Organic chicken has a higher concentration of healthy fats than conventional birds giving health benefits to consumers, according to Italian researchers.

For many years, the debate has raged on whether organic is better than conventional chicken. Just this summer, University of Bristol researchers found that conventionally reared chicken tasted better than organic birds and last year, there were claims that organic chicken contained higher levels of camplylobacter.

This time organic chicken has come out on top with new data suggesting that eating organic breast meat instead of conventionally reared birds maybe good for you.

Led by Gianvito Martino at the University of Teramo, the group analysed 24 birds, half conventionally reared and half organic. They found that breasts from organic chickens contained nearly 30% more polyunsaturated fatty acids than conventional birds. Consequently, saturated fatty acids and mono-saturated fatty acids were more abundant in conventional chicken.

As the researchers pointed out, intakes of saturated fats by people is related to increased levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. And it is LDL cholesterol which has been linked to heart disease, therefore, organic chicken may have a role in reducing heart disease.