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Health and Nutrition


Fit and healthy with white meat chicken and turkey for all ages
A healthy and balanced diet should include at least 15% of proteins, with a daily requirement of about 0.8-1 g for each kilo of body mass. It is also a known fact that the food richest in protein is meat, not only red meat such as beef or pork, but also poultry from chicken and turkey. It should also be mentioned that red meat does not have a higher nutritional value than poultry. Indeed, recent studies have shown that both meat types are very similar from a nutritional point of view but also that white meat has a much lower fat content than red meat. That is why chicken and turkey are advisable for all diets.

Chicken and turkey for all ages
Chicken legs and turkey shanks are among the most appetising, light and nutritious meat cuts. With very few calories (roughly 110 per 100 g), a low cholesterol level (less than 90 mg) and a good protein content (about 18 g), they are ideal for the growth and nutritional requirements of teenagers. Turkey breasts can be given starting from eight or nine months: boiled and mashed up, they have excellent nutritional properties for the child. In the case of slimming diets, on the other hand, the very thin chicken breast is advisable (only 0.8 g of fats and 60 mg of cholesterol per 100g). Furthermore chicken and turkey meat is rich in mineral salts including, in decreasing order, copper, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium. Turkey meat, the legs in particular, contains an amount of iron similar to that of beef. There is also another element in favour of this meat which should not be neglected: the excellent ratio between saturated and unsaturated acids, which guarantees a balanced intake of different lipids in the daily diet.

The negative effects caused by cholesterol are closely related to their saturated fat content. Poultry meat contains low quantities of cholesterol and saturated fats; this is why it is included among the food types to be eaten more frequently in order to reduce the cholesterol rate in the blood.

Cholesterol content in varoius meat types
(mg/100 g of edible part)
Turkey breasts 50
Chicken breast 60
Pork (without the visible fat) 70
Beef (without the visible fat) 75
Veal (without the visible fat) 75
Lamb (without the visible fat) 75
Saturated fatty acid content
(mg/100 g of edible part)
Turkey breasts 0.25
Chicken breast 0.38
Veal, fillet 1.14
Leg of pork (light) 1.13
Beef (hind cut) 1.14
Leg of pork (heavy) 1.72

A very limited amount of fats is present in chicken and turkey meat. According to nutrition experts, the ratio between saturated and unsaturated fats should be as close as possible to 1 as is the case in chicken and turkey meat.

How much fat? Food types compared
Food Type (100 g) Fats
Chicken egg 8.7
Olive oil 100.0
Margarine 84.0
Uncooked ham 12.9
Raw chicken breasts 0.8
Raw turkey breasts 1.2
Veal (roast beef or roll) 6.1
Pork (loin) 7.7
Polyunsaturated / saturated fat ratio
Chocken breasts 0.92
Turkey breasts 0.89
Veal, fillet 0.10
Leg of pork (light) 1.11
Beef (hint cut) 0.60
Leg of pork (heavy) 0.50

It is not at all true that poultry is less nutritious than other types of meat; indeed it should be mentioned that chicken and turkey contain a very high amount of proteins. Furthermore white meat is rich in essential amino acids, including lysine and istidine, an important component especially in the diet of children and teenagers.

Protein content of different types of meat
(g / 100 g of edible part)
Female turkey breasts 24.2
Male turkey breasts 23.7
Chicken breasts 23.3
Veal, roast beef or roll 21.5
Pork steak 21.3
Lamb 20.8
Veal 20.7
Lysine and istidine contentin different types of meat
(g / 100 g of edible part)
  Lysine mg Istidine mg
Turkey breasts 2254 922
Chicken breasts 2246 937
Pork loin 1737 647
Beef and veal 1691 587
Lamb and mutton 1622 542


Poultry meat contains a substantial amount of zinc and iron, essential mineral salts for the well-being of the human organism. In turkey legs, the iron content is very similar to that of beef and higher than in many other types of meat. Furthermore the presence of a substantial amount of potassium and low amounts of sodium make poultry meat ideal for a diet aimed at preventing high blood pressure.


Mineral salt content in chicken and turkey
(g / 100 g of edible part)
  Zink Iron Sodium Potassium
Whole chichken with skin (raw) 1.08 0.6 62 300
Whole chichken with skin (cooked)* 1.86 1.1 93 366
Whole chichken without skin (raw) 1.26 0.7 70 307
Whole chichken without skin (cooked)* 2.05 1.1 90 366
Chicken breasts (raw) 0.67 0.4 33 370
Chicken breasts (cooked)* 0.98 0.6 46 497
Chicken shanks without skin (raw) 1.90 1.0 86 355
Chicken shanks without skin (cooked)* 3.09 1.4 128 406
Chicken thigh with skin (raw) 1.45 N.D. N.D. N.D.
Chicken thigh with skin (Cooked)* 2.40 1.4 100 392
Chicken thigh without skin (raw) 1.69 0.8 67 323
Chicken thigh without skin (cooked)* 2.60 1.4 112 488
Turkey breasts (raw) 1.10 0.9 52 382
Turkey breasts (cooked)* 1.30 1.4 68 457

All meat cuts are cooked in the oven without added fats.


Poultry meat is a good source of vitamins of the B group, considering that with 100 g of poultry meat it is possible to cover from 10% to 20% of the daily requirement of B1 and B2 vitamins. Furthermore poultry meat contains vitamin PP (niacin): 200 g of chicken are sufficient for most of the daily requirement of an adult.


Vitamin content of different types of meat
(g / 100 g of edible part)
  B1 B2 PP (niacin)
Hen 0.30 0.10 4.0
Whole chicken with skin (raw) 0.08 0.14 5.0
Whole chicken without skin (raw) 0.10 0.15 5.8
Roasted chicken with skin 0.05 0.39 4.3
Roasted chicken without skin 0.08 0.19 8.2
Chicken breasts (raw) 0.10 0.20 8.3
Chicken breasts (cooked) 0.20 0.20 11.6
Turkey breasts (raw) 0.10 0.20 6.7
Turkey breasts (cooked) 0.10 0.20 10.8
Veal 0.15 0.26 6.3
Beef 0.10 0.12 4.2