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Is Goat Meat Healthy? 

Meat often makes a regular appearance in the diet of humans. Whether you choose red or white meats, meat is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Meat can be sourced from various animals, the most popular including cow, lamb, and chicken.

Recently, goat meat has started to gain some traction. While it’s often been consumed in Asian, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern cuisine, the demand is less common in western countries (1).

Considered to be one of the healthiest red meats, lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, and higher in iron than other red or white meats.

Goat meat has a strong, gamey flavor, sweeter than lamb but less sweet than beef. Cooking it with lots of flavor and spices helps complement its unique flavor.

Goat meat does not have cultural or religious taboos that some other meats may have, making it suitable for most cultures (2).

This article explores more about goat meat nutrition, health benefits and downsides, and ways to cook and enjoy goat meat as part of a balanced diet.

 

Goat meat basics.

Goat meat is typically classified in terms of the age of the goat when the meat is processed. Kid meat or capretto refers to the meat of an animal aged 4 months or less, and adult meat or chevon comes from an animal up to 14 months old. 

Kid goat meat is the leaner of the two and is quite tender. Its higher water content makes it suitable for several cooking methods. Adult goat meat is a little tougher and works best with slow, moist heat cooking methods to help bring out the flavor .

Where is consumed? How is it prepared?

Goat meat is an acceptable source of animal protein within many cultures and religions .

Goat meat is commonly used in Asian, African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s less common to cook with goat meat in western countries, such as America, Canada, and Australia .

It’s often prepared in stews and curries or slow-roasted. Goat meat is quite lean, so it’s best cooked over low heat, around 145–160 degrees Fahrenheit, to preserve tenderness and juiciness .

 

Goat meat nutrition

Goat meat is a great source of nutrients, including protein, iron, vitamin B12, zinc, and potassium. It’s also low in total fat and saturated fat compared with other forms of red meat.

A 3-ounce (85-gram) portion of cooked goat meat provides (6Trusted Source):

  • Calories: 122

  • Protein: 23 grams

  • Fat: 2.6 grams

  • Saturated fat: 0.8 grams

  • Carbs: 0 grams

  • Sugar: 0 grams

  • Fiber: 0 grams

  • Riboflavin: 30% of the Daily Value (DV)

  • Iron: 18% of the DV

  • Vitamin B12: 17% of the DV

  • Zinc: 30% of the DV

  • Potassium: 10% of the DV

Goat meat is also a great source of protein, which is essential for the growth and repair of tissues and muscles .

 

Health benefits of goat meat

Goat meat offers a variety of nutritional properties that can be part of a healthy diet.

Low in fat and saturated fat

While fat might not be a problem, eating too much can result in consuming more total energy than needed. Because goat meat is lean, it’s a great source of protein with fewer calories. This may benefit people looking to lose weight .

Goat meat has about 1 gram of saturated fat per 3 ounces (85g), which is lower than some other meats. Lean beef is also low in saturated fat, with about 2 grams in an equal serving size, but some cuts of red meat have more .

Eating saturated fat is linked with an increase in “bad” cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein (LDL), in the blood .

High levels of LDL may lead to the build-up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels that can continue to grow and potentially break off, blocking the flow of blood and causing a heart attack or stroke .

Newer research is challenging claims that saturated fat contributes to heart disease risk. However, the American Heart Association still recommends limiting saturated fat intake .

 

High in iron

When it comes to iron, choosing goat meat means getting more for less. Goat meat contains approximately 3.2 mg of iron per 3 ounces (85 grams). This is almost double the amount of iron found in lean beef (1.8 mg), and chicken breast (0.42 mg) .

Iron is an important mineral consumed in the food we eat. Without enough iron, the body cannot make hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body .

 

Additionally, iron is essential for many processes, such as :

  • body temperature regulation

  • immune support

  • energy production

Vitamin B12

Goat meat is a great source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) is an essential nutrient that plays many roles in the body, including :

  • production of energy in cells

  • DNA synthesis

  • nerve cell function

  • red blood cell formation

Potassium

Goat meat is high in potassium, containing about 344 mg per 3 ounce (85 grams) or 10% of the DV. To put things into perspective, one medium banana (115 grams) has about 375 mg potassium .

Potassium is a nutrient and electrolyte that helps regulate blood pressure and maintain cell functions, particularly the nerve and muscle cells .

SUMMARY

Goat meat is highly nutritious and a great source of animal protein that’s lower in calories and saturated fat. Goat meat may help with weight loss goals, and it supplies iron and vitamin B12.

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