Turkey 101: The Skinny on White Vs. Dark Meat
As you start to carve up your holiday turkeys this year, the nutritional question always comes up: dark or white meat?
Most think the better choice is white meat, thinking it contains less fat and fewer calories. But the nutritional differences between the two are not as different as you may think!
What makes one cut of turkey darker than another is actually the type of muscle it contains. Meat is darker if it contains higher levels of myoglobin, a compound that enables muscles to transport oxygen, which they use for fuel. Since turkeys and chickens are flightless and walk a lot, their leg meat is dark while their wing and breast meat are white.
In fact, an ounce of boneless, skinless turkey breast contains about 46 calories and 1 gram of fat, compared with roughly 50 calories and 2 grams of fat for an ounce of boneless, skinless thigh.
Dark meat also has its benefits. Compared with white meat, it contains more iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine, and vitamins B6 and B12.
So when using these turkey tips, it's the skin that's the real fat culprit at 10 times the amount of both dark and white combined.