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Turkey vs. Chicken: Which is Healthier?

Updated on May 30, 2010

 

You long ago figured out that you needed to cut back on the red meat and increase the number of vegetables in your diet. Most of us have figured that out by now and many have also added appropriate levels of seafood to create a well-rounded diet that meets all of our nutritional needs. But many of us are still struggling with the white meat questions. Some people don't eat them at all, others swear by them in replacement for their lost red meats. And those who are health-conscious often want to know whether chicken or turkey is the healthier choice.

 

The truth is that both chicken and turkey are fairly healthy for you when they are prepared properly. Get rid of the skin, eat the white meat, don't fry the meat in the thick oils and don't add sauces or gravies that will add a lot of calories. With those basic preparation rules in mind, you should be able to eat either chicken or turkey without there being too much of a health difference to concern you.

 

However, if you're really picky about certain dietary things, here are some basic nutritional differences between chicken and turkey that you can explore to select the meat that is right for you:

 

  • When talking about breast meat that is fried or boiled, turkey has almost half the calories of chicken. Additionally, it has about a ninth of the fat calories. Therefore, if you're a person who really can't give up the fried foods, you're going to want to head for the turkey instead of the chicken to save what you can on the calories and fat.
  • Despite this, you'll also be losing out on the protein. If what you're seeking is a high protein diet, you should go with the chicken. As prepared discussed on the above point, you'll get almost twice as much protein with the chicken than with the turkey. (See NutritionData for more comparisons like these.)
  • If you're a liver eater, you might want to know that chicken liver also has half the calories of turkey liver. It's also got less than a third of the fat.
  • According to one study there is more fat in the neck of a chicken than in the neck of a turkey

 

In summary, chicken tends to be higher in fat and calories but is also higher in protein as long as what you're eating is the meat and not the organs or the neck. But of course it depends on how you prepare your food (if you like fried chicken and grilled turkey, then the numbers are going to differ greatly). The differences between the two are not significant enough to make a major impact upon your diet if white meat is only a small part of your overall caloric intake. However, if you eat some kind of meat on a regular basis then you might want to look more closely at the nutritional information for the kinds of chicken and turkey parts that you're eating and your preparation of those parts. Speaking with a nutritionist is a good next step for the serious dieter.

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  • profile image

    anna-kay 4 years ago

    this info is not giving info

  • profile image

    ALI MARANAKI 5 years ago

    we want to buy 1000 ton meat chicken freeze base on fob and cfr

    best regards

    a.maranaki

  • profile image

    Ellis 5 years ago

    Wrong. They have almost the same amount of protein. Chicken about 1g more per 100g. Half?!?!

  • profile image

    modupe 5 years ago

    this article is really confusing even the summary contradict what was written up pls try to edit and give clear,adequate,correct and specific information

  • profile image

    Dino 5 years ago

    Chicken has more protein of course...

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    Dylan 5 years ago

    Although this article presents some calorie information, I think it veered to far away from that actual question at hand! Would like to seem more information pertaining to protein and other macromolecules chicken/turkey contains such as cholesterol, vitamins, minerals, etc.

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    wendy 5 years ago

    I'm dieting down for a figure comp. Turkey is never a part of the diet! Can I sub turkey for chicken .just to add variety ?

  • profile image

    Yasmin ayob 5 years ago

    We started to eat turkey not to bad

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    abc 5 years ago

    Chicken breast (raw ) has approx 24 grams of protein per 100gram, which even considering it's higher calories values seems a better choice for loosing weight, because you get a lot of calories from proteins, which will never translate into fats in your body.

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    Lee 5 years ago

    So how many calories does chicken breast have per 100g and how many people live in Turkey?

  • profile image

    Rob 5 years ago

    Chicken has TWICE the calories when fried and has twice the protein than turkey. The article is consistent.

  • profile image

    cece 5 years ago

    Rubbish

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    Turkey for Buys Diet 6 years ago

    Thanks for the article. Now I can program a good diet. If I want turkey because I'm making a diet, I should eat chicken more than turkey to cut down protein excess. But what happens if I like to eat chicken and I'm already eating too much calories, should I go for the turkey or have them mixed in a platter with a light gravy?

    The truth is I like chique about half as turkey, but I'm concerned with calorie reuptake and protein decomposition to fats. Someone told me I could use the skin of the turkey to absrob the fats of the chicken and then eat the skin, but it would be rather unhealthy. On the other hand, chicken skin can be added to turkey to give its flavor, so you can eat the skin and its not so smelly.

    Anyway, nobody should post an article as confusing as the one I've just read, what do you think? I don't know if I should aknowledge your conclusions or your article. Well, good luck.

  • danutzvd profile image

    danutzvd 6 years ago from Romania

    Turkey is healthier, of course

  • profile image

    Luke 6 years ago

    For Pink,Baby steps is how I did it.At first I cut my portion sizes by a third for a while,then by half.I drank a lot of water to make me feel full.I started walking a mile a day and slowly increased it up to six a day.At first it was difficult and I expected it to be,but I went from 195 to 160,weather it be chicken,turkey or what ever,count those calories keep on trucking and your dream will come true my friend.

  • profile image

    luke 6 years ago

    Eat what you want,for half the calories eat half as much,if you want to eat more,you will have to walk more,the combination of eating healthy and exercising will make you feel great,be devoted to this and it will not let you down.Your health is the most important thing,this can not be contested.

  • profile image

    atif 6 years ago

    im so confsed that which one have much calories,is it turkey or chicken.

  • profile image

    pink 6 years ago

    im over 315lb and starting me diet

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    Erwin 7 years ago

    I think the confusion is in the summary statement "The differences between the two are not significant enough". It seems contradictory if you think the sentence is referencing to the bracketed statement about fried chicken and grilled turkey. Instead, I believe the author is referring to simply chicken and turkey and not to the fried/grilled preparations.

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    max 7 years ago

    its better to eat chicken or turkey without frying it or adding too much sauces if you are trying to loose weight, that's what he explains.

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    Kevan 7 years ago

    This article is useless without calorie numbers. Of course chicken is going to be more fattening on average because people don't normally deep-fry turkey. If we're talking about the basic white breast meat, chicken and turkey are almost the same.

  • profile image

    Les 7 years ago

    Blunt works. I like it. Evey thing I need to know in a few sentences. Thanks!

  • profile image

    Zach 7 years ago

    ok to put it bluntly, if cooked the same way...

    Turkey - 1/2 Fewer calories and 9/10 less fat then chicken

    Chicken - 2 times the amount of protein as turkey. On chicken try to avoid neck.

    If you love liver, go for chicken liver over turkey liver.

  • profile image

    NIck 7 years ago

    This article is consistent,, u people are dumb!

  • Kathryn Vercillo profile image
    Author

    Kathryn Vercillo 7 years ago from San Francisco

    @ggg - The article has never been edited.

  • profile image

    ggg 7 years ago

    Mark, think outside the box - the author probably changed it after they made the comments

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    gio 7 years ago

    Hey, Im still confused as to which has more protein. The more I read, the more I they say chicken is double or they are almost equal in protein. Can somebody help me out

  • profile image

    Mark 7 years ago

    This article is consistent. Shirley and Simon need to read carefully.

  • martycraigs profile image

    martycraigs 7 years ago

    I would have guessed that they had about the same amount of fat in the breast...I did not know this information.

    Very interesting, thanks so much for sharing!

  • profile image

    paul 7 years ago

    So its better to go turkey if yur trying to loose weight and go chicken if your trying to body build :)

  • profile image

    Jillian 8 years ago

    This does not give opposite information, the article consistently reads that chicken is higher in fat and calories than turkey.

  • EcoAsh profile image

    EcoAsh 8 years ago from Hemet

    Thats good to know. If I want protein go chicken if Im watching calories go Turkey.

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    Brandon 8 years ago

    Thanks. This information was very helpful. :)

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    Shirley 9 years ago

    Like Simon said (no pun intended); your summary gives the opposite information from the body of the article on which (turkey or chicken) is lower in calories! Defeats the whole purpose of the article; very frustrating; please correct?!

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    Simon 9 years ago

    Hi, thanks for an informative article, but your summary doesn't match the body of the text - it say's chicken is lower in fat and calories than turkey, whereas you previously stated it the other way around.