What’s The Better Protein Source: Chicken or Turkey?

Protein is having its moment in American culture as many people have begun focusing on increasing their intake to meet health goals. This month, we’re examining two popular protein sources, chicken and turkey, comparing their nutritional content and explaining how much protein your body needs to survive and thrive.

Sunrise Farms Non GMO Poultry for protein

Protein Is Vital For Your Body’s Tissue, Enzymes, Hormones & More.

Carbohydrates, fat and protein are three essential macronutrients your body needs. To better understand their functions, think of your body as a car.

Just like a car needs different types of fuel to run smoothly, your body also needs various energy sources to function well.

  • Protein Is Your Body’s Building Blocks. Protein is like the car’s engine. It’s vital for building and repairing tissues, making enzymes and hormones, and supporting overall growth—just like an engine powers your car. Foods like meat, fish, eggs and beans are rich in protein.
  • Carbohydrates Are Quick Energy Sources. Carbohydrates are like the car’s accelerator. They provide quick energy that helps you stay active and alert. Foods like bread, rice, fruits and vegetables are high in carbohydrates.
  • Fat Is Your Long-Lasting Energy Reserve. Fat is like the car’s reserve fuel tank. It provides long-lasting energy and helps absorb vitamins. Foods like oils, nuts, cheese and avocado are loaded with healthy fat.

How Much Do You Need?

According to Harvard’s School of Public Health, the average person needs about 7 grams of protein daily for every 20 pounds of body weight (or 0.35 grams for every pound.)

To calculate your ideal intake:
(Your weight in lbs) x 0.35 = # of grams of protein daily

Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and several factors may affect the amount your body needs. The USDA has a daily intake calculator for a personalized approach that includes more inputs like your sex, age, height and activity level. We also recommend consulting with a medical professional if you have specific nutritional goals or health concerns.

Protein Levels In Chicken & Turkey White Meat Are Almost Identical.

The white meat in chicken and turkey mainly comes from the breasts and wings or more inactive areas of the animal. It looks whiter because it has less of a protein called myoglobin. On the other hand, dark meat has more myoglobin, which gives it its reddish-brown color.

Chicken and turkey breast meat have almost identical amounts of lean protein. However, the same serving size of each shows turkey breast as a slightly lower-calorie and lower-fat option compared to chicken breast.

100g (3.5 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast

Calories: 165
Protein: 31 g
Carbs: 0 g
Fat: 3.6 g

100 g (3.5 oz skinless, boneless turkey breast

Calories: 147
Protein: 30.1 g
Carbs: 0 g
Fat: 2.1 g

Dark Turkey Meat Has A Little More Protein Compared to Dark Chicken Meat.

Dark meat refers to cuts with a reddish-brown color. This color comes from myoglobin, which helps carry and store oxygen in muscle cells. Typically, dark meat is found in more active body parts, like the legs and thighs.

When it comes to dark meat, a turkey thigh delivers more protein (27.7g), slightly fewer calories (165) and less fat (6.04g) than a chicken thigh.

100 g (3.5 oz) skinless, boneless chicken thigh

Calories: 179
Protein: 24.8 g
Carbs: 0 g
Fat: 8.2 g

100 g (3.5 oz) skinless, boneless turkey thigh

Calories: 165
Protein: 27.7 g
Carbs: 0 g
Fat: 6.04 g

Chicken & Turkey Are Both Great Protein Sources—So The Choice Is Yours!

Whether you choose turkey or chicken mostly depends on your taste buds! Some people might like how chicken tastes, while others prefer turkey. Either way, both are great choices for a well-balanced diet—as long as they come from a trusted source.

Choose All-Natural Meats From Sunrise Farms For Added Health Benefits.

Choosing all-natural meats over factory-farmed sources has additional health benefits, too. Sunrise Farms raises our animals without relying on preventative antibiotics, and we nourish them with non-GMO feed and high-quality pastures. This ensures a healthier option for you and your loved ones, promotes overall health, and offers reassurance about the food you consume.

Sunrise Farms: Your Local Virginia Meat Market Since 2003.

Sunrise Farms has provided high-quality meats to customers throughout Virginia since 2003. You can buy all-natural chicken or turkey in our storefront, purchase wholesale, or enjoy our regional meat delivery. Contact us for more information on quality protein sources—we’d love to chat!

Get Your Chicken, Turkey & More From Sunrise Farms