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Is Goat Meat Healthy? Nutrition Facts and Benefits
Nutrition

Is Goat Meat Healthy? Nutrition Facts and Benefits

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on November 6, 2022
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8 min

Goat meat is a type of red meat with a slightly sweet and gamey flavor. But is this popular meat good for your health compared to other meats? Let’s find out.

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Cooked goat meat is commonly consumed in Asia and the Middle East. Whether you enjoy goat stew, goat curry, braised goat, or goat head soup, one can’t deny the popularity of this meat.

This article will dive into the health benefits and possible dangers of eating goat meat, its nutritional information, and more. Read on to learn more! 

Is Goat Meat Healthy?

Goat meat is healthy because it is low in calories, total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol but rich in dietary protein, vitamins, and minerals, such as iron.

Is Goat Considered a Red Meat?

Goat meat is considered red meat, along with beef, pork, and similar meats. Red meats have high amounts of myoglobin and have a red color when raw. 

7 Health Benefits of Goat Meat 

Before discussing the nutritional information, let’s dive into some benefits of eating goat meat.

#1 May support healthy weight loss 

A 100-gram serving of goat meat only has a mere 109 calories, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Database. Since it is so low in calories, goat meat can be a great food to help you lose weight.

The protein and small amount of fat (with just a little bit of saturated fat) in the meat will help you feel satisfied and full and help prevent you from overeating later.

#2 Promotes strong bones and teeth 

Goat meat is an excellent source of calcium. According to the National Institutes of Health, calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, healthy nerve functioning, muscle contractions, and much more. 

Pair your goat meat with a glass of low-fat or non-fat milk (or a non-dairy milk alternative!) to get even more calcium! 

#3 Encourages healthy blood pressure

Goat meat is a good source of the electrolyte potassium. According to Harvard Medical School, potassium can help to relax the walls of the blood vessels in your body. This can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risks of heart diseases, such as heart attack and stroke. 

#4 Reduces the risk of iron deficiency anemia 

According to the University of California, San Francisco, iron works in blood production and helps supply red blood cells with oxygen that is transported all over the body. 

An iron deficiency can cause a condition that is appropriately called iron deficiency anemia. According to the Mayo Clinic, in iron deficiency anemia, cells in the body do not have the adequate amounts of oxygen needed to perform well, often leaving an individual feeling tired and short of breath. 

In general, red meat is an excellent source of iron that is easy for the body to use. Goat meat actually has a high amount of iron compared to some types of red meat, so it is a great way to make sure you have enough iron in your diet. 

Meat (Type)Amount of iron per 100g 
Venison3.21mg
Goat 2.83mg
Beef2.6mg
Lamb1.55mg
Pork0.9mg

#5 Low in sodium

A 100-gram serving of goat meat contains only 82 milligrams of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily. However, they encourage limiting your sodium to less than 1,500 milligrams daily for even more optimal heart health. 

Therefore, 82 milligrams of sodium in 100 grams of goat meat is a relatively low amount. Avoid heavily seasoning your goat meat to keep the sodium content low. 

#6 May support a healthy mood 

Goat meat is rich in vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin B12 has been linked to improved mood and lower rates of depression. 

#7 Lower in calories and fat than beef and chicken

Compared to beef and chicken, goat has the lowest fat and calories! This is surprising for many because chicken and other poultry meats are typically considered the leanest. 

While you should not switch all your protein sources to goat meat, it can be a great option to add to your meal rotation. 

3 Dangers of Eating Goat Meat

Let’s switch gears from the benefits of goat meat to some potential dangers.

#1 Increased risk of mortality

Studies have shown an increased risk of mortality from eating red meat. For example, a meta-analysis published in the journal Public Health Nutrition in 2016 demonstrated an increase in cancer and cardiovascular deaths in those who consumed more red meat.

However, it is not clear from this study if the total fat and saturated fat content (which goat meat is low in) is the main contributor to mortality.

#2 Environmental burden

Unfortunately, Harvard University released an article describing the immense burden red meat has on the environment. This burden involves high water usage, land use and deforestation, gas emissions and pollution, and more. 

#3 Increased risk of developing some chronic diseases

A journal article published in the Journal of Internal Medicine revealed that consuming red meat increases the risk of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart failure, stroke, and more. However, similar to above, goat meat is lower in fat than other red meats, and, therefore, it is unknown if goat meat has the same impact. 

Goat Meat Nutrition Facts 

Nutritional value (per 100g)

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount
Calories (kcal)109
Sodium (mg)82
Net Carbs (g)0
Fiber (g)0
Sugar (g)0
Fats (Total)2.31
Fatty acids, total saturated (g)0.71
Protein (g)20.6
Cholesterol (mg)57

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/175303/nutrients 

Low in calories and fats

With only 109 calories and 2.31 grams of total fat, you can definitely consider goat lean meat. It also has less than a gram of saturated fat. 

Therefore, goat meat is a good food for weight loss. 

Good source of protein

A 100-gram serving of goat meat contains a whopping 20.6 grams of protein! Protein is important to support muscle maintenance, growth, and repair. 

No carbohydrates and added sugars

Like most protein sources and meats, goat meat is free of carbohydrates and sugar. Therefore, it is an excellent food for those who are trying to lose weight or need to control their blood sugar levels (such as those with diabetes). 

However, food without carbohydrates will not necessarily provide sustainable energy. This is why it is essential to pair goat meat with starch that is preferably whole-grain, such as chickpea pasta or brown rice

Rich in vitamins and minerals

Goat meat is rich in calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin B12, and more. These vitamins and minerals help your body function throughout every body system, including the cardiovascular system, central nervous system, skeletal system, and more. 

A moderate amount of cholesterol

A 100-gram serving of goat meal contains 57 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. 

Cholesterol is produced in our livers; therefore, we do not need to consume it to sustain life. However, some very nutritious foods naturally contain cholesterol since they come from animal products. 

Overeating cholesterol-rich foods can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. 

The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming as little dietary cholesterol as possible. In goat meat, 57 milligrams of cholesterol is relatively moderate. 

Healthy Goat Meat Recipe

Does goat meat sound good for your next home-cooked meal? Let’s look at an easy and healthy recipe for goat meat stew. 

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces (or one pound) of raw adult goat meat, sliced into medium-sized chunks
  • 2 cups of low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cups of carrots, cut into coins
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 (6oz) can of tomato paste with no sodium added
  • 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil 

Directions

  1. Begin by cooking goat meat in a large pan in canola oil for about 15 minutes until browned. 
  2. Set the meat aside. 
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients (besides the carrots, potatoes, celery, and onions) in a large stock pot. Cook until boiling.
  4. Add the browned meat to the stew mixture and bring it to a boil. 
  5. Simmer the stew for 45 minutes on low heat until the meat is tender. 
  6. Add in the carrots, onions, celery, and potatoes.
  7. Simmer for another 30 minutes until vegetables are tender. 
  8. Check the temperature of the meat with a clean metal stem thermometer in the thickest part. According to USDA guidelines, the internal temperature should be at least 160ºF.
  9. Once you have confirmed that the meat is fully cooked to 160 degrees, enjoy! 

Slow cooking is another great way to cook the meat, especially if you enjoy having superb goat curries. For slow cooking, it is important to make sure the meat still reaches the appropriate internal temperatures. 

For other easy and healthy recipes to spruce up your diet, check out the DoFasting app here! DoFasting provides thousands of recipes that are hand-picked by nutrition professionals.

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FAQs

Is goat meat good for weight loss?

Yes, goat meat is low in fat and calories and, therefore, can be good for someone looking to lose weight.

Does goat meat increase blood sugar?

No, goat meat has no carbohydrates or sugar, so it will not increase your blood sugar levels.

Is goat meat fattening?

No, goat meat is not fattening because it has minimal total fat and saturated fat. In addition, it only has a moderate amount of dietary cholesterol.

Is goat meat good for diabetes?

Yes, since goat meat does not have any carbohydrates and is primarily composed of proteins, goat meat will not increase blood sugar in someone who has been diagnosed with diabetes.

Is goat healthier than chicken?

No, while goat has more iron than chicken, chicken is not considered red meat. Studies have linked red meat consumption with an increased risk of chronic diseases.

Is goat healthier than beef?

Yes, goat meat is healthier than beef because goat is lower in total fat, saturated fat, calories, and cholesterol. However, it has more iron and comparable amounts of protein.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Overall, consuming goat meat is a healthy way to boost protein, vitamins, minerals, and more, though it should be consumed just a few times a week at maximum.

Pair your goat meat with starch that contains some whole grains, like brown rice, multi-grain bread, or wheat pasta, and a healthy fat, such as extra virgin olive oil. This combination will keep you satisfied and full and will keep your blood sugars steady.

Be sure to avoid adding too much salt or oil to your goat meat to keep it healthy for your heart and overall health!

Conclusion 

Goat meat is a commonly consumed red meat that is lower in calories and fat than beef, pork, and even chicken. It does not have a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol. Therefore, it can be a good food option for losing weight. 

It is a healthy meat that provides significant amounts of protein, iron, calcium, and other nutrients. 

Cooked goat meat does not have any carbohydrates or sugars. Therefore, it does not negatively impact your blood glucose levels. 

However, it is still considered red meat, which is associated with an increased risk of chronic disease, so do not replace all your meats with goat meat.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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