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Get Lean: Surprising Turkey Breast Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

By Rob Poulos...

We all love to nosh on a big leg of turkey during the holiday season, but have you considered adding it to your diet?  Though not everyone’s preferred meat of choice, turkey breast is quickly gaining traction among nutritionists–all due to its good-for-you, low-fat nutritional profile, which meat eaters couldn’t love more.

Nutrition Facts of Turkey Breast

While a good slab of pork or beef will send your fat intake–and calorie count–soaring into unhealthy territory, turkey breast is surprisingly healthy.  A serving of turkey breast meat will cost you 110 calories and only 0.5 grams of fat, with virtually none of it coming from saturated fat.  Compare this to a chop of pork, which contains 253 calories and 8 grams of fat, of which 3 grams come from saturated fat.

As well as being low in calories and fat, turkey breast is also a nutrition powerhouse: Just one small, 3 ounce serving contains 27 percent of your recommended daily allowance for niacin, as well as good amounts of zinc and selenium.  Better yet, it’s virtually devoid of sodium, a dietary element that can cause high blood pressure if consumed in excess.

Collectively, turkey breast’s nutrition benefits make for a slimmer waistline and a healthier heart.

Health Benefits of Turkey Breast

Though turkey breast won’t save you from an otherwise unhealthy diet, adding a serving (or two) of turkey to your daily regimen could do your health a lot of good.  Multiple studies show that consuming too much red meat is associated with a higher incidence of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and may even increase your risk of colon cancer.  On the contrary, people who choose white meat, such as turkey breast, over red meat have a lower risk of developing these diseases.

Turkey eaters usually face a lower risk of heart disease due to the health content of turkey–being fairly low in calories, fat, and saturated fat.  If you’re on a diet, turkey can also help you stay fuller longer.  According to a 2006 study, eating a high protein diet may increase levels of peptide YY, a hormone that could fight off hunger.  This doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to eat nothing but turkey breasts all day, however–eating too much protein could cause deficiencies in other key micronutrients and macronutrients, since high-protein food does not contain all of the essential nutrients.

How to Enjoy Turkey Breast

Turkey breast is an excellent way to amp up your diet, but isn’t it bland?  Surprisingly enough, when prepared right, turkey breast can be very delicious–dripping with savory juices and just the right spices to bring warmth to any family meal.  For a diet-friendly way to start the day off right, consider adding diced turkey breast to an egg white scramble, or putting it in a sandwich with lettuce and tomatoes.  For a leaner option during dinner, turkey is a wonderful substitute for beef or pork in stir fries, lasagna, or a thick sub sandwich.  Most prefer it served next to a heapful of vegetables and mashed potatoes, however, but you too can make it healthy by switching from russet to sweet potatoes.

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