White Meat Vs Dark: Is There A Nutritional Difference?

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Whether you serve it up in a soup, stew, roasted, or sliced, chicken is full of protein that will help you feel fuller for longer, per Healthline, along with other vitamins and minerals essential for your health and wellbeing. 

White meat comes from poultry, like chickens, turkey, and duck. Depending on which cut of the animal you cook up, some of it may be lighter than others. Despite the color differences, buying and eating a whole chicken, or even larger cuts, could actually be saving you money in the long run and you might wind up with more bird for your buck. White meat is often regarded as healthier than dark meat due to lower calories and fat content, but there could be a few other factors that set it apart from darker cuts of meat, including lower vitamin and mineral content, according to a nutritional comparison chart from Canadian Chicken.

Added proteins affect pigment

Although you may have a personal preference taste-wise, there might be a difference between white and dark meat nutritionally. Women's Health Magazine interviewed Meme Inge, a registered dietician nutritionist and author of Living Well Kitchen, to find out what sets dark meat and white meat apart.

White meat and dark meat can actually come from the same animal depending on the cut of the meat, reports Women's Health Magazine. The outlet reports that turkey or chicken thighs and legs are more muscular due to running and walking, which means that they contain more myoglobin, a protein found in muscle tissue. This protein can turn the meat darker, so while a chicken's legs may be working hard, the breast from the same bird could be a paler color. Though dark meat does contain more calories than white meat, per Masterclass, light meat also contains more saturated fats, and is prone to drying out during cooking. Dark meat also contains more zinc, iron, and vitamin C.