2

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Chicken vs Beef

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 28, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Two related questions on chicken vs beef:

1.) Assuming everything else being equal, which is healthier?

2.) I often eat beef, rarely chicken. Beef, with all the fat, usually fills me up so I'm not hungry the next day - and I always lose weight or stay even. Two nights ago, I had chicken, including copious amounts of fat - and I both gained a lot of weight (despite barely eating anything else all day) and I was hungry all day the following day. Both of these were unexpected for me: I had been expecting the fat to do its magic to keep me not hungry, and for my weight to stay constant. Any explanations? If you want any other details, let me know...

78ecfc8268ec58cdc189301f4b071088

(1670)

on May 02, 2010
at 11:56 AM

I just learned an interesting and relevant fact about Argentina, where I live: it is illegal here to inject cows with hormones--but not illegal to do so with chicken. As a result, all cow-meat in the country is hormone free while almost all chicken-meat is full of hormones (there isn't much of an "organic" industry here like there is in the USA). There, as a rule of thumb, in Argentina, it is better to avoid chicken in Arg, if only to avoid eating all those hormones.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 29, 2010
at 04:04 AM

Beef, even feedlot fattened, almost always beats poultry, even if its pastured.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on April 28, 2010
at 11:42 PM

Do you have a link on that? Not challenging you or anything, just want to use it as ammo for a debate with a friend! :)

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on April 28, 2010
at 06:28 PM

Don't concern yourself with weight changes in time periods less than a week.

08ce57b1bbb3bda8e384234389c36d94

on April 28, 2010
at 02:47 PM

You "gained a lot of weight" in a couple of days? That's bizarre.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on April 28, 2010
at 02:00 PM

Nailed it, pfw, and it would be interesting to consider how that chicken was prepared - a salty coating? Even a bit of additional salt can cause some individuals to retain water. And are you only eating meat, or were there veggies etc involved? At any rate, body fat doesn't change that much in a day, no matter what you do. Look at a weekly trend, not daily fluctations, for fat changes.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on April 28, 2010
at 01:41 PM

totatlly agree on your second point.

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6 Answers

10
4145b36f1488224964edac6258b75aff

(7821)

on April 28, 2010
at 01:07 PM

1) Chicken fat tends to be higher in omega-6s so I suppose on balance beef is healthier (even assuming both are pastured). However, if both are pastured, they're both good food sources. It would be a little easier to get your daily fat from beef due to the nature of the animal, and chicken fat is less saturated generally than beef fat, so I'd go with beef if I had to pick a staple. Again, calling one "healthier" than the other is somewhat misleading given that they're both pretty good.

2) Your weight day to day is very volatile and trying to blame a single meal for "massive" weight gain is not going to work. You drank more water and/or didn't lose as much to piss and insensible water loss overnight - you didn't really gain or lose a lot of weight over the course of a day because you ate chicken instead of beef. You can gain/lose pounds in a day just by changing your water balance.

You probably ate less fat than you thought because chicken is usually much leaner than beef, resulting in more hunger. Even a "lean" cut of beef typically has some marbling, so you end up consuming more fat than you would consciously notice. I've noticed the same thing - chicken being less satiating than a fatty steak - and I think this is probably the reason.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on April 28, 2010
at 02:00 PM

Nailed it, pfw, and it would be interesting to consider how that chicken was prepared - a salty coating? Even a bit of additional salt can cause some individuals to retain water. And are you only eating meat, or were there veggies etc involved? At any rate, body fat doesn't change that much in a day, no matter what you do. Look at a weekly trend, not daily fluctations, for fat changes.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on April 28, 2010
at 01:41 PM

totatlly agree on your second point.

3
0d821bf7d4028b84a6838062db0e9ce0

(754)

on April 28, 2010
at 02:18 PM

Doesn't chicken fat have a lot of PUF +omega 6 as mentioned above? (think I saw this mentioned on marksdailyapple when they talked about bone broths and how you'd probably want to skim the fat on chicken stock only because of its tendency to go rancid fast.)

Also along with the less saturated fat, and most chickens eat even more unnaturally than the cows do (as they are naturally omnivores, but are often put on the exact same all grain diets as the cows (vegetarians) are put on). Though if pastured in a real actual pasture they might of gotten enough insects to be a little better.

I'm also guessing the beef is more nutrient dense (more saturated fat, more minerals (iron, zinc etc)) which would also make it more satisfying.

But yes short answer go beef.

Long answer, the chicken probably was less calories, less good fats, less nutrient dense, and messed up your omega 3 to 6 ratio more than the beef would.

2
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on April 28, 2010
at 09:18 PM

BEEF- oz for oz Beef is the best food to eat. I just watched Food, Inc and I will never go near a chicken again- I don't see free-range coop free chickens as easy to buy as Grass fed beef that I can buy within my state.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on April 29, 2010
at 04:04 AM

Beef, even feedlot fattened, almost always beats poultry, even if its pastured.

2
6f0efd477208f51d145bea6d7272256e

(627)

on April 28, 2010
at 02:27 PM

I think Girl Gone Primal hits on something here. Mode of preparation definitely affects satiety for me. For example, I can eat enormous amounts of scrambled eggs before I feel full. Hard-boiled eggs, not so much.

Now we're talking about next-day hunger here, but I do think the point stands.

I'm also willing to wager that the specific cut matters. For me, chicken breasts fill up far faster than thighs. The fat issue might be part of that, but I don't think it accounts for all of the effect.

1
03aeff8d87a3b53a449b5b8e9158da98

(3268)

on April 28, 2010
at 11:34 PM

I don't know if you weight train, but beef also has a better amino acid profile for building muscle.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on April 28, 2010
at 11:42 PM

Do you have a link on that? Not challenging you or anything, just want to use it as ammo for a debate with a friend! :)

1
699d8d5bb5d186c23c79aef4f7bf1145

on April 28, 2010
at 06:50 PM

Hunger is subjective and unreliable. There are way too many factors at play to just blame it on this food or that. Besides, a varied diet is always best. Eating primarily beef over chicken or vice versa is problematic. It is best to try and get protein from as many sources as possible. Makes me think of the body building types with tupperware containers of chicken breast day in and day out.

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