Turkey is a delicious and nutritious protein source that is all too often overlooked in favour of chicken or beef. However, this lean meat is a fantastic all-year-round dietary choice for a variety of reasons. In this article, we will provide 5 key reasons why turkey is an excellent dietary choice for you and your family:
Reason 1: Turkey is low in fat
Saturated fat is commonly found in animal products, including meat, butter, and cheese. While fine in small amounts, consuming high amounts of saturated fat has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and other chronic health conditions. Thankfully, turkey is extremely lean when compared to other types of meat. 100g of grilled turkey breast meat without its skin contains just 155 calories and 1.7g of fat.
Reason 2: It’s an excellent source of protein
Dietary protein is vital to our health for a variety of reasons. It is a crucial macronutrient that provides the building blocks for the body’s tissues, including muscles, bones, skin, and organs. Protein is also needed for the production of enzymes, hormones, and other important molecules in the body. An average portion of turkey meat (100g/3.5oz) provides 22.6g of protein, equating to around half of our daily required amount.
Reason 3: Turkey contains essential amino acids
Essential amino acids are the building blocks of protein which are essential for the growth, repair, and maintenance of tissues in our bodies. These amino acids cannot be synthesised by the body and must be obtained through the diet. There are nine essential amino acids, and each plays a specific role in the body. Turkey contains all the essential amino acids in proportions closely matched to our body’s needs.
Reason 4: A perfect source of minerals
In addition, when it comes to minerals, turkey (particularly dark meat) is a great source of zinc. Zinc is not only needed to ensure a healthy immune system, but it is also instrumental in making many enzymes in our bodies involved in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism.
An average portion of turkey provides one-fifth (20%) of a man or woman’s daily requirement of zinc. It also contains phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and significant amounts of iron.
Reason 5: Turkey is an excellent source of B vitamins
It contains B vitamins, including niacin, which is involved in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy, nerve function and digestion. An average portion of turkey supplies almost 60% of a man’s and almost 80% of a woman’s daily needs. It is also rich in vitamin B12, which is vital in keeping your body’s blood and nerve cells healthy and the creation of our DNA. An average portion of turkey is enough to meet our daily needs.
Compared to other meats like beef and pork, turkey is lower in calories and fat, making it a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy weight. It can also be a more sustainable choice as turkey farming generally requires less water and produces less greenhouse gas emissions than other meat production. Remember, turkey is not just for Christmas!
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