Pulled Pork Vs. Pulled Chicken: Which Is More Nutritious?

Pulled chicken and pulled pork are mouthwatering, juicy, slow cooked meats. They're usually drenched in thick, rich tomato, mustard, or vinegar-based sauces and piled high on sandwiches, baked potatoes, or atop nachos (via Tastes Better From Scratch). Pulled meats are served with coleslaw, beans, or another favorite side dish to create the ultimate barbecue meal.

Pulled chicken and pulled pork are enjoyed by many. However, Very Meaty says that trends and analytics prove a 15% popularity decrease in pulled pork over the last year. Pork has a 9% market adoption rate in restaurants and is used in less than 1% of recipes (via Taste Wise). Despite the fall in popularity, pulled pork has placed its name on the calendar for October 12, as National Pulled Pork Day (via National Day).

While both pulled meats are versatile and can be swapped in recipes, they greatly differ when it comes to nutritional aspects. Knowing the dietary differences between chicken and pork makes it easier to decide which is best for you.

Pulled chicken is the healthier choice

According to Livestrong, pulled chicken contains fewer calories than pulled pork. A three-ounce portion of homemade pulled chicken contains 184 calories, while pulled pork includes a whopping 283 calories. That's a hefty 99-calorie difference!

If fat is your concern, pulled chicken contains eight grams of fat and two grams of saturated fat for a three-ounce serving. Pulled pork has 13 grams of fat and four grams of saturated fat for the same serving size. Pulled chicken also wins for cholesterol content, containing 68 milligrams as opposed to 97 milligrams for the pulled pork. According to Medline Plus, consuming a fatty diet leads to an increased risk of heart disease, weight gain, and other health problems.

Sodium is another important factor to consider in your diet. Pulled chicken is the healthier choice again when it comes to sodium. Three ounces of homemade pulled chicken contains 257 milligrams of sodium, while pulled pork racks it in with 489 milligrams (via Livestrong). According to the Harvard School of Public Health, excessive sodium consumption leads to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Calcium bone loss is another side effect of excessive sodium consumption. The site claims that most Americans consume one and a half teaspoons of salt daily, which is much more than our bodies need.