Effect of lean red meat from lamb v. lean white meat from chicken on the serum lipid profile: a randomised, cross-over study in women

Br J Nutr. 2012 May;107(10):1403-7. doi: 10.1017/S0007114511004545. Epub 2011 Sep 9.


The main dietary guidelines recommend restricting total and saturated fat intake in the management of high blood cholesterol levels for cardiovascular risk. These recommendations are usually oversimplified by considering that all red meats should be limited and replaced by white meats. However, lean red meat can be as low in fat as white meat. We examined the effects of red meat (lean breed lamb) and lean white meat (chicken) intake on the lipid profile of a group of women with stable life conditions (nuns living in convents). An open-label, randomised, cross-over study was carried out in thirty-six nuns who consumed either lamb or chicken three times per week for 5-week periods with their usual diet. Clinical, dietary and biochemical variables were evaluated at baseline and the end of each diet period. A validated FFQ was used to assess nutrient intake and monitor compliance. The results showed neither between-diet differences in lipid responses nor differences from baseline in total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol or TAG for any diet period. In conclusion, consumption of lean red meat (lamb) or lean white meat (chicken) as part of the usual diet is associated with a similar lipid response. These two foods can be exchanged in a healthy diet to increase palatability.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Chickens*
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / prevention & control*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Meat*
  • Sheep*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Dietary Fats
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol