Turkey is rich in nutrients. Two thick slices (84 grams) of turkey contain (1):
Protein is important for muscle growth and maintenance. It gives structure to cells and helps transport nutrients around your body (6, 7).
Additionally, a high-protein diet may even support weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness (8, 9).
What’s more, turkey may be a healthier alternative to red meat, as some observational studies link red meat to an increased risk of colon cancer and heart disease (10, 11, 12).
Furthermore, turkey skin is high in fat. This means that cuts with the skin on have more calories and fat than skinless cuts.
A 3 1/2-ounce portion of turkey is about the size and thickness of a new deck of cards. The fat and calorie content varies because white meat has less fat and fewer calories than dark meat and skin. One gram of fat contains 9 calories, and one gram of protein contains 4 calories.
The breast of the turkey has less fat and calories than most other cuts of meat. However, do not assume just because a product is made from turkey that it is better for you. For example, a burger made from ground turkey can contain just as much saturated fat as a beef burger, depending on how much dark meat is included in the ground turkey.
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Go for fresh, lean, organic, and pasture-raised turkey that has been raised in humane conditions without antibiotics. Factory-farmed and conventionally raised turkeys are often injected with salt, water, and other preservatives during processing to extend shelf life and cut costs. Pasture-raised turkeys with access to vegetation also have a higher omega-3 content than factory-farmed turkeys.
Keep in mind that the amount of protein at each meal matters. You can only absorb so much at one time. Make sure to have a lean protein source at each meal and spread your intake throughout the day. Other good choices for protein include nuts, fish, eggs, dairy, soy, and legumes.
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