For Better Health: Ground Poultry or Ground Beef?

Friends and patients of mine that are looking to make healthy switches in their diet tell me that they have heard that using ground turkey is better for you than ground beef. However, this is a common misconception and here’s why:

All ground meat has different percentages of saturated fat. Research has shown that consuming a high fat diet may not be so bad as you as we previously thought, however if your doctor has instructed you to reduce your saturated fat intake, it is important to choose ground meats and ground poultry that say, LEAN or the food label, and have less than 10% fat.

So the reality is if you prefer the taste of ground turkey over ground beef in certain recipes, like my Aunt Roberta does in her tasty turkey meatloaf recipe below, than it’s up to you to decide which type of ground protein to buy for which recipe.

I like to use ground beef or buffalo when preparing chili that has a lot of spice or heat, because I feel they hold up to stronger flavors better than poultry. However, when making recipes that use acidic spices, like lemon zest, I prefer to use ground turkey, such as with Rachel Ray’s No-Joke Spinach-Artichoke Burgers, which is the best turkey burger recipe I’ve cross across.

If you are looking to make your diet healthier when choosing between ground meats or poultry, always opt for organic and grass fed, no matter what kind of protein you prefer. I think they have more flavor, and may be better for you anyway.

My Aunt Roberta’s Turkey Meatloaf Recipe, straight from her:

About 1 ½ lb of lean ground turkey,
½ cup no salt added tomato sauce, (more if you want it moister)
1/3 cup steak sauce,
2 tablespoon of gravy master,
and as much unsalted bread crumbs needed to pull it all together.
And about ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese to use when layering the meatloaf,
and ketchup for glazing.

I guess we can get fancy and say ½ cup browned white onions and add them into the mix too, though I do not use them because Kenny [my aunt Roberta’s son] does not enjoy them.

I dump it all into a bowl except the Parmesan cheese and mix well, and then add enough breadcrumbs to pull it together. Remember with meatloaf, everything is to taste.”

I fill the bottom half of a greased meatloaf pan with the mixture, pressing it down into place, and sprinkle a layer of Parmesan cheese, and then add the top layer. Glaze the top with ketchup. Bake at 350 degrees until done, about 1 hour. Remember with meatloaf, everything is ‘to taste.'”

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