Goat Meat: Nutrients, Benefits, Downsides, and More

Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2022
Goat Meat: Nutrients, Benefits, Downsides, and More
While goat meat contains the same amount of protein as other red meats, it is relatively low in fat and cholesterol

Goat meat is considered a healthier alternative to other red meats such as beef, pork, and lamb. 

While it contains the same amount of protein, it is relatively low in fat and cholesterol. In addition to protein, goat meat is also high in iron and vitamins A and B12.

Learn about goat meat nutrition facts, health benefits, and potential downsides.

What is goat meat?

Goat meat has a texture comparable to that of lamb or mutton but with a slightly gamey flavor. Many describe the flavor as a blend between beef and venison.

Goat meat comes in two varieties—castrated and intact:

  • Castrated goat meat comes from a male goat whose testicles have been surgically removed (accounts for the majority of goat meat consumed in the United States).
  • Intact goat meat comes from a male goat with its testicles still attached.

What is the nutritional profile of goat meat?

Table. Nutrients in a 3.5-ounce serving of roasted goat meat
Nutrient Amount
Calories 143
Protein 27 grams
Fat 3 grams
Iron 3.7 mg
Sodium 86 mg
Cholesterol 75 mg

7 health benefits of goat meat

  1. Promotes heart health: Goat meat is heart-healthy because it contains less saturated fat and more unsaturated fats than other red meats, which helps lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  2. Reduces the risk of diabetes: Regular consumption of goat meat reduces the risk of several diseases, including type II diabetes.
  3. Boosts metabolism: Goat meat contains niacin, which promotes energy metabolism.
  4. Boosts immunity: Goat meat is rich in vitamins and minerals such as iron, which promote a healthy and balanced immune system.
  5. Aids weight loss: Because goat meat is high in protein but relatively low in fat, it may be a good option for those trying to lose weight.
  6. Prevents anemia during pregnancy: One of the health benefits of consuming goat meat during pregnancy is that it protects both mother and baby from anemia by increasing hemoglobin levels in the mother, which enhances blood flow to the fetus.
  7. Relieves menstrual pain: Goat meat is high in iron, which improves blood quality and lowers inflammation. This may help alleviate menstrual cramps.

What are the downsides of goat meat?

Food-borne illnesses

Goat meat must be cooked properly to prevent the danger of zoonotic disease transmission. 

Food-borne diseases have become a serious issue because transmission can occur not through the consumption of contaminated meat but also while handling or processing the meat.

Toxoplasmosis is the most serious illness transmitted by goat meat, particularly in people with compromised immune systems and pregnant women. Other pathogens related to small ruminant meat intake include Clostridium perfringens, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Campylobacter jejuni.

Cancer risk

Processed goat meat (smoked, salted, or preserved) can increase the risk of cancer. As with other red meats, daily consumption can increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Who should avoid goat meat?

Although goat meat has various health benefits, it is not recommended for everyone. People who should avoid goat meat include the following:

  • People with liver diseases: Because goat meat is high in protein, those with liver disease should avoid it because too much protein can strain the liver.
  • People who generate more heat: People with a high fever, phlegm, toothache, ulcers, acne, or hemorrhoids should avoid eating goat meat since it can worsen these issues.
  • Children: High amounts of goat meat are not recommended for children, because their livers and kidneys cannot handle too much protein.


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Medically Reviewed on 8/17/2022
Image Source: iStock image

What is the nutrient content of goat meat? https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/What-is-the-nutrient-content-of-goat-meat

Goat Meat: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/food-science/goat-meat