• 15May

    Is turkey healthier than chicken?

    Turkey and chicken are consumed in plenty all over the world. Turkey is also consumed during ‘thanksgiving’ tradition in United States and Canada. Though both are good sources of protein, there are differences in the nutritional value. So, if both are available, one may have preference of one over another based on their composition. 

    Turkey or chicken? Let’s compare!


    Turkey breast is a very healthy diet as it is low in fat and rich in proteins. It can be cooked in various recipes like salads, sandwiches and stews. It can be grilled or roasted. Chicken can also be consumed in similar ways. Turkey breast contains lesser calories when compared by weight. This is because of the fact that turkey contains lesser overall fat. Turkey also contains lesser saturated fat making it a healthier choice. More consumption of saturated fat in the diet results in an increase in body levels of bad cholesterol or low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This results in atherosclerosis related narrowing of arteries, hypertension, ischemic heart disease and stroke. This risk can be reduced by removing the skin from turkey or chicken before it is cooked. This is done as the skin is rich source of saturated fat.


    Both chicken and turkey are good sources of high quality protein. However, for equal serving weight, chicken breast contains almost double amount of protein. This high protein content helps in protection against bone loss in the elderly. Turkey is rich in methionine, an essential amino acid required for maintaining normal liver function. Turkey is easy to digest and is especially good for older patients.

    Chicen or turkey

    Turkey offers more nutritional benefits than chicken.


    Chicken breast is also low in sodium and is recommended for people on low sodium diet. Chicken has one-tenth of the sodium contained in turkey and is good for people with hypertension. Sodium plays an important role in maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in body. It is also related to the volume of blood as it helps in water balance in body.


    Turkey contains a lot of calcium and is a better source than other meats including chicken. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in body and is required in the diet daily. It plays an important role in maintaining bone strength and plays role in blood clotting, muscle contraction, nerve function and in maintaining a regular heartbeat. For children with growing bones, calcium is essential and helps in maintaining bone mineral density and strength.

    Vitamins and minerals

    Chicken is also a good source of vitamin B6, phosphorus, niacin and selenium. Niacin provides protection against Alzheimer’s disease and age related dementia. Vitamin B6 and niacin are essential for energy metabolism in body. Chicken contains more niacin than turkey. Selenium strengthens the immune system to fight against bacterial and viral infections as well as against cancer cells. It also promotes levels of good cholesterol.

    Turkey is a good source of many vitamins including riboflavin, vitamin B6, iron, niacin, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Zinc is a powerful antioxidant, immunity booster and maintains normal endocrine function. It contains more selenium and copper than chicken; copper takes part in red cell formation, essential metabolic functions and stimulates immune system to fight infections.

    Chicken or turkey – what to choose?

    For people who consume such diet daily, more frequent consumption of turkey than chicken will be healthier on a long run because of its lower fat content. With better awareness about healthy diet, many people choose to have their food as per its nutritional value rather than its taste or looks. Working people prefer lighter meals, and continue to work without feeling lethargic or drowsy. Good nutrition and its relation to health are well known in the internet savvy world. Turkey offers more nutritional benefits than other meats including chicken.

    Anna L.

    It’s all about health!
    I have academic background in drugs related Chemical Technology, as well as extensive professional experience in pharma and medical companies. My main area of interest is everyday life medicine. The goal of my articles is to give people informative answers to the questions that bother them, to dispel doubts and some common misbeliefs and also to inspire everyone to keep healthy lifestyle.

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