Camel meat is a relatively lean and nutrient-rich protein source that has been consumed for centuries in various parts of the world, especially in Middle East, North Africa and Mediterranean. The lean meat of camel contains about 78% water, 19% protein, 3% fat, and 1.2% ash with a small amount of intramuscular fat, which make it a healthy food for humans (Mohammed et al, 2020). Here is a nutrition review of camel meat based on its typical composition:
Protein: Camel meat is known for its high protein content, which is essential for growth, repair, and maintenance of body tissues. It contains approximately 20-23 grams of protein per 100 grams of cooked meat, making it a good source of this macronutrient.
Fat: Camel meat is generally considered to be leaner than beef or lamb, as it contains lower amounts of visible fat. The exact fat content may vary depending on the cut and cooking method. On average, it provides around 4-6 grams of fat per 100 grams of cooked meat. The fat in camel meat is predominantly unsaturated, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy.
Vitamins: Camel meat contains several important vitamins. It is a good source of B vitamins, including thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), and vitamin B12. These vitamins play crucial roles in energy metabolism, nervous system function, and red blood cell production.
Minerals: Camel meat is rich in various minerals necessary for optimal health. It is particularly notable for its iron content, providing approximately 2-3 milligrams of iron per 100 grams of cooked meat. Iron is essential for oxygen transport, immune function, and overall energy production. Camel meat also contains other minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.
Cholesterol: Camel meat, like other animal meats, contains dietary cholesterol. However, the cholesterol content in camel meat is generally lower than that found in beef or lamb. Moderate consumption of camel meat as part of a balanced diet is unlikely to significantly impact blood cholesterol levels for most individuals.
Sodium: The sodium content in camel meat is relatively low compared to processed meats. This can be beneficial for individuals who are watching their sodium intake, particularly those with certain health conditions such as high blood pressure.
In conclusion, camel meat is a good alternative red meat for human consumption. It’s important to note that nutritional values can vary depending on factors such as the age, diet, and breed of the camel, as well as the specific cut of meat and cooking method used. If you have specific dietary concerns or health conditions, it is always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice.
Baba, W.N., Rasool, N., Selvamuthukumara, M. et al. A review on nutritional composition, health benefits, and technological interventions for improving consumer acceptability of camel meat: an ethnic food of Middle East. J. Ethn. Food 8, 18 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42779-021-00089-1
Mohammed HHH, Jin G, Ma M, Khalifa I, Shukat R, Elkhedir AE, et al. Comparative characterization of proximate nutritional compositions, microbial quality and safety of camel meat in relation to mutton, beef, and chicken. LWT. 2020;118:108714. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2019.108714.