Nutritional Value of Rabbit Meat
Many people will cringe at the thought of this article. Many people here in the United States will be outraged to even think of the various aspects of this article. Yet the fact remains that rabbit meat is one of the most nutritional meats available.
Lets start with a talk about cholesterol. The wrong types of cholesterol leads to many types of heart problems. Red meat and pork are equally high and are often discouraged in low cholesterol diets. Those who want to continue to eat some form of meat should consider rabbit which is lower in cholesterol than chicken. Below is a chart on this nutritional aspect of rabbit meat from a study by Alabama A & M University 1989.
Many diets focus on calories. The lower the calories of a food the greater impact it has on a positive diet. Amazingly rabbit meat is less than half the calories of pork, and about one half the calories of lamb and beef. The chart below shows the calories of various types of meat. The information is from USDA Circular 549.
Most meats are high in fats. Unfortunately they are high in the most undesirable fat which are the saturated fats. Below is a list of the percentage of fat content for various meats. As you can see rabbit meat again is the best meat choice as it is lowest in fat. This information can be found in 4-H publication 4H-1510.
We continue from the 4-H Publication, 4H-1510 which references USDA Circular 547 which details the percentage of proteins in various meats. Again the rabbit meat exceeds all other meat products.
In my research I have found some other various nutritional facts. 100% of the recommended daily allowance of B12 can be found in just 3.5 ounces of rabbit meat according to askDrSears.com. Many people will like the fact that rabbit meat is an all white meat, making it suitable for many diets. Rabbit meat also has 33% less sodium than chicken.
To summarize here are the benefits of rabbit meat:
- Low in cholesterol
- Low in calories
- Low in saturated fats
- High in protein
- Low in sodium
- All white meat
- 100% of the RDA for B12
These facts led the USDA to proclaim that rabbit meat is the most nutritious meat known to man. Although we are not doctors and you should check with your physician, rabbit meat is recommended for a variety of health specific specialty diets. Hopefully you find this article interesting and thought provoking.
The Merits of Domestic Rabbit Meat
The tender, healthy white meat-domestic rabbit.
Let’s begin with a closer look at what the above statement is really saying to us. Tender, means “delicate” and in looking at something that we consider as “delicate” we see in the domestic rabbit the development of stress-free muscle growth contributing to an all-white meat product that is, therefore, tender and more easily digested. This means that those who are experiencing digestive problems-whether young, old, or on special diets-can enjoy the tender texture and mild flavor of domestic rabbit. And to others it may serve as a preventative measure.
We are confronted daily with the words “healthy” or “healthful.” So what is the meaning of this word that appears to us in such a myriad of instances? The word health, according to Webster, means “a sound state of body or mind” and we find healthy defined as “beneficial.”
Again, looking at the domestic rabbit we see from its lifestyle- preferring to live in a clean, quiet, undisturbed orderly manner-an environment that the rabbit lives in with quietness and confidence. Expressing the attributes of prayer and meditation, content with accepting its place in this world and going about its business.
From this, we witness “a sound state of body or mind”-sound meaning whole, firm and healthy. Thus, it then becomes ” beneficial” to us to nourish our bodies with this same soundness-a lesson in living for all of us.
We find among those eating chicken the majority of people prefer the breast portion, which comprises itself of all-white meat.
So looking at the domestic rabbit, we have everything considered healthful and desireable by most people-a finer boned, fine grained, chewy textured, tender, mild-flavored, beneficial all-white meat.
Looking at the benefits of this allwhite meat, we can make some comparisons with some of the more commonly accepted varieties of meat eaten in today’s society-chicken, beef, pork, veal, turkey, lamb and yes, the domestic rabbit (being very popular in Europe). The USDA has provided a statistical breakdown of the nutritional value of the above mentioned meats.
Since we all know protein is important in our diet, let’s consider the protein level per pound, beginning with the rabbit. Rabbit meat contains 20.8% while turkey follows with 20.1% and chicken with 20%. Medium-fat veal has 18.0% and a good grade of beef comes in at only 16.3%. A medium-fat lamb contains 15.7% and medium- fat pork slides in last at only 11.9% of protein per pound.
Domestically produced rabbit meat contains less fat than other meats. Again, beginning with the rabbit we see only 10.2% fat per pound compared with chicken at 11.0%, turkey at 20.2%, veal at 14.0%, good beef at 28.0%, lamb comes in at 27.7% and once again pork has a whopping 45.0% fat per pound.
What about the natural moisture content found in meat? How much are we paying per pound for water when we purchase pre-packaged meats? (All meat has a natural moisture content and this offers no nutritional value.) Rabbit meat leads with a moisture content per pound of only 27.9%, with chicken at 67.6%, turkey with 58.3%, veal at 66.0%, lean beef showing 55.0% and lamb is close with 55.8%. But look what happens; pork is rabbit meat’s closest competitor in moisture per pound with 42.0%. Too bad there is a high fat content in pork, but wait, there is more coming.
We have one more thing that is howling at us daily. Calories! Looking at the per pound measure again, rabbit is ahead of the race with only 795 calories, chicken runs a close second with 810, but turkey loses with 1,190 calories. Veal beats out turkey with 910 and lamb comes in with 1,420. But here comes beef sliding in at 1,440 calories per pound. Not too bad if you compare it to lamb, but where is pork? There it is, coming along at the end of the race with 2,050 calories per pound. (Oh, how I do love my pork chops and ham!)
Well, thinking about all the merits, it looks like it’s thumbs- up for rabbit meat at our table. And add to the high protein, low calorie features of rabbit meat, it is also low in cholesterol.
DELORIS NELSON, PO Box 94, HANNAFORD, ND 58448
Copyright Countryside Publications, Ltd. Nov/Dec 2004