Turkey is an invaluable staple on any festive or Thanksgiving table, boasting multiple health credentials that make it an attractive selection no matter the season or occasion.
What Is turkey ?
A turkey, native to North America, is an enormous poultry bird typically used as the centerpiece of Thanksgiving or Christmas tables with stuffing and decorations as its center point.
A 100g serving of turkey meat and skin (roasted) gives:
2.3g saturated fat
2.7g mono-unsaturated fat
1.8g poly-unsaturated fat
10.1g vitamin B3
Nutritional qualities depend on the cut of meat you select; for sautes or long cooking strategies like stewing, opt for breast meat which contains plenty of muscle but low levels of fat while darker meat which contains more connective tissue is best.
As you simmer turkey, keep in mind its lower fat content may lead to faster drying out; by adding in other rich sources such as fattier foodstuffs or tenderizing prior to cooking, more satisfying results can be achieved.
Top 5 Health Benefits Of Turkey
- Rich In Protein
Low in fat and higher in protein than chicken, turkey is an ideal lean meat option for those trying to lower their fat consumption. Unfortunately, its high protein and low fat content means it can cook quickly and become dry; to retain more moisture during this process, tenderizing, adding fattier seasonings or jointing the bird might prove helpful in maintaining its freshness.
Protein found in poultry meat is of exceptional quality, providing all of the nine essential amino acids required for growth and repair, in an easily accessible format for our bodies to utilize.
- Great Source Of B Vitamins
Turkey meat provides us with essential B group vitamins such as B3, B6 and B12. We need these for energy creation, brain function and the production of red blood cells.
- Great Source Of Minerals
Packed with selenium, zinc, phosphorus and iron – essential minerals that promote thyroid health, bone strength and energy creation – turkey meat makes an excellent addition to a diet for supporting thyroid function, resistance, bone health and energy creation. Dark cuts such as legs and thighs contain higher concentrations of certain minerals such as iron.
- Low In Fat
Poultry meat contains muscle that allows short bursts of energy such as flapping its wings or running away from predators, so naturally poultry meat contains minimal fat that lies directly beneath its skin.
Fat is an integral component of a nutritious diet and helps make meat deliciously juicy. In Turkey meat, most of its unsaturated fat content (about two thirds) lies within positive unsaturated range, with only about one third being saturated fats. Ultimately, however, how a bird was cared for will determine its exact composition of poly-unsaturates such as omega-3 unsaturated fats.
What type of turkey meat we prepare will also determine its fattening potential; adding fattier cuts such as bacon to counterbalance dryness during cooking could increase saturated fat content significantly and impact levels accordingly.
- May Support Heart Health
Eating turkey as part of your diet could provide numerous health benefits. One large observational study of females demonstrated higher intakes of poultry and fish were linked with lower risks of coronary supply route infections and cardiovascular risks were reduced by 19% by switching out red meat for poultry instead.
Is Turkey Alright For Everybody ?
Turkey is an increasingly popular Christmas and Thanksgiving roast meat, considered safe by most individuals unless you have an allergy to it. Sensitivity to turkey meat may affect both children and adults. Secondary poultry sensitivity may occur and could involve serum albumins found in muscle tissue and egg yolk; both chicken and turkey have proven highly cross reactive.
Processed or new turkey that has been tenderized before simmering can contain high levels of salt as well as other substances and flavor enhancers that could contribute to an unhealthy diet. Therefore, it would be wise to consult the marks or recipes if you wish to observe a low salt diet.