrome, which in turn is essential for reducing CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk (6.7).

For a long time, red meat (in this context, goat meat) has been linked to an elevated risk of CVDs. Recent research, however, has shown that, despite the presence of heme iron and carnitine, red meat does not significantly raise cardiovascular risk when consumed in moderation (8). It should be mentioned that curing, salting, smoking, drying, or canning processed meat may raise the risk of CVD (9).

This study found a strong and inverse relationship between eating unprocessed white meat and all-cause mortality, as well as a neutral relationship between cardiovascular mortality and morbidity (10).

In conclusion, white meat consumption may be a more 'healthy' and environmentally sustainable alternative to red and processed meat consumption (10).

Diabetes

Rabbit and goat meats have 0g of carbs, so their glycemic indices are equal to 0. Based on this, rabbit meat can be eaten in diets modified for diabetic patients to control blood glucose and insulin levels (11).

As for goat meat, it is red meat and contains nitrites and nitrates, which may lead to increased insulin resistance, dysregulated blood glucose levels, and elevated oxidative stress, all of which lead to chronic diseases. The causal links show that even the occasional use of red meat raises the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (12).

Anemia

Anaemia is described as a hemoglobin (Hb) level that is lower than the reference value, which varies depending on gender, age, and pregnancy status. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, etc. There are many reasons for anemia, but in this section, we are going to talk about iron deficiency anemia, which is the most frequent cause of anemia worldwide. It affects 3% of individuals and is slightly more prevalent in women under the age of 50 (13.14).

In addition to the symptoms described above, iron deficiency anemia is characterized by pica (an abnormal craving to consume nonfood substances such as clay or mud, paper goods, or cornstarch) and pagophagia (an excessive craving to eat ice) (15).

If iron deficiency anemia is caused by a lack of iron intake, eating iron-rich foods (keep in mind that rabbit meat has 4.85mg per 100g and goat meat contains 3.73mg) may be beneficial. It should be mentioned that there are other causes of iron deficiency anemia, and you should visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

It should be noted that both of these are high in vitamin B12, so that they may be beneficial for people with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.

Cancer

According to studies, white meat (in this context, rabbit meat) consumption is negatively associated with a high risk of stomach cancer, in contrast to red meat (in this context, goat meat), whose increased consumption may be a risk factor for stomach cancer. Larger prospective studies are needed to confirm this connection (16.17).

In comparison to white meat, there is a link between red meat consumption and colorectal, lung, prostate, and pancreatic cancer, according to studies (18.19).

Downsides and Risks

Kidney Health

A high-protein consumption, defined as more than 1.2 grams of dietary protein per kilogram of body weight per day (g/kg/day), has been shown to cause significant changes in renal function and kidney health (20).

Increased protein consumption may result in increased intraglomerular pressure and glomerular hyperfiltration. This can damage the glomerular structure, causing or exacerbating chronic kidney disease (CKD). As a result, a low-protein diet of 0.6–0.8 g/kg/day is frequently advised for CKD therapy (20).

To avoid those mentioned above, eat high-protein foods (including these) in moderation.

Meat Allergy

Meat allergies are uncommon, but they are more common in children with atopic dermatitis than in others. According to studies, red meat allergies are more common than white meat allergies.

Difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, stomach cramps, and, in rare cases, anaphylaxis are all symptoms of a red meat allergy. 

Avoiding the offending meat(s) is the most prevalent method of controlling food allergies. If the patient experiences an allergic response to raw meat, determining if the meat is tolerated in a well-cooked form may be important since the patient may be able to keep the meal in his or her diet in cooked form. Patients with immunoglobulin E-mediated meat allergies should be provided with an epinephrine autoinjector and shown how to use it (21.22).

Gout

Higher meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of gout (23). A gout diet may aid in lowering uric acid levels in the blood. It may reduce the risk of future gout attacks as well as decrease the progression of joint damage (24).

People with gout who follow a gout diet still require medication to manage pain and lower uric acid levels (24).

In conclusion, lean meat consumption, such as rabbit and goat meat, is allowed in moderation during the gout diet.

Tularemia

Tularemia is a zoonotic infection caused by bacteria (Francisella tularensis) frequently associated with rabbit hunters and consumers of rabbit meat. Infection can occur due to contact with infected tissue during rabbit skinning or eating infected meat. Transmission can also happen due to a tick bite on the animal's skin (25).

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945587/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32669325/
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814621020768
  4. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jsfa.7538
  5. https://www.escardio.org/Guidelines/Clinical-Practice-Guidelines/Angiotensin-Converting-Enzyme-Inhibitors-in-Cardiovascular-Disease-Expert-Conse
  6. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ayodeji-Olarinmoye/publication/236878099_Goat_Products_Meeting_the_Challenges_of_Human_Health_and_Nutrition/links/59443e080f7e9b6910ee2deb/Goat-Products-Meeting-the-Challenges-of-Human-Health-and-Nutrition.pdf
  7. http://www.cuniculture.info/Docs/Magazine/Magazine2008/FiguresMag2008/Congres-2008-Verone/Papers/Q0-Hernandez.pdf
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5474906/
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0899900715004098
  10. https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/2/676
  11. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/289674478_Rabbit_Meat_has_the_Potential_of_Being_a_Possible_Alternative_to_Other_Meats_as_a_Protein_Source_A_Brief_Review
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30229313/
  13. https://www.who.int/health-topics/anaemia#tab=tab_1
  14. https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2021/0800/p211.html
  15. https://pro.uptodatefree.ir/show/695
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520977/
  17. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00432-014-1637-z
  18. https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/cancer-carcinogenicity-of-the-consumption-of-red-meat-and-processed-meat
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7139399/
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5962279/
  21. https://pro.uptodatefree.ir/show/2393
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6488443/
  23. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15014182/
  24. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gout-diet/art-20048524
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430905/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: July 17, 2023
Medically reviewed by Astghik Grigoryan

Infographic

Goat vs Rabbit Meat infographic
Infographic link

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Water +11.1%
Contains more Protein +21.8%
Contains more Fats +15.8%
Contains more Other +26.5%
Equal in Water - 61.37
27% 3% 68%
Protein: 27.1 g
Fats: 3.03 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 68.21 g
Other: 1.66 g
33% 4% 61% 2%
Protein: 33.02 g
Fats: 3.51 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 61.37 g
Other: 2.1 g
Contains more Water +11.1%
Contains more Protein +21.8%
Contains more Fats +15.8%
Contains more Other +26.5%
Equal in Water - 61.37

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains less Saturated Fat -11.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +43.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +195.7%
37% 54% 9%
Saturated Fat: 0.93 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.36 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.23 g
39% 35% 25%
Saturated Fat: 1.05 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.95 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.68 g
Contains less Saturated Fat -11.4%
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +43.2%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +195.7%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Goat Rabbit Meat
Lower in Sodium ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in Glycemic Index Equal
Lower in price Equal
Rich in minerals Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Goat Rabbit Meat Opinion
Protein 27.1g 33.02g Rabbit Meat
Fats 3.03g 3.51g Rabbit Meat
Calories 143kcal 173kcal Rabbit Meat
Calcium 17mg 18mg Rabbit Meat
Iron 3.73mg 4.85mg Rabbit Meat
Magnesium 0mg 31mg Rabbit Meat
Phosphorus 201mg 240mg Rabbit Meat
Potassium 405mg 343mg Goat
Sodium 86mg 45mg Rabbit Meat
Zinc 5.27mg 2.38mg Goat
Copper 0.303mg 0.176mg Goat
Manganese 0.042mg Goat
Selenium 11.8µg 15.2µg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin E 0.34mg 0.41mg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin B1 0.09mg 0.02mg Goat
Vitamin B2 0.61mg 0.07mg Goat
Vitamin B3 3.95mg 6.4mg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin B6 0mg 0.34mg Rabbit Meat
Folate 5µg 8µg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin B12 1.19µg 6.51µg Rabbit Meat
Choline 106.4mg 129.9mg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin K 1.2µg 1.5µg Rabbit Meat
Tryptophan 0.403mg 0.436mg Rabbit Meat
Threonine 1.29mg 1.477mg Rabbit Meat
Isoleucine 1.371mg 1.567mg Rabbit Meat
Leucine 2.258mg 2.573mg Rabbit Meat
Lysine 2.016mg 2.891mg Rabbit Meat
Methionine 0.726mg 0.826mg Rabbit Meat
Phenylalanine 0.941mg 1.355mg Rabbit Meat
Valine 1.452mg 1.678mg Rabbit Meat
Histidine 0.565mg 0.926mg Rabbit Meat
Cholesterol 75mg 123mg Goat
Saturated Fat 0.93g 1.05g Goat
Monounsaturated Fat 1.36g 0.95g Goat
Polyunsaturated fat 0.23g 0.68g Rabbit Meat

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Goat Rabbit Meat
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet Equal
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
35%
Goat
86%
Rabbit Meat
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
59%
Goat
55%
Rabbit Meat

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Rabbit Meat
Rabbit Meat contains less Sodium (difference - 41mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Rabbit Meat
Rabbit Meat is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Goat
Goat is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 48mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Goat
Goat is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.12g)
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)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($2)
Which food is richer in minerals?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Goat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175304/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.