Archive for the tag - turkey

Is Dark Meat Unhealthy?

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 7.41.34 AMDark poultry meat gets a bad rap – but is this unhealthy reputation deserved?

First things first, dark meat cuts are the drumsticks and thighs. White meat, on the other hand, is breast meat.

There are some notable nutritional differences between the two. Dark meat certainly contains greater amounts of fat. In the case of chicken and turkey, dark meat contains 12.3 grams of fat and 10.1 grams of fat, compared to white meat with 5.7 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of fat respectively.

But this is total fat.

It’s worth noting that more than 2/3 of the fat in dark meat is heart-healthy, unsaturated fat. Moreover, fat slows down digestion and can help you feel full, longer.

hoisin-chicken-legsBut the story doesn’t end there.

Dark meat also tends to be richer in zinc, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate, vitamins A, K, B6 and B12, amino acids, iron, selenium phosphorus and zinc.

Though dark meat contains slightly more calories and higher levels of fat, it’s not as unhealthy as most people think. In fact, quite the opposite. With more flavor than white meat, dark meat can be a delicious and healthy part of any balanced nutrition plan.

Give dark meat a second chance.

P.S. For a simple and science-based approach to healthy (but delicious!) eating, download Davey Wavey’s Insanely Easy Guide to Eating Smarter!


Is Turkey Bacon Healthier?

caramelized-bacon-2Mmmm. Bacon. Just saying the word makes my mouth water.

Of course, we all know that bacon is high in calories and unhealthy fats. As such, many people have made the switch to healthier-sounding turkey bacon. When we think turkey, we think a more nutritional alternative to fattier meats. But does this logic hold true for turkey bacon?

First, let’s look at the nutrition information. While the nutrition information varies from brand to brand, you’ll likely find a noticeable reduction in both calories and fat for turkey bacon. On the other hand, you may see an increase in sodium.

Second, let’s take a look at the ingredients. With regular pork bacon, the ingredients listing is short and recognizable. With turkey bacon, on the other hand, you’ll see a long list of unrecognizable ingredients. That’s because turkey bacon is a highly processed food. If you’re trying to eat clean, turkey bacon won’t make the cut.

Third, there’s always taste to consider. As far as I’m concerned, turkey bacon is a very weak substitute for real bacon. The flavor of turkey bacon doesn’t even come close to the real thing.

So what’s the bottom line? Is saving a few calories and grams of fat worth eating a highly processed food with less flavor? I think not. I’d stick with regular bacon – just in smaller quantities. Have a slice or two as a special treat.

After all, a little bacon can go a long way.

Myth Busted: Turkey Doesn’t Make You Tired!

Sliced TurkeyPeople often say that eating turkey makes you tired. And after consuming a gut-clogging Thanksgiving dinner, most of us feel a bit sluggish. But, according to experts, turkey isn’t the true culprit.

Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that’s a component of the brain chemical serotonin. It gets converted into a sleep-inducing hormone called melatonin.

But turkey isn’t alone in containing tryptophan. It’s also in other poultry. In fact, all these foods have more tryptophan than turkey – including, per 200-calorie serving, crab, fish, duck and even spinach.

According to Live Science, it’s not the turkey that makes you tired but all those carbohydrates:

Consuming carbs triggers the release of insulin, which removes most amino acids from the blood, but not tryptophan — that dearth of competitors allows tryptophan to enter the brain and form serotonin and, ultimately, melatonin.

Moreover, the blood sugar spike is followed by a low-energy crash. Add alcohol into the equation (and listening to your Uncle Bruce blabber endlessly), and it’s no wonder that so many of us want an afternoon nap.