What’s the healthier bet, chicken or turkey?

Doctors and nutritionists have increasingly advised patients that it’s in their best interests to reduce their consumption of red meat. As an alternative to beef, individuals veer toward seafood and poultry in an effort to reduce cholesterol and fat intake. Of the popular poultry available, people may wonder whether chicken or turkey is the healthier option.

Both chicken and turkey can be delicious and healthy ways to feel satiated while watching one’s weight and other health factors. But when comparing apples to apples (or birds to birds), turkey may have the leg up over its fellow fowl.

Although the differences are negligible, it seems that turkey does have some small advantages over chicken. Making poultry a greater part of one’s diet can help keep weight in check and reduce cholesterol levels.

The benefits of eating poultry are realized when consuming these foods without the addition of oils and butter. Frying essentially negates the health benefits of chicken and turkey. When possible, remove the skin of the birds and bake or grill. Also, when possible, use an herb-based marinade to add flavor to the poultry instead of unhealthy cooking fats.

In terms of preventing illness from foodborne bacteria, the recommended cooking temperature for chicken and turkey is 165 F in the center of the thigh. According to the nutritional information published on Calorie Count, here’s how 1 cup of dark meat chicken and 1 cup of dark meat turkey rank:

Chicken Turkey
287 calories 262 calories
13.6g fat 10.1g fat
130 mg 119 mg
cholesterol cholesterol
130 mg 111 mg
sodium sodium
38.3 g protein 40.0 g protein
10% RDA 18% RDA
iron iron

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2011-06-09 digital edition

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