Lean vs Lean: Is Turkey Better than Chicken?

Turkey and chicken are both lean meats, meaning they’re lower in fat than beef and pork. All healthy diets recommend the consumption of lean meats, so both turkey and chicken are on your menu.

But, do you know which is better?

Calories and Fat

Chicken legs are fairly high in fat, so it’s the breast that you want to eat (the same goes for turkey. With a 3-ounce serving of chicken, you get about 165 calories – 35 of which come from fat. Take the same sized portion of turkey breast, and you only get 90 calories – only 10 of which are fat calories.roast-turkey-with-mediterranean-dusting1

There’s just 1 gram of fat in your serving of turkey breast, which chicken gives you about 5 grams. Turkey is free of saturated fat, while chicken has 1 gram of the fat per 3 ounces. If it’s just the calories and the fat you’re worried about, turkey is your best option.

However, when it comes to Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids – both of which are necessary for brain function, heart health, and more – chicken is the meat for you. Chicken has 500 micrograms of blood pressure-lowering Omega-6 fatty acids in your 3-ounce portion, while turkey only has 260 micrograms. Turkey has just 20 micrograms of the super-nutrient Omega-3, but chicken has 65 micrograms!


For all the bodybuilders and athletes out there, protein is the most important nutrient in the food you eat. After all, it’s the building blocks of your muscles, so you need to be sure you’re meeting your daily protein needs.

Chicken is your best bet for protein, as it has almost double what turkey has. With 26 grams of protein to turkey’s 14 grams per 3-ounce serving, your muscles get just that much more fuel with chicken.chicken-drumsticks-from-grill2

Heart Smart

Chicken is actually the “heart-smarter” choice for those on a hypertension diet. Chicken has just 2% sodium, while turkey has almost 40% sodium. Turkey is a higher-sodium meat, which is why it’s not recommended for the heart smart diet. If you’re worried about your heart, go with chicken.


So, which is better? It’s a tough call! In the end, I’d have to say that chicken has a small edge over turkey, but they’re both pretty darn awesome as far as meat goes!

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