Turkey is a popular food choice around the holidays and throughout the year. It is a lean source of protein and can be a healthy addition to your diet. In this article, we will explore the nutritional value of turkey and discuss whether it is a healthy food choice for you.
First, let’s look at the nutritional content of turkey. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked turkey contains the following nutrients:
- 26 grams of protein
- 0 grams of carbohydrate
- 1 gram of fat
- 0 grams of fiber
- 71 calories
Turkey is a good source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body. It is also low in fat and calories, making it a good choice for people trying to watch their weight or maintain a healthy diet.
In addition to its macronutrient content, turkey also provides several key micronutrients. For example, a 3.5-ounce serving of cooked turkey contains:
- 22% of the daily value (DV) for selenium, a mineral that helps protect cells from damage
- 14% of the DV for phosphorous, a mineral that helps build strong bones and teeth
- 12% of the DV for niacin, a B vitamin that helps the body turn food into energy
- 11% of the DV for vitamin B6, a B vitamin that helps the body convert food into energy
- 10% of the DV for zinc, a mineral that helps the immune system function properly
Turkey is also a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that the body needs to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and sleep. Some people believe that tryptophan in turkey may contribute to the “turkey coma” feeling that some people experience after eating a large meal. However, there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.
So, is turkey healthy for you? Overall, turkey can be a healthy food choice as part of a balanced diet. It is a lean source of protein and provides several important nutrients. However, it is important to consider how you prepare your turkey.
Turkey that is roasted or grilled without the skin is a lower-fat option than fried or battered turkey. The skin is also high in fat, so removing it can further reduce the fat content of your turkey. It is also important to be mindful of portion sizes when eating turkey. As with any food, it is possible to consume too much, which can lead to weight gain.
In addition to considering how you prepare your turkey, it is also important to pay attention to the ingredients in any accompanying side dishes or sauces. Creamy or high-fat side dishes and sauces can add extra calories to your meal.
Overall, turkey can be a healthy and nutritious food choice when eaten in moderation and prepared in a healthy way. It is a good source of protein and provides several essential nutrients. By being mindful of portion sizes and choosing healthy side dishes and sauces, you can enjoy turkey as part of a balanced diet.