Should We All Be Switching To Exotic Meats?

I’m not usually one for jumping aboard the band wagon in relation to any fad really. So I don’t know whether it was due to the intense heat on Saturday afternoon, or maybe it was just because everyone else seemed to be doing it, but I suddenly found myself biting down into a burger made completely out of kangaroo meat.

The popularity of exotic meats in the UK has grown incredibly in recent years, and I’m not ashamed to say I’ve reserved a front row seat on the band wagon. By definition, any meat originating in a distant foreign country can be described as exotic, and there are plenty out there. These include:

  • Kangaroo
  • Ostrich
  • Crocodile/Alligator
  • Wild Boar
  • Venison (deer)
  • Bison

I think if we are being completely honest, we’ve all gotten slightly bored of chicken, rice and veg at some point – even though it is a perfect meal when you’re training. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of boredom in our nutrition. If you eat the same sort of meal for 2 weeks, that take-away menu will probably seem more and more appealing.

It’s amazing how much less attractive it will appear if you vary your diet with a whole host of attractive alternatives however – even with exotic meats perhaps?

No one wants to sacrifice their gains just for the sake of incorporating exotic meats though. Well luckily you don’t have to – in many cases the more exotic meats are often lower in fat and higher than protein when compared with their popular Western cousins.

Let’s take a closer look at some exotic meats just to see the benefits they may provide:

  • Kangaroo

For starters you don’t need to feel bad for eating a massively endangered species. That’s because there are 3 million more kangaroos than there are people in Australia, and they are one of the largest number of land mammal species on the planet. As for the health benefits? Well kangaroo meat is typically around only 2% fat, and just a 150g serving should provide between 60-70% of your daily recommended protein needs. And as if that wasn’t enough, it also has a high concentration of  conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been associated with a reduction in obesity and diabetes prevention. [Not to mention it is absolutely delicious]

  • Ostrich

Well ostrich is packed with vitamin B which aids a healthy metabolism, and has only 3% fat with around 22g of protein per 100g serving. Added to the fact that it’s low in cholesterol and, like kangaroo, absolutely delicious, ostrich is another superb exotic meat.

  • Crocodile

Unlike the 2 meats above, crocodile isn’t one that I’ve tried just yet. The general consensus is that the meat from the tail, the white meat, is similar to chicken but with a more salty taste. Like kangaroo and ostrich, crocodile is low in both fat and cholesterol, but where it stands out is its incredibly high levels of protein – and I mean incredibly high. You can expect around 46 grams of protein per 100g serving of crocodile/alligator tail. Definitely the next on my list to try.

All the other exotic meats mentioned possess similar characteristics – low fat, low cholesterol and high protein. And if you train I doubt there are 4 words that your ears receive more positively than low fat, high protein.

Usually I would advise you to err on the side of caution when it comes to growing fads in relation to health and fitness, and if you’re a regular reader you’ll know about my hatred for the so-called quick-fix. But in this case I’m going to ignore my own advice and encourage you to give exotic meats a try.

I’ll even save you a seat next to me on the band wagon if you fancy giving it a go.


Ollie Lawrence
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