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Turkey: It’s not just for Christmas!

School Of Nutrition Posted Dec 22, 2014 Future Fit Training

As a nation, we tend to tuck into turkey once a year more out of duty than nutritional choice.

Turkey: It’s not just for Christmas!

So what is the nutritional value of turkey and should we be choosing it more often?  This table is an average across a range of websites.


100g Turkey breast
skinless & boneless

100g Chicken breast
skinless & boneless




Saturated Fat



Polyunsaturated Fat



Monounsaturated Fat



Trans Fat



We can clearly see that turkey has a slightly higher protein content, and a significantly lower fat content than chicken.  These differences may seem small to you, and perhaps you prefer chicken, so what other health or nutritional benefits does turkey have?

As we know, amino acids are the building blocks of protein.  Per portion, turkey contains more BCAA’s than chicken again making it the more preferable choice for health conscious individuals.  It also contains higher values of calcium, lower sodium, lower cholesterol and is loaded with B6 and B12 vitamins known to boost the immune system.  (www.weightlossforall.com)

So as our quest to be a healthier nation continues, why aren’t we eating more low fat, high protein turkey?

Given that the only time most of us eat turkey is when we are already full of Christmas calories, we perhaps don’t see it as the healthy food it is.  Turkey would be ideal to eat more regularly, however, it is only easily available skinless and boneless throughout November and December.  After that, the price goes up, and if you want your turkey to be skinless and boneless, you may have to buy it from a butcher.  It’s not that you can’t buy turkey all year round, you can.  It’s just more effort and it costs more.  Chicken meanwhile, even as a slightly less efficient protein source, is readily available and cheap all year round.

So other than Christmas dinner… what can you make with Turkey? 

Turkey can be a fantastic accompaniment to salad, will go in sandwiches, can be eaten with pasta, rice, potatoes or vegetables.  It is very versatile as a low fat high protein source and can be enjoyed hot or cold.  If there was a higher demand for Turkey all year round, perhaps it wouldn’t become harder to get hold of and more expensive after the festive season is over, leading everyone towards turkey as a healthier choice.

You can learn more in our interactive online Nutrition and Weight Management course here

Written by Heather Oakes

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