WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHITE MEAT AND DARK MEAT?

There are going to be endless options of poultry this fall — from turkey legs to chicken wings, with the “healthier” options of chicken salad and chicken breast sandwiches. But what’s really the difference between white meat and dark meat?

Really, it comes down to the muscle. Since turkeys and chickens do a whole lot more walking then flying, their legs contain higher levels of myoglobin (an essential protein that carries and stores oxygen in muscle cells) which makes the muscle darker, whereas their wing and breast meat stay white.

For years, folks have “flocked” to white meat assuming it was the healthier cut. However, one ounce of boneless, skinless turkey breast has 46 calories and 1 gram of fat versus 50 calories and 2 grams of fat for an ounce of boneless, skinless thigh. Dark meat actually claims higher levels of iron, zinc, riboflavin, thiamine and vitamins B6 and B12.

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