Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Talking turkey

This is just a quick cautionary note about ground turkey and turkey burgers.
I saw an article some time ago in Men's Health magazine, the same people who put out the Eat This, Not That books, about how ground turkey is often no leaner than ground beef. By example Ruby Tuesday's turkey burger, without cheese mind you it is, according to them 1171 calories with 58 g of fat. That folks is a very unhealthy burger. That's significantly worse in fact the many fast food burgers.

I'm assuming many of you know this already but just to be clear, if you're buying ground turkey for yourself at home make sure you buy ground turkey breast. Ground turkey breast is a great source of lean protein but the other varieties of ground turkey while sometimes quite tasty, don't really give you the health benefits that most people are seeking when they buy ground turkey over say ground beef or ground pork.

The real caution to want to give you here though is be careful of ordering turkey burgers or other ground turkey items and restaurants. I use ground turkey breast a lot for my clients; not just for burgers but also for chili, stuffed peppers, enchiladas and taco salads just to name a few examples off the top of my head. Of course, I always buy ground turkey breast because after all, my clients are paying me to give them lower calorie, a more healthful options.

Yesterday however, by purveyors sent me the wrong product and I got just a normal restaurant case of ground turkey. I hadn't seen a product like this in quite a while and one of the first things that jumped at me was reading the label is not only was it not ground turkey breast but they actually added in fat.
That's right, they took the non-lean fattier pieces (well, scraps to be more accurate) of turkey and then added an extra turkey fat, 24% added fat in fact according to the label. Presumably that was done to stretch it so the meat company to get more money per pound.

The point is that this is the kind of product that most restaurants that are serving turkey burgers are selling. Not only is this not as healthful for you as beef they actually go out of their way to make it less healthy & more calorie dense.
So if you're out and you get a hankering for a burger, quite often you would be better off with good old-fashioned ground beef rather than the "healthier" option of a turkey burger.

Sad but I thought you should know.

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