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Rabbit Meat vs. Pork Meat — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Sveta Badalyan by Sveta Badalyan | Last updated on February 21, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Pork Meat
vs
Rabbit Meat

Summary

Rabbit meat has more iron, choline, calcium, copper, magnesium, folate, protein, polyunsaturated fats, and vitamins B12 and E. On the other hand, pork meat provides more monounsaturated fats, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and D. Moreover, rabbit meat has less sodium and saturated fats, whereas pork provides fewer calories and cholesterol.

Introduction

Rabbit meat is game meat. Rabbit meat is white meat, similar to poultry because it is lean and has a lighter color. In contrast, pork is red meat due to its higher myoglobin content, which gives it a darker hue than white meats such as chicken or rabbit. Pork, veal, lamb, and beef are livestock (1). 

Nutrition

This part of the article will compare the nutritional information of rabbit meat and pork meat.

Macronutrients and Calories

Rabbit meat and pork meat have similar nutritional densities, rabbit meat being a little denser. Rabbit meat contains 61% water, whereas pork meat contains 70% water.

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Water +13.2%
Contains more Protein +26.2%
Contains more Other +141.4%
Equal in Fats - 3.51
26% 4% 69%
Protein: 26.17 g
Fats: 3.51 g
Carbs: 0 g
Water: 69.45 g
Other: 0.87 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 +13.2%
Contains more Protein +26.2%
Contains more Other +141.4%
Equal in Fats - 3.51

Calories

Compared to rabbit meat, pork meat provides fewer calories per hundred grams. A 100g rabbit meat has 173 calories, whereas pork meat provides 143 calories. The serving size for rabbit and pork meat is 3oz or 85g. One serving of rabbit meat has 147 kcal, whereas one serving of pork meat provides 122 kcal.

Protein

Compared to pork meat, rabbit provides more protein. A 100 g servings of rabbit and pork meat have 33g and 26g of protein, respectively. Both contain all essential amino acids, but rabbit meat is higher in all of them except for histidine.

Fats

Rabbit and pork are equal in fat content. A hundred grams of each meat provides 3.51 grams of fat. However, pork meat has more saturated and monounsaturated fats, whereas rabbit meat provides more polyunsaturated fats.

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +40.4%
Contains less Saturated Fat -12.4%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +34.4%
39% 44% 17%
Saturated Fat: 1.198 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.334 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.506 g
39% 35% 25%
Saturated Fat: 1.05 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.95 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.68 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +40.4%
Contains less Saturated Fat -12.4%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +34.4%

Carbohydrates

Rabbit meat and pork meat do not contain carbs.

Cholesterol

Rabbit meat has more cholesterol than pork meat. A hundred grams of rabbit meat has 123mg of cholesterol, whereas pork meat has 73mg

Vitamins

Rabbit meat and pork meat are not good sources of vitamins. Rabbit meat has over 11.5 times more vitamin B12. In a 100g serving, rabbit and pork have 6.51µg and 0.57µg of vitamin B12, respectively. It has also more vitamin E, K, and folate. Pork meat provides more vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5, B6, and D.

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.
:
Contains more Vitamin D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +4650%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +452.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +16.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +117.4%
Contains more Vitamin E +412.5%
Contains more Folate +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +1042.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 0% 2% 6% 0% 238% 90% 140% 61% 171% 0% 72% 0%
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 D +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +4650%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +452.9%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +16.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +117.4%
Contains more Vitamin E +412.5%
Contains more Folate +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +1042.1%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%

Minerals

Rabbit meat has over four times more iron, three times more calcium, and 1.5 times more choline, whereas pork meat has over 2.5 times more selenium. Rabbit also provides more magnesium and copper, whereas pork is high in phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and sodium.

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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 Phosphorus +11.3%
Contains more Potassium +22.7%
Contains more Selenium +151.3%
Contains more Calcium +200%
Contains more Iron +321.7%
Contains less Sodium -21.1%
Contains more Copper +58.6%
Equal in Magnesium - 31
Equal in Zinc - 2.38
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 2% 44% 21% 115% 38% 8% 66% 37% 2% 209%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 6% 182% 23% 103% 31% 6% 65% 59% 0% 83%
Contains more Phosphorus +11.3%
Contains more Potassium +22.7%
Contains more Selenium +151.3%
Contains more Calcium +200%
Contains more Iron +321.7%
Contains less Sodium -21.1%
Contains more Copper +58.6%
Equal in Magnesium - 31
Equal in Zinc - 2.38

Glycemic Index

Rabbit meat and pork meat both have a glycemic index of 0. Foods that naturally contain no carbs do not stimulate glucose absorption and, therefore, do not have a glycemic index.

Acidity

The PRAL value indicates how a food can break down into acids or bases in the body. Rabbit meat has a PRAL level of 16.8, while pork meat has a PRAL value of 13. This difference demonstrates that rabbit meat is considerably more acid-producing than pork meat.

Weight Loss & Diets

Vegan/ Vegetarian: Rabbit meat and pork come from animals and are not compatible with vegan or vegetarian diets.

Mediterranean: Red meat, including pork, is consumed in smaller quantities and less frequently. Lean meat like rabbit can be a good option if consumed in moderation and prepared healthily.

Keto: The keto diet includes low-carb, high-fat, and high-protein foods. 

Rabbit meat, in particular, is very lean and can be a good choice for those following a ketogenic diet. Depending on the cut, pork can also be a suitable option, but you should choose cuts that are not heavily processed or contain added sugars. 

Paleo: The paleo diet emphasizes eating natural, unadulterated foods and avoiding manufactured foods. Rabbit meat and pork meat are paleo-friendly.

DASH: Rabbit meat and pork can be part of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, but you should consume it in moderation and choose wisely. Lean cuts of pork and rabbit meat can fit into this diet. It's important to avoid high-fat cuts of pork.

Health Impact

Cardiovascular Health

Studies suggest that higher poultry consumption is either neutral or beneficially linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD), coronary heart disease (CHD), ischemic heart disease, and stroke. However, its association with blood pressure and hypertension is adverse (2).

While red meat has long been linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), recent research suggests that when consumed in recommended amounts, red meat does not significantly increase this risk despite containing heme iron and carnitine (3).

Cancer

The analysis indicates an elevated cancer risk in individuals consuming large amounts of red and processed meats, whereas not in those with a high intake of white meat or poultry.

According to the study, greater consumption of pork did not increase the risk of cancer, while consuming high quantities of beef was significantly linked to cancer (4). 

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that consumption of red and processed meats is linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). The evidence from various studies suggests that red meat and processed meat can increase CRC risk by 20-30%. Specific types of red meat, such as pork, beef, and lamb, have been associated with increased risk in different trials, with pork consumption linked to rectal cancer and lamb consumption linked to colon cancer in one trial each. There is also an association between beef and pork consumption and colon cancer in women in one trial.

Current guidelines recommend limiting red meat intake to 500 g per week or 70 g per day for healthy individuals and suggest limiting processed meat intake. In contrast, white meat, including rabbit meat consumption, is not associated with an increased risk of CRC and is considered safe (5).

Gouty Arthritis

A gout is a form of arthritis characterized by sudden and severe pain attacks, redness, and joint swelling. Following a gout diet can help lower uric acid levels, reducing the risk of gout attacks and slowing joint damage progression. Even when following a gout diet, people with gout still need medication to manage pain and lower uric acid levels.

Lean meats like rabbit or chicken can be consumed in moderation as part of a gout diet (6).

On the other hand, higher red meat intake is associated with a higher risk of gout (7). 

Downsides and Risks

Foodborne Diseases

Pork must be cooked thoroughly to kill parasites and bacteria like Trichinella spiralis, which causes trichinosis. Cooking pork to an internal temperature of 145°F (62.8°C) eliminates these risks. Allowing meat to rest for three minutes before carving or consuming is recommended for safety and quality. Other bacteria like Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes can also be present in pork but are destroyed by proper handling and thorough cooking (8).

Tularemia

Tularemia, or rabbit fever, is a rare disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. It is associated with rabbit hunting and consuming rabbit meat. It can spread to humans through consuming undercooked meat. Rabbit hunters are at higher risk due to contact when skinning rabbits.

Symptoms vary depending on the infection route but can include fever, throat pain, mouth ulcers, and vomiting. Symptoms typically appear within 3-14 days (9).

Appearance

Rabbit meat is typically lighter in color, ranging from pink to white, similar to chicken meat. Unlike it, pork meat is generally pink to pale red, depending on the cut and age of the animal.

Rabbit meat has a finer and more tender texture than pork, varying from tender to firmer depending on the cut and cooking method.

Pork is available in different cuts, including chops, ribs, loins, bellies, and more, each with its appearance and characteristics. On the other hand, rabbit meat is often sold in whole or in cuts, such as legs or loins, and may be less varied in terms of cuts available.

Taste and Use

The flavor of rabbit and pork meat can vary by factors such as the animal's diet, age, and cooking method. Overall, rabbit meat is leaner and milder, making it a versatile option for various dishes. Rabbit meat has a slightly sweet flavor similar to chicken but with a gamey or earthy undertone.

Pork has a richer, more robust flavor compared to rabbit meat. The taste of pork can vary, but it is generally savory and can be slightly sweet. Pork can have a juicy, tender texture, especially when cooked properly. 

You can cook both in various ways, including roasting, grilling, braising, and frying.

Varieties

There are different types of rabbit meat, such as fryer, roaster, and stewing rabbit. Similarly, pork has various types: pork loin, pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork shoulder or pork butt, pork belly, pork ribs, and ground pork. 

Article author photo Sveta Badalyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: February 21, 2024
Medically reviewed by Elen Khachatrian

Infographic

Pork Meat vs Rabbit Meat infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

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

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Pork Meat Rabbit Meat Opinion
Protein 26.17g 33.02g Rabbit Meat
Fats 3.51g 3.51g
Calories 143kcal 173kcal Rabbit Meat
Calcium 6mg 18mg Rabbit Meat
Iron 1.15mg 4.85mg Rabbit Meat
Magnesium 29mg 31mg Rabbit Meat
Phosphorus 267mg 240mg Pork Meat
Potassium 421mg 343mg Pork Meat
Sodium 57mg 45mg Rabbit Meat
Zinc 2.42mg 2.38mg Pork Meat
Copper 0.111mg 0.176mg Rabbit Meat
Manganese 0.013mg Pork Meat
Selenium 38.2µg 15.2µg Pork Meat
Vitamin E 0.08mg 0.41mg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin D 10IU 0IU Pork Meat
Vitamin D 0.2µg 0µg Pork Meat
Vitamin B1 0.95mg 0.02mg Pork Meat
Vitamin B2 0.387mg 0.07mg Pork Meat
Vitamin B3 7.432mg 6.4mg Pork Meat
Vitamin B5 1.012mg Pork Meat
Vitamin B6 0.739mg 0.34mg Pork Meat
Folate 0µg 8µg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin B12 0.57µg 6.51µg Rabbit Meat
Vitamin K 0µg 1.5µg Rabbit Meat
Tryptophan 0.275mg 0.436mg Rabbit Meat
Threonine 1.175mg 1.477mg Rabbit Meat
Isoleucine 1.288mg 1.567mg Rabbit Meat
Leucine 2.229mg 2.573mg Rabbit Meat
Lysine 2.427mg 2.891mg Rabbit Meat
Methionine 0.721mg 0.826mg Rabbit Meat
Phenylalanine 1.1mg 1.355mg Rabbit Meat
Valine 1.367mg 1.678mg Rabbit Meat
Histidine 1.13mg 0.926mg Pork Meat
Cholesterol 73mg 123mg Pork Meat
Trans Fat 0.033g Rabbit Meat
Saturated Fat 1.198g 1.05g Rabbit Meat
Monounsaturated Fat 1.334g 0.95g Pork Meat
Polyunsaturated fat 0.506g 0.68g Rabbit Meat
Omega-6 - Eicosadienoic acid 0.013g Pork Meat
Omega-6 - Linoleic acid 0.411g Pork Meat
Omega-3 - ALA 0.013g Pork Meat

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Pork Meat Rabbit Meat
Low Fats diet Equal
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
65%
Pork Meat
88%
Rabbit Meat
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
54%
Pork Meat
55%
Rabbit Meat

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Rabbit Meat
Rabbit Meat contains less Sodium (difference - 12mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Rabbit Meat
Rabbit Meat is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.148g)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Pork Meat
Pork Meat is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 50mg)
Which food is cheaper?
Pork Meat
Pork Meat is cheaper (difference - $1.5)
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 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.
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
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. Pork Meat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168250/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.