Is Ground Chicken or Turkey Healthier? A Comprehensive Analysis

Considering your options between ground turkey vs. You might be wondering why you would have to pick one over the other, such as ground chicken. These ground poultry varieties have some differences that are worth noting, even though they may appear interchangeable and they may be in some recipes. Generally speaking, turkey meat is the leaner option between the two in terms of nutrition. It packs a higher iron and lower sodium content. To live up to its name, chicken has more cholesterol and a slightly stronger flavor. Those are a few of the biggest differences. Let’s now delve deeper into the comparison between ground turkey and ground chicken.

We’ll talk about the health advantages of both varieties of ground meat in this post. Learn some popular applications and recipe ideas for ground turkey as opposed to ground chicken. After reading this, you’ll know which to ask for and gain some insight into the history of why meat is ground up in the first place. You’ll be better prepared whether you’re at your neighborhood grocery store or the butcher. Here we go and happy cooking!.

Keywords: ground chicken, ground turkey, health, nutrition, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, calories

Ground chicken and ground turkey are popular choices for home cooks, offering versatility and convenience in various dishes While both are lean protein sources, the question of which is healthier remains a topic of debate. This comprehensive analysis delves into the nutritional profiles of ground chicken and ground turkey, comparing their macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and overall health impact


  • Protein: Ground turkey boasts a slight edge in protein content, with 27.37g per 100g serving compared to 23.28g in ground chicken. This makes it a valuable source for building and maintaining muscle mass.
  • Fat: Both meats are relatively low in fat, with ground chicken containing slightly more at 10.92g per 100g compared to 10.4g in ground turkey. However, the fat composition differs significantly. Ground turkey contains more unsaturated fats, considered healthier than the saturated fats found in higher proportions in ground chicken.
  • Carbohydrates: Both ground chicken and turkey are virtually carbohydrate-free, making them suitable options for low-carb diets.
  • Calories: Ground turkey has slightly fewer calories than ground chicken, with 203kcal per 100g serving compared to 189kcal.

Vitamins and Minerals:

  • Vitamins: Ground turkey is richer in several vitamins, including vitamin A, B12, and folate. It also contains vitamin E, which is absent in ground chicken. Ground chicken, on the other hand, is a better source of vitamins B1, B2, and K.
  • Minerals: Ground turkey emerges as the winner in the mineral category, containing more calcium, iron, zinc, and copper than ground chicken. However, ground chicken boasts a higher potassium content.

Health Impact:

  • Cardiovascular Health: Studies suggest that choosing poultry like chicken and turkey over red or processed meat can reduce cardiovascular risk due to lower saturated fat and cholesterol content. Ground turkey’s lower saturated fat and cholesterol levels make it a potentially better choice for heart health.
  • Diabetes: Both ground chicken and turkey have low glycemic and insulin indices, meaning they do not significantly raise blood sugar levels. Additionally, consuming poultry as part of a balanced diet can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Cancer: White meat, including chicken and turkey, is believed to have a neutral or even protective effect against cancer risk.

Overall, ground turkey appears to be the slightly healthier option due to its higher protein content, lower saturated fat, and richer mineral profile. However, both meats can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.

Additional Considerations:

  • Cooking Methods: Cooking methods can significantly impact the healthfulness of both ground chicken and turkey. Opt for methods like boiling, steaming, and stir-frying, which minimize the formation of harmful compounds compared to high-heat cooking like grilling and barbecuing.
  • Portion Control: Regardless of the type of meat, portion control is crucial for maintaining a healthy diet. Stick to recommended serving sizes to avoid overconsumption of calories and fat.
  • Individual Needs: Individual dietary needs and preferences should be considered when choosing between ground chicken and turkey. For example, those with specific vitamin or mineral deficiencies might benefit more from one option over the other.

Ground chicken and ground turkey offer distinct nutritional profiles, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. While ground turkey emerges as the slightly healthier option due to its higher protein content, lower saturated fat, and richer mineral profile, both meats can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation and prepared using healthy cooking methods. Ultimately, the best choice depends on individual dietary needs and preferences.

Uses For Ground Turkey

The best thing about ground turkey is that it can be used in so many different delectable recipes. Try out meatballs, meatloaf, casseroles, and more. Turkey that has been spiced can be used to make chili or as a filler in sandwiches. Check out some of these great recipes for ground turkey:

is ground chicken or turkey healthier

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  • Author: Moms Who Think

1 pound ground turkey ½ pound ground beef 30 oz. tomato sauce 24 oz. Tomato-vegetable juice; ½ cup finely chopped onion; ½ cup finely chopped celery; 1 Tablespoon chili powder; 1 cup finely chopped green pepper; 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms; 1 smallly chopped jalapeño pepper–optional stewed tomatoes, ½ cup raw wild rice, and 14 ounces of brown sugar chili beans 1 oz. chili seasoning mix.

1. Brown ground turkey and ground beef. Drain well.

2. Add the meat to a slow cooker along with all the other ingredients.

3. Cook on low for 6 to 9 hours. Serve with crackers or cornbread.

History And Origin of Ground Turkey

According to The Chicago Tribune, ground turkey was first introduced to supermarket deli fridges in the 1970s. Ground meat is a combination of excess turkey meat and leftover skin. Therefore, ground meat was a great way to effectively use all the meat from the bird. This way, grocers could sell the extra meat a form that could be easily turned into other delicious things. It hit peak popularity in the 1990s, partly because it was leaner than beef or chicken in ground form. Since then, ground turkey has continued to be a staple of the cold meat aisle in lots of grocery stores around the world.

Is Turkey Really Better For You Than Chicken?


Is ground turkey healthier than ground chicken?

Both chicken and turkey provide healthy protein. Generally, chicken tends to be higher in vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid, and turkey tends to be lower in calories, fat, and sodium while having more zinc, niacin, and vitamin B12.

Which ground meat is the healthiest?

The Bottom Line If you’re eating for a healthy heart, lean ground turkey—which is lower in saturated fat—is the better pick for you. Of course, you can still enjoy ground beef from time to time, but choosing lean ground turkey more often will help your heart in the long run.

Is ground chicken better than ground turkey for dogs?

Turkey is a great protein source for dogs who are allergic to chicken or beef, as it is a hypoallergenic protein source. In fact, it’s often one of the first foods used in food elimination trials for dogs who have food allergies. Additionally, turkey is less likely to cause gastrointestinal upset than other meats.

Is ground chicken good for weight loss?

If you’re searching for a satisfying meal that won’t delay your weight loss progress, ground chicken is a top-tier ingredient for your lunches and dinners. Ground chicken is typically lean and has plenty of protein, keeping you full longer, so you won’t find yourself snacking later in the day.

Are ground chicken and ground turkey healthy?

Both ground chicken and ground turkey are healthy options, but ground turkey is slightly leaner and higher in protein. In the culinary realm, ground chicken and ground turkey often take center stage as versatile and nutritious ingredients. Both are lean and packed with protein, making them ideal for health-conscious individuals.

Is chicken good for health?

Yes, chicken is good for health. Chicken is filled with high quality proteins and does not contain much fat – especially if you eat lean cuts. Beyond its rich protein content, chicken also contains vitamin B12, tryptophan, choline, zinc, iron and copper. Chicken is rich in a variety of important nutrients including niacin, selenium and phosphorus. Adding chicken to your diet may help support weight loss, muscle growth and bone health. Selenium is a trace mineral that’s necessary for proper immune function, thyroid health and fertility.

Does ground turkey have more calories than ground chicken?

Typically, ground turkey has slightly fewer calories than ground chicken. A 3-ounce (85 grams) cooked portion of ground turkey usually ranges from 135 to 150 calories, while the same amount of cooked ground chicken ranges from 160 to 190 calories. Both ground turkey and ground chicken are excellent sources of protein.

Is ground turkey fattier than chicken?

* Ground turkey has a slightly higher fat content than ground chicken. This is because turkey has a higher proportion of dark meat, which is fattier than white meat. However, ground turkey is still a lean meat, and it is a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

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