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Is Dark Meat Turkey Healthy?

Turkey Talk: White Meat vs. Dark Meat

It's time to talk turkey: will you be serving yourself white meat or dark? Perhaps you'll be skipping the bird altogether and opting for a tofu version instead. Many people avoid dark meat, thinking it's not quite as healthy as white, but depending on your nutritional needs, a big ol' drumstick might be for you. We've created a handy chart to see how the different meats compare and have added the stats on Tofurky too. See how they all compare after the break.

Meat Type
(3.5 ounce serving)
Calories Total Fat (g) Protein (g)
Breast with skin
Breast without skin
Wing with skin
Leg with skin
Dark meat with skin
Dark meat without skin
Skin only
Tofurky (1/6 of the roast)


Those dark meat morsels mean more calories per serving, not to mention an increase in cholesterol, than that found in white meat. The dark meat, however, is higher in iron than light meat, so if you're craving a leg, I say go for it . . . but maybe skip the skin. And while I certainly hope no one would choose to eat three and a half ounces of turkey skin, it's instructive to see how much fat it actually contains. If you love turkey skin, I say treat your taste buds to a few bites since Thanksgiving comes but once a year.

Source: Flickr Users Betty Crocker Recipes

Join The Conversation
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 6 years
I only eat white no skin lol :)
insanitypepper insanitypepper 9 years
Who eats "skin only?"
georgie2 georgie2 9 years
I could never eat a bit of skin and then put in aside. Skin has to be that last little treat before I get the plate away from me!
Zero_Cool Zero_Cool 9 years
I LOVE dark meat. To me white meat taste so blah. Unless it's on a sandwich... mmm, I can't wait for leftovers! Turkey enchiladas and sandwiches here I come!! Horray for Thanksgiving and the holidays!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I eat both kinds, without the skin. I really don't like the skin...too greasy. Usually I have to fight my uncles and my husband for any dark meat because that is all they will eat.
sarahcateh sarahcateh 9 years
I don't eat dark meat, but not out of health concerns... I just don't like how it tastes
nikodarling nikodarling 9 years
I love the dark meat. I'm glad to see that it really isn't that bad for you. I think it has an unfair rap.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 9 years
Yeah this breakdown is kind of psychotic. Thanksgiving is the one meal a year when you should be able to eat without guilt. It's a celebration of being with family, having food that comforts you, and giving thanks for your blessings. Who cares that dark meat have 10 more calories than white meat.
marygrace marygrace 9 years
i'm vegan so i won't even be eating turkey on thanksgiving, BUT if i was, i wouldn't worry too much about the nutritional differences between light and dark. its thanksgiving! enjoy yourself!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Well my fav is a boob without skin hehehe AND it's the least amount of cals, fat, and has the highest amount of Protein too :)
caernarvan caernarvan 9 years
Eww. Eating SKIN! I'll stick to my tofurkey.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Other than skin only they all around the same, somewhat. I'll still only eat white meat no skin. :)
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