The many benefits of why eating turkey is good for you makes the idea of consuming this colorless meat more and more a worthwhile activity and of course discussion for you. So why eating turkey is good for you is not dependent on the fact that turkey is most preferred by many people or that it is popularly attached to festivities across the world; it is rather because of its nutritional benefits to the human body.
Native to North America, turkey is a large poultry bird; it is a poultry meat with useful health credentials making it a worthy inclusion, whatever the time of year. Turkey is roasted whole or is traditionally served with stuffing and trimmings as the centerpiece to a Thanksgiving or Christmas table.
Why Eating Turkey is Good for You
In case, you are interested in knowing some of the things that make why eating turkey is good for you, you have not scrolled into the wrong page, nor have you surfed to your disadvantage.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a 3-ounce serving of roasted turkey breast with skin comes with about 4.5 grams of fat and 139 calories. That size serving without the skin contains only about 1.8 grams of fat and 125 calories.
Turkey is famously a source of the essential amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body synthesize protein but gets the blame for the post-feast sleepiness some people feel. That’s mostly an unfair rap.
Roasted, skinless turkey has levels of tryptophan that are close to roast beef or canned tuna and less per ounce than cheddar cheese, she said. It is more likely that the typically large amounts of carbohydrates in the meal provide the most contribution to sleepiness.
Turkey’s growing popularity in recent years has meant that, unlike certain jolly old elves and their sleighs, it comes around more than once a year in many households. That’s not a bad thing. Turkey and other types of poultry are part of a healthy dietary pattern, according to federal dietary guidelines.
But not all turkey products are created equal. Fans of turkey sausage, turkey bacon and other processed varieties need to check the labels.
Nutritional values vary depending on the cut of meat; if you don’t intend to roast the meat keep the breast meat, which is rich in muscle and low in fat, for stir fries while the darker meat, which contains more connective tissue, will be best suited for longer cooking methods, such as stewing.
When roasting turkey, it’s worth remembering that its lower fat content may cause the meat to dry out quickly – combining lean breast meat with fattier, moist foods or brining before cooking can help achieve a more succulent result.
A 100g serving of turkey meat and skin (roasted) provides:
- 190 kcals/799KJ
- 30.9g protein
- 7.4g fat
- 2.3g saturated fat
- 2.7g mono-unsaturated fat
- 1.8g poly-unsaturated fat
- 2.4mg zinc
- 17mcg selenium
- 10.1g vitamin B3
Good source of B vitamins
Turkey meat is a useful contributor of the B group of vitamins including vitamin B3, B6 and B12. We need these vitamins for energy production, for brain function and for the formation of red blood cells.
Good Source of Minerals
Rich in selenium, zinc, phosphorus and iron, turkey meat makes a useful inclusion to support thyroid function, immunity, bone health and energy production. The darker cuts of meat like the leg and thigh are richer in certain minerals, such as iron.
Low in Fat
Unsurprisingly, poultry meat is packed with “fast twitch’’ muscle for short bursts of energy like flapping the wings and scurrying away from predators. This is why poultry meat has very little fat, and most of what it does have, being found in and just below the skin.
Fat does play an important part in a healthy diet and it helps keep meat moist, succulent and full of flavor. The fat in turkey meat is largely of the favorable unsaturated variety, with only a third being saturated. The exact amount of fat will, however, depend on how the bird was fed, with some plant-based feeds promoting a higher poly-unsaturated (omega-3 fatty acid) contribution.
How we cook turkey meat will also impact how fat it is, strips of fattier meat, like bacon, are often added to the leanest parts of the turkey to help offset dryness during cooking. This will of course influence fat levels and potentially increase saturated fat levels.
Rich in Protein
Low in fat and richer in protein than chicken, turkey is a lean meat and a good choice for those looking to reduce their fat intake. However, its high protein, low fat content means the meat can cook quickly and become dry. A number of methods including brining, adding fattier ingredients and jointing the bird for more even cooking, may be useful to retain moisture.
The protein in poultry meat is of ‘high quality’, supplying all of the nine essential amino acids we need for growth and repair, the protein is also of a type which is easy for our bodies to access and use.
May support heart health
Turkey’s low fat, high protein and broad micronutrient contribution are all reasons why including it in your diet may be beneficial for heart health. One large observational study of females reported higher intakes of poultry and fish were associated with a lower risk of coronary artery disease. Furthermore, it would seem that replacing a serving of red meat with a poultry one reduced cardiovascular risk by 19%.
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