If you are craving chili, a burger, or your grandma's famous meatball recipe, perhaps you can make one small change to increase the health benefits of your meal. Within the last few years, their has been extensive research on the effects of red meat intake on the body. While consuming red meat in moderation is okay, the over-indulgence of red meat has been linked to chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, replacing ground meat for a healthier alternative such as ground turkey provides various benefits to the body, without compromising the flavor.
Ground turkey is a high protein, low calorie alternative to ground beef, being that a 4-oz. serving of raw, fat-free ground turkey has 127 calories, 2.21 g of fat, 62 mg of cholesterol and an astonishing 27 g of protein. In fact, this 4-oz fat-free turkey burger provides approximately 48% of the daily value of protein. In addition, ground turkey can reduce the saturated fat and cholesterol content of your meal, which will put you at lower risk for developing life-threatening cardiovascular complications. This 4-oz of ground turkey provides approximately 11 mg of niacin, 1 mg of vitamin B-6, and 257 mg of phosphorous as well. Therefore, a turkey burger provides 50% of your daily value of niacin, a B-complex vitamin which promotes healthy blood circulation, assists glucose metabolism, and helps control cholesterol levels. Vitamin B-6, another nutrient found in ground turkey, facilitates healthy nerve function and decreases risk of heart disease. Lastly, ground turkey is rich in selenium, a mineral which supports the immune system, improves thyroid function and protects the body against cellular damage, (which has been linked to cancer or other life-threatening diseases.)
Luckily, ground turkey is now readily available in supermarkets and restaurants as well. So next time you and your friends are craving a burger, perhaps you will consider choosing turkey meat over ground beef, so that you are making a good decision for not only your body, but your palate as well!