Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ground Turkey vs. Ground Beef

So.... when you are trying to make your lifestyle healthier, should you make the switch from ground beef to ground turkey? The short answer is... It depends.

This has been an argument between a lot of different people, but I'm here to give you the straight answer!

There are two types of ground turkey; regular ground turkey and ground turkey breast. If you are switching from ground beef to regular ground turkey, you are basically wasting your time. Regular ground turkey has the turkey skin ground in, as well as the turkey meat (kinda gross huh?) and has the same calories and fat content as beef (maybe even more sometimes!). There is one positive to this switch. Turkey is higher in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, & selenium while beef is higher in iron, zinc, & potassium. Depending upon your dietary needs, one may be better for you than the other. Either way, a pound of ground beef or a pound of regular ground turkey has about 1000 calories & 68 grams of fat. YIKES!

Don't be discouraged though, a switch to ground turkey breast is worth it! Ground turkey breast has only meat ground into it which is good considering the skin is what holds all the fat. Ground turkey breast has about half the calories, WAY LESS fat and a lot more protein. That's awesome right?! A pound of ground turkey breast has about 480 calories and 4 grams of fat. Whew, that's a lot better!

So how do you tell which turkey is which? It will say it right on the package! If the package says "Ground Turkey" walk the other way... It will specifically say "Ground Turkey Breast" on the front. The turkey breast is more expensive, but hey, when it comes to your health, it's worth it. Here is a picture to help you in the grocery store:

Ground Turkey Breast:
Ground Turkey:

So now, the last question remains... what about taste? This is honestly a personal preference. I think turkey tastes better because it makes the dish taste lighter and it doesn't give me heart burn as often as ground beef does. When I first started using turkey, the official taste tester was NOT keen on the idea. I eventually just switched it without him knowing and he could never tell the difference. Now he likes it better!

I hope this helped you understand the differences in turkey and beef! Let me know if you have any questions!

Happy Cooking
& Enjoy!!
DISCLAIMER: These are my own personal dietary opinions, if you need professional medical or dietary advice, contact you family physician.


  1. Or contact a dietitian!! :) I like your healthy cooking options you've started writing about!! You made a great point about the ground turkey and ground turkey breast! Greek yogurt substitution in cooking and baking is my favorite healthy cooking swap!