Ground Turkey Lean to Fat Ratios

Ground turkey offers a lean protein choice with lower calories and saturated fat compared to ground beef, while lean beef provides slightly more protein and iron.

Raw Turkey breast fillets minced meat on black plate ready to cook.

Ground turkey is a popular lean protein choice for meals, offering versatility for dishes like burgers and stir-fries. Yet, not all ground turkey shares the same nutritional profile; it differs by lean-to-fat ratio. This post examines five such ratios in ground turkey, contrasting them with ground beef to highlight their nutritional variances.

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Ground Turkey vs. Ground Beef: A Nutrition Comparison

Organic Raw Grass Fed Ground Beef on Butcher Paper

One of the most common comparisons when it comes to lean meats is ground turkey versus ground beef. Both are popular choices for various recipes, but how do they stack up against each other nutritionally? In order to get a clear picture, it is essential to compare them using similar lean-to-fat ratios.

Ground Turkey with 70/30 Ground Beef

Let’s start by comparing a common variety of ground beef (70% lean, 30% fat) with ground turkey (93% lean, 7% fat). Here’s the nutritional profile for 3 ounces of each:

70/30 Ground Beef:

  • Calories: 235
  • Protein: 22 g
  • Total Fat: 16 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 75 mg
  • Sodium: 69 mg
  • Iron: 2 mg

93/7 Ground Turkey:

  • Calories: 181
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Total Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 88 mg
  • Sodium: 77 mg
  • Iron: 1.3 mg

As we can see, choosing ground turkey over ground beef can save about 50 calories and significantly reduce the amount of saturated fat. From a nutrition perspective, ground turkey seems to take the lead.

Ground Turkey with 93/7 Ground Beef

Minced chicken or turkey meat on wooden board with basil and spices, selective focus

But what happens when we swap the 70/30 ground beef for a leaner variety, such as 93/7 ground beef? Let’s look at the nutritional profile of 3 ounces of each:

93/7 Ground Beef:

  • Calories: 178
  • Protein: 25 g
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 76 mg
  • Sodium: 73 mg
  • Iron: 2.7 mg

93/7 Ground Turkey:

  • Calories: 181
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Total Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 88 mg
  • Sodium: 77 mg
  • Iron: 1.3 mg

When the lean-to-fat ratio of ground beef and turkey is the same, their nutritional profiles become quite similar. However, lean ground beef contains slightly more protein and iron, compared to turkey.

the Nutritional Differences Between Ground Turkey and Ground Beef

From the comparisons above, it’s clear that both ground turkey and beef have their unique nutritional advantages. Ground turkey, particularly those with higher lean-to-fat ratios like 93/7, is generally lower in calories and saturated fat. On the other hand, leaner varieties of ground beef tend to contain slightly more protein and iron.

Therefore, your choice between ground turkey and beef might depend on your specific dietary needs and goals. If you’re aiming to lower calorie intake and reduce saturated fat, ground turkey could be a better choice. However, if you’re focused on increasing your protein and iron intake, lean ground beef might be more beneficial.

As The Food Channel explains in the video

  1. Ground dark turkey meat has similar calories, fat, saturated fat and protein as 85% lean ground beef per ounce.
  2. Grass-fed and free-range beef is widely available whereas humane turkey is very hard to find.
  3. Ground turkey breast is a healthier option as it’s virtually fat-free and saves about 100 calories per serving compared to beef.
  4. Ground turkey breast can dry out easily so it’s important to use lots of seasonings.
  5. The video compares nutrition stats between different types of ground meats.
  6. It aims to dispel the reputation that ground turkey is always healthier than beef.
  7. Grass-fed beef can be a healthy option compared to conventionally-raised ground turkey.
  8. Ground turkey breast specifically is the leanest choice discussed.
The Food Channel

Lower Calorie Content of Ground Turkey

Ground turkey is a great option for weight management due to its lower calorie content compared to beef. Opting for ground turkey can result in significant calorie savings; for instance, swapping a 3-ounce serving of 70/30 ground beef with 235 calories for an equivalent serving of 93/7 ground turkey saves about 50 calories.

Reduced Saturated Fat in Ground Turkey

Ground chicken or turkey meat, raw Poultry on rustic plate with herbs. Dark background. Top View.

Saturated fat is a type of fat that can raise your level of LDL (low-density lipoprotein), often referred to as “bad cholesterol.” High levels of LDL cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. By choosing ground turkey, you can significantly reduce your intake of saturated fat. A 3-ounce serving of 93/7 ground turkey contains only 2.5 grams of saturated fat, while the same amount of 70/30 ground beef has 6.2 grams.

Higher Protein and Iron Content in Ground Turkey

Protein is vital for tissue repair, hormone production, and immune support, while iron is key for red blood cell production and oxygen transport. Ground turkey, especially the lean varieties, is rich in both. A 3-ounce serving of 93/7 ground turkey contains 23 grams of protein and 1.3 mg of iron, serving as an excellent source of these essential nutrients.

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