A Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!  TURKEY!

A Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!  TURKEY!

If Thanksgiving were all about the turkey we would have nothing to worry about! In fact, it is one of the most nutritious meats we can eat. 

Unfortunately, given the endless choices at the Thanksgiving table, the turkey sometimes ends up having the smallest space on the plate! 

However, Thanksgiving gives us a good excuse to discuss the benefits of turkey – with the idea that perhaps it is worth considering making it more of a dietary staple throughout the year rather than mainly reserving it for this special day.

As with all food, the source of the turkey determines how good it tastes and how nutritious it is.  A frozen grocery store turkey does not have the same texture, flavor and nutritional benefits as an organic, free-range turkey.  And, needless to say, how the turkey is dressed is paramount.  There are so many recipe sources – so spend some time researching – might be worth changing things up a bit in order to garner the most flavor.

As we are dedicated to your health, we will bring your attention to some facts and break some more myths!

Have you been under the impression that dark meat is not as healthy as white meat? Well, according to the Department of Agriculture, one ounce of boneless thigh (dark meat) contains 50 calories and 2 grams of fat while, breast meat (white) contains approximately 46 calories and 1 gram of fat.  Not much of a difference. And while white meat is slightly higher in protein and contains more B vitamins than dark meat, dark meat boasts of higher levels of Vitamin C, zinc and iron.  So it is a toss-up until you take the skin into consideration.  A serving of dark meat is usually accompanied by a good covering of skin – saturated fat.  And even when removed, some fat remains.  And it tastes good!  White meat usually has a thin layer and is drier than the dark – due to the location of the skin away from all but the top layer.

So, as usual, everything in moderation! A little white, a little dark and if it suits your fancy, a little skin on Thanksgiving is expected!

How about blaming the turkey for the fatigue which often accompanies the later-in-the-day Thanksgiving football games?

While it is true that turkey does contain some tryptophan (which the body converts to serotonin and melatonin which could encourage a more relaxed state), it is about the same amount that is in chicken and not as much as is in pork.  And as noted, it is not the Thanksgiving item which is most consumed. Most likely, the fatigue is due to the excess carbohydrates and alcohol which may be somewhat curbed by a football game in the yard but lingers while watching a football game from the couch!

So, make some room on your plate for the turkey.  Only good can come of it!  And only good can come from giving thanks for your life, your family and your friends.   

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