09/02/2017 14:39 GMT | Updated 10/02/2017 15:04 GMT

Why You Should Be Avoiding White-Striped Chicken Breasts

They could contain more fat and be factory farmed.

Despite being a dinnertime staple for people looking for lean protein, chicken breast may not be as healthy as we thought.

A new investigation shows that the phenomenon of ‘white striping’ – strands of white that crisscross some raw chicken breast meat – may indicate higher levels of fat and lower levels of protein than we would expect.

In a video released by animal welfare organisation Compassion In Farming, it’s revealed that, as a result of intensive rearing methods and cramped living conditions, many factory farmed birds now suffer with muscular disorders.

These lead to the white stripes of fat on their meat. According to the video, recent studies show that up to 96 per cent of chickens may have muscular disorders – resulting in the birds’ breast meat having 224 per cent more fat. 

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Of course, there are still a lot of health benefits to eating the meat. “Chicken can be a good source of protein and important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and iron,” says registered nutrition consultant Charlotte Stirling-Reed.

“However, I would urge people to try and buy chicken from reputable sources and go for free range and non-factory farmed options. There may be no safety concerns with choosing these chickens with white stripes, but from an environmental and sustainable standpoint, opting for better quality meat is of benefit.”