Health Facts

Think Turkey. Think Health!

Every day is a holiday at local turkey producers across the nation – and it could be at your house too. At a time when many families are looking for better ways to serve up creative, healthy meals while supporting local food producers and reducing their carbon footprint, your local turkey farmer could be offering a tasty solution.

Traditionally, families only serve turkey on the holidays, and it’s a huge production with a full bird and all the fixings. But making turkey part of your regular meals doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. With the variety of fresh cuts available today, it’s easy to incorporate turkey into your daily menus.

So why should you make turkey a part of your everyday menu? Here are five great reasons:

  1. It’s healthy. As one of the leanest meats available, turkey is a great option if you’re looking for a smart way to serve up healthy, low-fat meals.
  2. It’s easy. Whether it’s turkey sausage and eggs for breakfast, a turkey burger for lunch or grilled turkey legs for dinner, this tasty, lean meat is easy to incorporate into most of your favorite recipes.
  3. It’s fun. Add a new flavor to simple meals. Hold a backyard barbeque with turkey on the spit. Or bring some holiday cheer to summer and hold Thanksgiving in July.
  4. It’s local. By choosing local turkey, you’re not only buying fresh, but you’re supporting the food producers and economy in your area.

Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating recommends choosing lower fat foods more often and including leaner meats and poultry in our diets. This means turkey is an excellent choice to help your family meet Canadian health standards.

The BC Turkey Farmers agree, adding that turkey is a great source of protein and chock full of essential nutrients, such as niacin, amino acids and phosphorous. So whichever way you slice it, turkey is an excellent way to add variety to your everyday meals, while helping you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Nutrient Content of Whole Roasted Turkey

Part Calories Fat Cholesterol Protein
Roast Turkey (light meat only) 146 2.6g 67mg 28.6g
Roast Turkey (dark meat only – thigh) 167 7.1g 105mg 24.1g
Roasted Lean Light Meat (breast & wing) 150 3.1g 73mg 28.5g
Roasted Lean Leg 179 7.7g 118mg 25.6g
Roasted Lean Turkey (light & dark meat) 160 5.0g 89mg 26.9g
Roasted Lean Dark Meat (leg & back) 173cal 7.5g 109mg 24.7g

Per 100g (3 1/2 oz) service
Source: CTMA, 1997, Food Research Center, University of Moncton

Comparison of Fat Content of Ground Meat

Raw Ground Meats Grams of Fat (Max.)
Ground Turkey Breast 2.0
Premium Ground Turkey 4.0
Regular Ground Turkey 7.0
Extra Lean Ground Beef 9.5
Ground Chicken 10.0
Lean Ground Beef 15.06
Medium Ground Beef 20.65
Regular Ground Beef 26.55

Per 100g (3 1/2 oz) service
Source: Invatech Labs, Abbotsford, BC 1995, Beef Information Centre

Fat Contents of Popular Meats

Cooked Meats Grams of Fat
Skinless Turkey Breast, Roasted 1.5
Skinless Chicken Breast, Roasted 2
Turkey, Roasted* White Meat Only 2.6
Chicken, Roasted* White Meat Only 4
Pork Tenderloin, Roasted 5
Chicken, Roasted* Dark Meat Only 7
Beef Sirloin Steak, Broiled 7
Turkey Roasted*, Dark Meat Only 7
Beef Rump Roast, Roasted 8
Pork Loin Chop, Roasted 10
Veal Loin Chop, Broiled 12
Lake Trout, Broiled or Baked 13
Fried Chicken 14
Fast Food Fish Sandwich 20

* skin removed after cooking

Based on 100g (3 1/2 oz) service
Source: Canadian Nutrient File, Health Canada
CTMA, 1997, Food Research Centre, University of Moncton