Is Turkey Heart Good for You? A Deep Dive into the Nutritional Value of This Often Overlooked Meat

Turkey is a popular source of meat in the United States. In 2019 alone, people in the U. S. ate 5. 3 billion pounds of turkey. That works out to about 16. 1 pounds per person.

It’s also twice as much as people ate just 50 years ago. Since then, researchers have discovered a great deal of health benefits associated with turkey. Â.

Turkey packs a powerful nutritional punch and it’s healthier overall than red meat. Many people choose it as a replacement for beef in recipes.  Â.

Turkey is a great source of protein. The body uses protein to build and repair bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, blood, and tissue. Protein is a macronutrient, which means that your body needs a lot of it. Your body can’t store protein, so you need to consume it every day.

It’s a good way to get the necessary protein as long as you don’t eat too much turkey. Its also a good source of beneficial vitamins and minerals like magnesium and niacin.

Turkey is also an excellent source of selenium. A diet high in the mineral may help prevent the following types of cancer, according to some studies:

Scientists have only seen the protective effects of selenium when it’s present in the food you eat. Taking supplements doesn’t appear to have the same effect. To learn more, scientists need to do further research.

Turkey is a low glycemic index (GI) food. That means it won’t cause the blood sugar spike that you’d get from more sugar-rich and carb-rich foods. Including turkey in your diet can help you manage your blood sugar if you have diabetes.

Low GI foods like turkey can also help increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in your body. HDL cholesterol travels through the bloodstream and helps to remove “bad” LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can damage the walls of your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. By eating foods like turkey that boost your HDL cholesterol, you can increase your resistance to these diseases.

Turkey and other kinds of poultry are part of the MIND diet. The MIND diet was developed by scientists to reduce the mental decline brought on by dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. Older adults may maintain their cognitive abilities and memory by following the MIND diet, which calls for eating poultry products like turkey at least twice a week. Â Â.

One three-ounce serving of skinless roasted turkey, about the size of a deck of cards, has the following ingredients:

Turkey is healthy white meat overall, but all meats contain fat. One 3-ounce serving of turkey contains one gram of saturated fat. That’s 6% of your recommended daily intake. Keep your turkey fat intake within reasonable bounds by only eating the suggested single serving.

Additionally, turkey contains significant amounts of tryptophan — an amino acid. A low tryptophan diet is recommended for people with psoriasis.

Turkey heart, often overlooked in favor of the more familiar breast or drumstick, packs a surprising nutritional punch While not exactly a Thanksgiving staple, this lean protein source offers a wealth of essential nutrients that can benefit your overall health.

But before you gobble down a plate of turkey hearts let’s delve into the details and answer the burning question: Is turkey heart good for you?

Nutritional Value of Turkey Heart: A Treasure Trove of Nutrients

A 100-gram serving of cooked turkey heart provides an impressive array of nutrients, including:

  • Protein: 25 grams, a significant amount for such a lean cut of meat. This protein content makes turkey heart a valuable option for building and maintaining muscle mass.
  • Iron: 7mg, contributing to 38% of your daily recommended intake. Iron plays a crucial role in red blood cell production, ensuring efficient oxygen delivery throughout your body.
  • Vitamin B12: 13.9µg, a whopping 579% of your daily needs. This essential vitamin supports nerve function and red blood cell formation.
  • Selenium: 56.8µg, exceeding your daily requirement by 103%. Selenium acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting your cells from damage.
  • Zinc: 4.6mg, fulfilling 33% of your daily intake. Zinc contributes to immune function and wound healing.
  • Phosphorus: 241mg, covering 24% of your daily needs. Phosphorus plays a vital role in bone health and energy production.
  • Potassium: 203mg, providing 5% of your daily requirement. Potassium helps regulate blood pressure and muscle function.

Benefits of Eating Turkey Heart: Beyond the Nutritional Profile

Beyond its impressive nutrient content, turkey heart offers several potential health benefits:

  • Promotes Heart Health: The high protein and low saturated fat content of turkey heart make it a heart-healthy choice. Additionally, its abundance of B vitamins supports healthy homocysteine levels, further reducing cardiovascular risk.
  • Boosts Immune Function: The rich supply of zinc, selenium, and vitamin B12 in turkey heart contributes to a robust immune system, helping your body fight off infections and diseases.
  • Supports Muscle Growth and Repair: The significant protein content in turkey heart makes it an excellent choice for athletes and individuals looking to build or maintain muscle mass.
  • Provides Essential Nutrients: Turkey heart is a valuable source of various essential nutrients that are often lacking in modern diets, such as iron, vitamin B12, and selenium.

Considerations for Consuming Turkey Heart: Balancing the Benefits

While turkey heart offers numerous health benefits, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Cholesterol Content: Turkey heart is relatively high in cholesterol, containing 359mg per 100-gram serving. Individuals with high cholesterol levels should consume turkey heart in moderation or consult their healthcare provider.
  • Sodium Content: The sodium content of turkey heart can vary depending on preparation methods. Opt for unsalted or low-sodium options to minimize sodium intake.
  • Cooking Methods: Avoid frying turkey heart, as this can increase its fat and calorie content. Instead, choose healthier cooking methods such as grilling, baking, or roasting.

How to Incorporate Turkey Heart into Your Diet: Delicious and Nutritious Options

If you’re looking to add turkey heart to your diet, here are some creative and delicious ways to enjoy this versatile ingredient:

  • Grilled Turkey Heart Skewers: Marinate turkey heart in a flavorful marinade and grill it on skewers for a quick and easy appetizer or main course.
  • Turkey Heart Tacos: Dice cooked turkey heart and use it as a filling for tacos, adding your favorite toppings like salsa, guacamole, and cilantro.
  • Turkey Heart Stir-Fry: Add sliced turkey heart to your stir-fry for a protein boost and extra flavor.
  • Turkey Heart Soup: Use turkey heart to add richness and depth to your favorite soup recipes.

While not as familiar as other cuts of turkey, turkey heart is a highly nutritious and versatile ingredient that can be a valuable addition to a healthy diet. Its high protein content, abundance of essential nutrients, and potential health benefits make it a worthwhile choice for those seeking to enhance their overall well-being. So, next time you’re looking for a lean protein option, consider giving turkey heart a try. You might be surprised by its delicious flavor and the numerous health benefits it offers.

More on Diet & Weight Management

is turkey heart good for you

is turkey heart good for you

How to Prepare Turkey

Choosing light meat without the skin is the healthiest way to eat turkey.

It’s also important to choose fresh over processed turkey. One cup of light meat turkey already contains more than 18% of your daily recommended dose of sodium. Processed turkey can have more than 35% of that recommended dose.

Purchasing a fresh turkey breast and cooking it at home is the best method to reduce the amount of fat and salt in your turkey. Avoid frying. Instead, opt to roast your turkey breast in the oven. You can experiment with some of the numerous turkey breast recipes you can find online or serve it with a side of your preferred vegetables.

Here are a few turkey recipe ideas to get you started:

  • Turkey and cheese quesadillas
  • Turkey soup with brown rice
  • Turkey Caesar salad
  • Turkey pot pie
  • Turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich
  • Turkey chili

7 Health Benefits Of Eating Turkey


Is ground turkey heart healthy?

Ground beef and turkey are both nutritious meats that provide protein, fat, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Turkey is generally lower in saturated fat than beef. As such, it may be a better choice for heart health. Fat-free turkey is also the lowest calorie option if you’re interested in weight loss.

Is turkey the healthiest meat?

For the most part, turkey is one of the healthiest meat options available. It’s very similar to skinless chicken in terms of its healthy nutritional properties. Both are sources of low-fat, heart-healthy meats. Lean options — like turkey — are always a healthier choice than red meats.

What does eating turkey do to your body?

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals It contains vitamin B12, which helps support red blood cell formation, as well as zinc and iron, which help boost immunity. Turkey also provides a good dose of selenium, which has powerful antioxidant properties that help protect against disease.

How many calories in a turkey heart?

There are 118 calories in 100 grams of Turkey Heart.

Should you eat turkey on a heart-healthy diet?

The AHA’s newest guidance on a heart-healthy diet emphasizes choosing lean cuts of meat and poultry over processed forms. Turkey is an infamous source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid that helps the body synthesize protein.

What are the health benefits of ground turkey?

Ground turkey has multiple benefits. It is a good source of minerals, and B vitamins, rich in proteins, low in fat and it is lower in calories than common turkey.

Is Turkey good or bad for You?

Low GI foods like turkey can also help increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol in your body. HDL cholesterol travels through the bloodstream and helps to remove “bad” LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can damage the walls of your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Are all turkey products healthy?

Turkey and other types of poultry are part of a healthy dietary pattern, according to federal dietary guidelines. But not all turkey products are created equal, Champagne said. Fans of turkey sausage, turkey bacon and other processed varieties need to check the labels.

Leave a Comment