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Turkey and Health

Turkey and health works hand in hand for your dietary benefit. Turkey is considered as a healthier alternative to chicken and red meat because of its nutritional content. As a matter of fact, a serving of whole roasted turkey is lower in calories compared to chicken. Figures from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicate that turkey only has 170 calories, from which 70 calories are from fat.

In contrast, whole roasted chicken has 200 calories, from which 100 calories are from fat. Total fat content of turkey is only 8 grams compared to the 11 grams in chicken. Clearly, turkey is the leaner choice.

Turkey can be as adaptable in recipes calling for pork, beef and chicken. Turn your turkey recipes even healthier by removing the skin and using only healthy cooking methods such as baking, broiling, sautéing or slow cooking the turkey meat. Deep-dry only for special occasions, if at all.

Use just enough oil when pan-frying or sautéing so you don’t add unnecessary fats into your already healthy turkey recipes. Make use of your zester and grate citrus rinds to flavor the turkey. Anoint the turkey with olive oil instead of butter.

High in protein
Protein is essential for growth and repair of the body — turkey has a lot of protein to offer. In fact, “cooked turkey contains 34g of protein per 100g, which is nearly 3/4 of an adult’s recommended daily allowance,” according to nutritionist Carrie Ruxton, featured in the U.K.-based Bernard Matthews Farms on “Why turkey is good for you.” Likewise, it’s a healthier source of protein compared to roast beef, which has as much protein but the latter having much more calories and saturated fat.

Low in fat
Turkey breast is no doubt the lowest in fat amongst other turkey cuts and compared with chicken breast. According to the National Turkey Federation in the United States, a three ounce serving of turkey breast has only .64 grams of total fat compared to chicken breast which has 3.1 grams of total fat.

Low in calories
Ruxton further point out that turkey is a good option for weight management diets since it’s low in calories. In particular, turkey breast has “less than 160 calories per 100g.” Cook the turkey by roasting or grilling and you benefit more from it without the added calories.

Turkey is a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, selenium, and phosphorous. It’s also low in sodium.