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Turkey vs. Chicken: Which is Healthier?



You long ago figured out that you needed to cut back on the red meat and increase the number of vegetables in your diet. Most of us have figured that out by now and many have also added appropriate levels of seafood to create a well-rounded diet that meets all of our nutritional needs. But many of us are still struggling with the white meat questions. Some people don't eat them at all, others swear by them in replacement for their lost red meats. And those who are health-conscious often want to know whether chicken or turkey is the healthier choice.


The truth is that both chicken and turkey are fairly healthy for you when they are prepared properly. Get rid of the skin, eat the white meat, don't fry the meat in the thick oils and don't add sauces or gravies that will add a lot of calories. With those basic preparation rules in mind, you should be able to eat either chicken or turkey without there being too much of a health difference to concern you.


However, if you're really picky about certain dietary things, here are some basic nutritional differences between chicken and turkey that you can explore to select the meat that is right for you:


  • When talking about breast meat that is fried or boiled, turkey has almost half the calories of chicken. Additionally, it has about a ninth of the fat calories. Therefore, if you're a person who really can't give up the fried foods, you're going to want to head for the turkey instead of the chicken to save what you can on the calories and fat.
  • Despite this, you'll also be losing out on the protein. If what you're seeking is a high protein diet, you should go with the chicken. As prepared discussed on the above point, you'll get almost twice as much protein with the chicken than with the turkey. (See NutritionData for more comparisons like these.)
  • If you're a liver eater, you might want to know that chicken liver also has half the calories of turkey liver. It's also got less than a third of the fat.
  • According to one study there is more fat in the neck of a chicken than in the neck of a turkey


In summary, chicken tends to be higher in fat and calories but is also higher in protein as long as what you're eating is the meat and not the organs or the neck. But of course it depends on how you prepare your food (if you like fried chicken and grilled turkey, then the numbers are going to differ greatly). The differences between the two are not significant enough to make a major impact upon your diet if white meat is only a small part of your overall caloric intake. However, if you eat some kind of meat on a regular basis then you might want to look more closely at the nutritional information for the kinds of chicken and turkey parts that you're eating and your preparation of those parts. Speaking with a nutritionist is a good next step for the serious dieter.


anna-kay on January 08, 2013:

this info is not giving info

ALI MARANAKI on July 22, 2012:

we want to buy 1000 ton meat chicken freeze base on fob and cfr

best regards


Ellis on May 26, 2012:

Wrong. They have almost the same amount of protein. Chicken about 1g more per 100g. Half?!?!

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modupe on May 12, 2012:

this article is really confusing even the summary contradict what was written up pls try to edit and give clear,adequate,correct and specific information

Dino on February 10, 2012:

Chicken has more protein of course...

Dylan on February 04, 2012:

Although this article presents some calorie information, I think it veered to far away from that actual question at hand! Would like to seem more information pertaining to protein and other macromolecules chicken/turkey contains such as cholesterol, vitamins, minerals, etc.

wendy on January 29, 2012:

I'm dieting down for a figure comp. Turkey is never a part of the diet! Can I sub turkey for chicken .just to add variety ?

Yasmin ayob on December 25, 2011:

We started to eat turkey not to bad

abc on December 12, 2011:

Chicken breast (raw ) has approx 24 grams of protein per 100gram, which even considering it's higher calories values seems a better choice for loosing weight, because you get a lot of calories from proteins, which will never translate into fats in your body.

Lee on December 08, 2011:

So how many calories does chicken breast have per 100g and how many people live in Turkey?

Rob on December 07, 2011:

Chicken has TWICE the calories when fried and has twice the protein than turkey. The article is consistent.

cece on October 13, 2011:


Turkey for Buys Diet on March 19, 2011:

Thanks for the article. Now I can program a good diet. If I want turkey because I'm making a diet, I should eat chicken more than turkey to cut down protein excess. But what happens if I like to eat chicken and I'm already eating too much calories, should I go for the turkey or have them mixed in a platter with a light gravy?

The truth is I like chique about half as turkey, but I'm concerned with calorie reuptake and protein decomposition to fats. Someone told me I could use the skin of the turkey to absrob the fats of the chicken and then eat the skin, but it would be rather unhealthy. On the other hand, chicken skin can be added to turkey to give its flavor, so you can eat the skin and its not so smelly.

Anyway, nobody should post an article as confusing as the one I've just read, what do you think? I don't know if I should aknowledge your conclusions or your article. Well, good luck.

danutzvd from Romania on March 01, 2011:

Turkey is healthier, of course

Luke on February 23, 2011:

For Pink,Baby steps is how I did it.At first I cut my portion sizes by a third for a while,then by half.I drank a lot of water to make me feel full.I started walking a mile a day and slowly increased it up to six a day.At first it was difficult and I expected it to be,but I went from 195 to 160,weather it be chicken,turkey or what ever,count those calories keep on trucking and your dream will come true my friend.

luke on February 22, 2011:

Eat what you want,for half the calories eat half as much,if you want to eat more,you will have to walk more,the combination of eating healthy and exercising will make you feel great,be devoted to this and it will not let you down.Your health is the most important thing,this can not be contested.

atif on January 18, 2011:

im so confsed that which one have much calories,is it turkey or chicken.

pink on November 30, 2010:

im over 315lb and starting me diet

Erwin on August 26, 2010:

I think the confusion is in the summary statement "The differences between the two are not significant enough". It seems contradictory if you think the sentence is referencing to the bracketed statement about fried chicken and grilled turkey. Instead, I believe the author is referring to simply chicken and turkey and not to the fried/grilled preparations.

max on July 28, 2010:

its better to eat chicken or turkey without frying it or adding too much sauces if you are trying to loose weight, that's what he explains.

Kevan on July 04, 2010:

This article is useless without calorie numbers. Of course chicken is going to be more fattening on average because people don't normally deep-fry turkey. If we're talking about the basic white breast meat, chicken and turkey are almost the same.

Les on June 22, 2010:

Blunt works. I like it. Evey thing I need to know in a few sentences. Thanks!

Zach on April 17, 2010:

ok to put it bluntly, if cooked the same way...

Turkey - 1/2 Fewer calories and 9/10 less fat then chicken

Chicken - 2 times the amount of protein as turkey. On chicken try to avoid neck.

If you love liver, go for chicken liver over turkey liver.

NIck on April 14, 2010:

This article is consistent,, u people are dumb!

Kathryn Vercillo (author) from San Francisco on April 12, 2010:

@ggg - The article has never been edited.

ggg on April 12, 2010:

Mark, think outside the box - the author probably changed it after they made the comments

gio on February 21, 2010:

Hey, Im still confused as to which has more protein. The more I read, the more I they say chicken is double or they are almost equal in protein. Can somebody help me out

Mark on February 18, 2010:

This article is consistent. Shirley and Simon need to read carefully.

martycraigs on January 06, 2010:

I would have guessed that they had about the same amount of fat in the breast...I did not know this information.

Very interesting, thanks so much for sharing!

paul on November 27, 2009:

So its better to go turkey if yur trying to loose weight and go chicken if your trying to body build :)

Jillian on July 02, 2009:

This does not give opposite information, the article consistently reads that chicken is higher in fat and calories than turkey.

EcoAsh from Hemet on May 07, 2009:

Thats good to know. If I want protein go chicken if Im watching calories go Turkey.

Brandon on March 24, 2009:

Thanks. This information was very helpful. :)

Shirley on April 06, 2008:

Like Simon said (no pun intended); your summary gives the opposite information from the body of the article on which (turkey or chicken) is lower in calories! Defeats the whole purpose of the article; very frustrating; please correct?!

Simon on February 14, 2008:

Hi, thanks for an informative article, but your summary doesn't match the body of the text - it say's chicken is lower in fat and calories than turkey, whereas you previously stated it the other way around.

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