RALEIGH, N.C. -- Is eastern North Carolina barbecue healthier than western North Carolina barbecue?

A side-by-side comparison of two typical barbecue recipes -- one from the east and one from the west -- proves that eastern N.C. BBQ has significantly less fat than its western counterpart, according to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

In North Carolina, eastern-style N.C. barbecue is known for its vinegar base and peppery bite, which makes it lighter -- and spicier -- than its western counterpart. Western-style, sometimes called "Lexington style" barbecue, features a rich, sweet sauce typically made with butter, sugar and ketchup.

BCBSNC's overall finding is that lighter sauce mix and the addition of white meat is better for your overall heart and cholesterol health.

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