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How Harmful Is It to Eat Turkey Skin?

Some people claim that eating turkey skin is bad to your health attributable to its saturated fat content. Is this really true? Let’s have a look.

Last update: 23 November, 2023

These days – and particularly around the vacations – many individuals wonder if the consumption of turkey skin is harmful to health. This style of meat will likely be the protagonist of Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve preparations – not just for its flavor, but additionally for the multiple ways of cooking it. Baked, roasted, smoked, with spices, in sauces… there are dozens of recipes to enjoy it!

The better of all is that this can be a food with a high dietary quality. In fact, as an American Heart Association publication states, turkey is a vital source of high-biological value proteins, in addition to B vitamins and minerals similar to phosphorus, iron, calcium, and zinc. But is it good to eat its skin?

Turkey skin: More good fat than bad

Undoubtedly, certainly one of the the reason why some people avoid turkey skin is due to its fat content. For a long time, the thought has been widespread that it’s an abundant source of saturated fats which can be detrimental to our health.

However, these beliefs have been disproved by nutrition professionals. Through the CNN Medical Unit blog, Lilian Cheung, editorial director of The Nutrition Source, from the Harvard School of Public Health, explains that it isn’t needed to provide up turkey skin.

According to the expert, poultry skin accommodates more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat. And while it’s true that it adds just a little more calories to the dish, it isn’t an issue when consumed sparsely and on time.

On the contrary, including sources of monounsaturated fats within the eating regimen has some advantages. In fact, a study reported within the journal Missouri Medicine concludes that such a fat helps reduce body weight and control insulin resistance when ingested as a part of a low-carbohydrate eating regimen.

Meanwhile, a publication in Food & Nutrition Research exposes the talk on saturated fat intake. In relation to this, a few randomized controlled trials reported that they don’t increase the chance of heart problems. Still, it’s suggested to maintain their intake below 10% of your total each day energy intake.

While it’s true that turkey skin accommodates saturated fat, its intake is unlikely to lift cholesterol or triglyceride levels. As with other foods, the secret’s to know moderate the portions consumed.

Pavo relleno para Navidad.
Turkey is a lean meat that might be alternative when consumed as a part of a healthy, balanced eating regimen. However, it’s also necessary to remember the opposite stuff you’re eating it with in terms of planning a healthy meal. 

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The cooking method matters

A detail that mustn’t be ignored when preparing the turkey for Christmas Eve is the cooking method. When it involves caring for your health and weight, avoid recipes that involve frying or the addition of trans fats.

Research shared within the journal Nutrients details that methods similar to boiling and roasting are linked to a healthier cardiometabolic profile. Specifically, they contribute to lower body mass index, weight, and heart disease risk.

Another good option is air fryer preparation, an appliance that has gained popularity for offering benefits in cooking food. As explained by dietician Ariana Cucuzza in a publication by the Cleveland Clinic, air frying reduces calorie intake by 70-80% in comparison with normal frying.

These elements have a thermal process with an progressive technology that makes it possible to acquire similar characteristics (texture and flavor) to traditional frying, but without adding oils or using high temperatures. Right now, air frying is taken into account probably the most convenient and healthy sorts of cooking.

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Other recommendations to eat turkey with skin in a healthy way

Due to its dietary composition, turkey is certainly one of the healthiest meats that could be incorporated right into a healthy eating regimen. It’s also clear that it’s not strictly needed to remove the skin, because it isn’t as harmful as previously thought.

Whether or not you eat turkey is skin is a matter of taste.

Even so, it’s advisable to place other suggestions into practice to make sure healthier and calorie-controlled dishes. This includes the next:

  • Opt for recipes that include abundant vegetables and spices.
  • If oil is needed, select a healthy option, similar to olive, coconut, or canola oil.
  • Marinate the turkey with spices, citrus juices, or vinegar. These ingredients enhance its flavor without affecting its dietary quality.
  • Avoid recipes that include added sugars, industrial sauces, flours, and ultra-processed foods.
  • Serve moderate portions.
Cena de Navidad con carne y piel de pavo.

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Turkey meat: The best choice for a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner

Preparing turkey for Christmas dinner isn’t just a practice; it’s the most effective alternatives by way of nutrition and health to care for yourself in the course of the holidays.

This food accommodates proteins of high biological value – that’s, with profile of essential amino acids. It’s also a source of B vitamins and minerals (similar to iron, zinc, and copper), that are key to promoting wellness.

As long because it’s consumed in moderate portions – and as a part of a healthy eating regimen – turkey could be an ally to care for weight and metabolic health without having to provide up delicious recipes. So, how do you want to arrange it?

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to make sure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this text was considered reliable and of educational or scientific accuracy.


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