Should We Quit Eating Chicken and Pork?

Eating chicken and pork along with other things such as beef, fish, and eggs, has been key in my dietary choices for the last year and a half.

Recently, I began to wonder about the chicken and the pork.

Paul Saladino, MD did a podcast where the topic turned to chicken and pork and how it’s not so great for you.

Basically, the chicken and pork you eat are mainly corn-fed.  That breaks down into linoleic acid.  When you end up eating chicken and pork, traces of that linoleic acid end up in the meat and are a hidden source of vegetable oil.

What is linoleic acid?

Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated Omega-6 fatty acid.  We hear about Omega-3 being generally a good thing and Omega-6 generally being a bad thing.

eating chicken and pork

There’s some good and some bad with linoleic acid.

Linoleic acid can lower LDL and total cholesterol, as well as insulin sensitivity and blood pressure.

In contrast, linoleic acid lowers HDL cholesterol, which is considered the “good” cholesterol.  In addition, linoleic acid can raise inflammation and lead to headaches.

Long-term, it could lead to coronary heart disease.

Do I have to eat beef?


In fact, fish is believed to be an even higher source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which will even out the ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6.

eating chicken and pork

The fish you should concentrate on is mackerel, salmon, cod, herring, oysters, sardines, and anchovies.

Is there an Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio?


One should eat no more than a 4:1 ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3.

eating chicken and pork

Eat chicken and pork in moderation, but be sure to supplement it with fish and beef.


For eggs, to cut down on linoleic acid and Omega-6, look for eggs that are pastured or “Omega-3 enriched.”

For pork and chicken, look for products that are fed things other than corn.  Namely, grass-fed.

eating chicken and pork

In general, avoid corn fed.  You are what you eat, but you are also what the animals eat.

Seek pastured pork, pigs that are free to roam and are left on their own to find food sources.

For chicken, it’s much the same thing.  Grass-fed, locally-raised chicken is better.

Where do I find a local farm?

Local farms can be hard to find if you don’t know where to look.  But those local farms and butchers are out there and they can be found in your area.

Whether you’re looking for pork, chicken, beef, or even fish, check out your local sources.

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