As a dedicated meat lover, I have had goat meat in my diet for many years.
I enjoy goat meat because it is not only delicious but also has several health benefits. The fact that goat comprises more than 60% of the red meat consumed worldwide speaks volumes.
This article will outline why you may want to add goat meat to your diet and what benefits you can expect from it.
- Goat meat is lower in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol than other meats.
- Goat is also a good source of vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, and zinc.
- Goat is a plentiful source of protein worldwide, but it can be harder to find in America.
- If you are interested in trying goat, a meat delivery service may be the easiest way to get it to your table without the antibiotics or growth hormones seen in other meat.
Basics of Goat Meat
Goat meat is the flesh and other edible parts derived from goats. Around the world, people eat goat meat as a delicacy, as well as a cheap source of protein.
Unlike pork and cattle, goat is difficult to mass-produce, which is a reason it hasn't been as widely adopted in the Western diet. This is because goats do not do well in confined spaces, so they cannot be factory farmed.
Goats are browsing animals, meaning they prefer to eat leaves, twigs, and other vegetation in their area. This makes them beneficial for clearing brush and unwanted plants.
In fact, in some parts of the world, goats are used to control weeds.
Goats are also very social animals. They live in herds and enjoy companionship. That said, their herds are generally small, consisting of just a dozen goats or fewer.
The United Nations estimates that there are nearly one billion goats globally, most concentrated in Asia and Africa . This makes goats a readily available protein source for many low-income people worldwide.
There are numerous breeds of goats, with various animals being better for dairy production and others for meat consumption. Cultural cuisines have adapted to this protein source.
What Does Goat Meat Taste Like?
Goat meat tastes similar to mutton or venison. However, many think that goat is gamier than chicken or beef.
However, I don't find goat meat to have a particularly gamey flavor. Instead, it has a subdued, natural savory taste that is not overpowering. Goat meat appears to pair well with other flavors, such as garlic, ginger, and cumin.
Cooking goat meat is straightforward. Like other red meats, it can be grilled, roasted, stewed, or prepared in just about any way you can imagine.
When cooked slowly, goat meat offers a tender and flavorful experience. I like to taste goat meat in a wide variety of dishes from around the world.
I switched my lamb roast to goat roast and added curry to literally spice things up. You should taste goat meat once and see if it appeals.
Goat Meat Nutritional Composition
The good news about goat is that it provides many essential nutrients for human health .
Here are some of the critical goat meat nutrition statistics for a 4-ounce serving:
- 143 calories
- 27 grams of protein
- 3 grams of total fat
- 0 grams of carbohydrates
- 75 milligrams of cholesterol
In addition to those baseline goat meat nutrition characteristics, goat is a superior source of several vitamins and minerals .
Goat contains 10% or more of the recommended daily values of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin B12
- Conjugated Linoleic Acid
3 Health Benefits of Goat Meat
Goat meat is not only delicious but also has several other benefits that make it an excellent choice for those looking for an alternative to traditional red meat like pork and beef.
1. Lower in Calories and Saturated Fat
Goat meat is lower in saturated fat compared to many cuts of chicken, beef, and pork. This makes goat one of the healthiest red meats.
Eating saturated fat and too much red meat is associated with increased heart disease and other chronic conditions like obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Also, lowering the saturated fat content in your red meat reduces your cancer risk .
Since goat is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, it is nutritionally superior to other red meat when included in a balanced diet.
Low cholesterol reduces the buildup of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is associated with fatty deposits that can potentially break off in blood vessels and cause a heart attack.
Additionally, because goat meat has low-fat content, it also contains fewer calories than other red meat. This makes goat a healthier choice for those who are watching their weight.
Also Read: What Meat Has the Least Calories?
2. High in Protein
Goat meat contains an abundant, healthy source of protein that has been consumed around the world for centuries. In many locations, goat meat is the primary source of protein for people.
Protein is a critical macronutrient that helps to repair and build tissues, produce enzymes and hormones, and support cell growth and function .
A lack of quality protein in the diet can lead to health problems, including limb swelling, hair and nail brittleness, muscle loss, susceptibility to infections, and bone weakness.
Getting enough protein is especially important for active people, as protein helps to repair muscles after exercise and build new muscle tissue. It is also critical for children and adolescents as their bodies grow and develop.
3. Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
As described in the nutrition section, goat meat is a superior source of several vitamins and minerals known to be essential to human health.
For example, goat meat has almost double the amount of iron than chicken breast or lean beef. Iron is an important mineral consumed in our protein sources because it carries oxygen in the blood.
Without enough iron, you can get fatigued, have weakness, and other health problems .
Goat meat is also an excellent conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) source.
CLA is a type of fatty acid reported to have several health benefits, including lowering body fat, improving bone mass and immune function, and lowering blood sugar levels .
"The demand for high quality, lean, healthy red meat is one of the underlining forces behind the development of the American meat goat industry."
- American Goat Federation
This meat is an excellent source of potassium. Potassium is an essential nutrient that helps regulate blood pressure and fluid balance in the body.
It is also vital to maintain cell functions for nerve and muscle cells. Insufficient potassium can result in muscle cramps, weakness, and other health issues .
Goat meat is also a good source of zinc. Zinc is an essential mineral that helps to boost the immune system, support cell growth, and development, and protect against oxidative stress.
A lack of zinc can lead to growth problems, skin rashes, and a weakened immune system .
Finally, goat meat is a good source of vitamins B12 and B2. Vitamin B12 is critical for the proper function of the nervous system and the production of red blood cells. Insufficient vitamin B12 can lead to anemia, heart palpitations, and weakness .
B2, or riboflavin, is important for energy production, red blood cell formation, and the metabolism of fats. A lack of vitamin B2 can result in fatigue, visual changes, and depression .
Read more: Best Supplements for Carnivore Diet
3 Goat Meat Disadvantages
Of course, no food is perfect, and goat is no exception. Here are three potential disadvantages of goat:
1. Goat Can Be Difficult to Find
While goat meat is consumed by millions of people worldwide, it can be challenging to find in some areas, particularly in the United States.
If you're interested in trying goat meat, your best bet may be to look for it at a specialty grocery store or butcher that carries exotic meats.
This is because goat is a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, as it does not have the cultural or religious taboos that pork does.
2. Goat Can Be Harder to Cook
Because goat is such a lean meat, it can be harder to cook. And if not prepared properly, cooked goat meat can be tough and chewy.
To avoid this, it's essential to prepare goat meat with a slow cooking method to keep it moist, such as braising or stewing. You also may want to marinate the meat before cooking to help tenderize it.
Adult goat meat is quite lean meat compared to kid goat meat, so slow cooking and moist heat cooking methods are essential for more mature animals.
This versatile red meat should be cooked slowly over low heat for many hours to break down its tough connective tissues. Other cooking methods that are not over low heat tend to leave a dish that is too chewy.
3. Goat Meat May be Expensive
Since goats are typically raised on small family farms, goat can be more expensive than other types of meat. In fact, both adult meat and kid meat are often priced similarly to lamb.
If you're on a budget, you may want to stick with more affordable protein sources for your meat consumption.
Is Goat Meat Healthier Than Chicken?
Yes, goat meat is healthier than chicken because it is the leaner of the two types of meat. That said, goat is still considered red meat, which is often considered less healthy than chicken and other white meat.
Which Part of the Goat Is Healthy?
Any part of the goat can be healthy as part of a healthy diet, so long as it is cooked slowly. The legs, loin chops, and ribs are commonly considered the best cuts of goat to cook fast.