How Healthy Are Turkey & Lean Meats?

Turkey is often marketed as a healthy alternative to red meats in grocery stores and restaurants. If you have noticed the growing number of turkey burgers and other lean meats on the market, you might be wondering if turkey is really healthy for you or not. It turns out leans meats do live up to a lot of the hype surrounding them. Though they are not a miracle cure on their own, substituting lean meats for fatty red meat can make a big difference to your health. When you switch over to turkey and other types of lean meat, you can end up enjoying these health benefits.

Turkey Is Low-In Fat

The primary reason turkey is so often recommended for individuals trying to get healthy is it is low in fat. Turkey is an extremely lean protein that beats out chicken, pork, and beef when it comes to its amount of fat per serving. For example, an ounce of beef provides twenty percent of your daily fat intake while an ounce of turkey only provides three percent of your recommended fat intake for the day. This means you can eat plenty of turkey without having to worry about excessive fat intake. Of course, a small amount of fat each day is beneficial, as the body needs it to produce certain hormones and other materials. However, fat is fairly high in calories, so eating an excessive amount may cause you to struggle with weight.

Turkey Is Beneficial For The Immune System

As many individuals know, turkey is a valuable source of tryptophan. Most research has debunked the idea of this amino acid causing excessive sleepiness in the small doses found in turkey. However, it does turn out tryptophan can be very soothing on a cellular level even when taken in small doses. As the body breaks down the tryptophan, it creates certain metabolites that help to manage autoimmune disorders. The tryptophan in turkey is beneficial for the immune system because it calms an overactive immune system, which helps keep it from mistakenly reacting to allergens and other faulty triggers. It may help reduce the inflammation that can damage cells following an overactive immune response.

It Is A Source Of Essential Nutrients

Turkey is a valuable source of two out of the three macronutrients the body needs to survive. An ounce of the meat contains eight grams of protein while only having two grams of fat. Having moderate amounts of fat helps you to feel full and grow healthy hair, skin, and hormones. Protein is even more essential because it is responsible for building and repairing all sorts of essential tissues. Turkey is also a useful source of vitamin B6 and B12. These important vitamins help to build healthy red blood cells and bone cells in the body. In addition to being a strong source of essential nutrients, turkey also contains trace amounts of magnesium, vitamin D, and iron. Your body needs these nutrients to avoid conditions like anemia and osteoporosis.

Lean Meat Lowers Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fat that can be very dangerous in the body. It builds up in the arteries, clogging them and raising blood pressure. Cholesterol plaques can also break off, enter the bloodstream, and form clots that stop blood flow. Because it can cause dangerous heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease to develop, it is important for individuals to reduce levels of harmful low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in their body. 

Individuals who are struggling with cholesterol need to greatly reduce their saturated fat intake. Saturated fats are a type of animal-based fat that is solid at room temperature, and they raise cholesterol more than any other type of fat. Turkey provides a lean alternative for those who are worried about their cholesterol. Its lack of saturated fat means you can eat it without clogging up your arteries. Regularly eating turkey instead of other meats lowers your cholesterol by reducing your overall saturated fat intake.

It Is Lower In Calories

Because it is lower in fat, turkey is much lower in calories than many other types of meat. This occurs because the same volume of fat has more calories than an equal amount of protein. Since turkey has a higher proportion of protein to fat than other meats, the result is turkey is lower in calories than the same amount of beef. Having a lower calorie count is very useful because it can help individuals avoid obesity or lose weight. Obesity is one of the leading causes of death in the modern world, so anything that helps individuals maintain a healthy weight is a good idea. Being overweight is so dangerous because it puts a lot of strain on the body. Obesity can increase risks for conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, dementia, diabetes, and arthritis.