Turkey Nutritional Facts

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The USDA recommends 2 or 3 servings of meat, fish, or poultry per day. A serving of any type of cooked meat is equal to 3 ounces and is about the size of a deck of cards. Concerns over saturated fat and cholesterol have caused many people to reduce or eliminate their consumption of many types of red meat and to choose a healthier alternative such as turkey. Compared with other meats, turkey has fewer calories, less fat, less cholesterol, and very little sodium, but it is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Most of the fat in turkey is within the skin and most of the fat within the meat is in the dark meat. The white meat with the skin removed is a good food source for people on low-fat and/or low sodium diets. The meat fiber is easier to digest than other types of meat, which makes it a good choice for individuals that may have digestive problems. Turkey is an excellent source of several important vitamins and nutrients such as iron, niacin, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins.

 

Turkey Meat Compared with Other Meats
(Based on a 3 ounce Serving Size)

Type of Meat
Calories
Fat
(Grams)
Saturated Fat
(Grams)
Protein
(Grams)
Cholesterol
(Milligrams)
Turkey Breast
(Skinless, Roasted)
115
0.6
0.2
26
67
Turkey Breast
(With Skin, Roasted)
161
6.3
1.8
24
67
Turkey Dark Meat
(Skinless, Roasted)
159
6.1
2.1
24
72
Turkey Leg
(With Skin, Roasted)
177
8.3
2.6
24
72
Chicken Breast
(With Skin, Roasted)
170
7.0
2.0
25
70
Chicken Breast
(Skinless, Roasted)
120
1.5
0.5
24
70
Duck
(Skinless, Roasted)
171
9.5
3.5
20
76
Lamb Shank
(Trim Fat, Roasted)
153
5.7
2.0
24
74
Beef Tenderloin
(Trim Fat, Roasted)
180
8.5
3.2
24
70
Beef Chuck Blade
(Trim Fat, Braised)
210
11.0
4.0
26
90
Pork Tenderloin
(Trim Fat, Roasted)
139
4.1
1.4
26
67
Pork Blade Roast
(Trim Fat, Roasted)
191
9.2
3.3
25
75

 

Nutritional Value of Other Turkey Products
(Based on a 3 ounce Serving Size)

Type of Product
Calories
Fat
(Grams)
Saturated Fat
(Grams)
Protein
(Grams)
Cholesterol
(Milligrams)
Turkey Loaf
Luncheon Meat
(Breast Meat)
94
1.4
0.4
19
35
Turkey Ham
109
4.3
1.5
16
48
Cooked
Turkey Roast
(Light and Dark)
132
5.0
1.6
18
45
Ground Turkey
(Cooked)
200
11.2
2.9
23
87
Turkey Pastrami
120
5.3
1.5
16
46
Canned Turkey Meat
(With Broth)
139
5.9
1.7
20
56
Turkey Hot Dog
192
15
5.0
12
91
Turkey Bratwurst (Lean)
131
7.7
1.9
13
42

 

Turkey can be even more nutritious if it is prepared using a low fat cooking method. Try one of the following healthy cooking methods if your goal is to enjoy turkey cooked with minimal or no added fat:

  • Skinless turkey pieces can be poached in water, wine, and/or broth with herbs and spices added. This will keep the meat moist and add flavor from the poaching liquid. Since no fat is added, the turkey retains its nutritional benefits.
  • Steaming is another healthy cooking method and because the turkey is surrounded by steam rather than water, none of the valuable nutrients leach out.
  • Stir-frying uses very little oil and cooks bite-size turkey pieces quickly. The vegetables, herbs, spices, and various condiments cooked with the turkey add flavor and provide a healthy, low calorie, low fat dish.
  • Grilling is becoming one of the most popular methods of cooking turkey and it is also one of the most healthy. The grilling process allows fat to drip away from the turkey as it cooks, keeping the meat nutritious and flavorful.

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