Turkey vs. Chicken: Which is Better Protein?


Turkey is a popular choice for sub sandwiches, deli meat, and is traditionally eaten during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. But what nutritional value does it hold? How does it stack up to other protein-rich sources like chicken. Let’s compare the two types of meat.

Turkey and Chicken Nutritional Value

Below is a table comparing roasted chicken breast and chicken wings with roasted turkey breast and turkey wings:

Total Calories Sodium (mg) Cholesterol (mg) Saturated Fat (g) Protein (g) Iron (% Daily Value)
Chicken Breast, Roasted 170 70 75 3 23 6
Chicken Wing, Roasted 240 70 70 4.5 23 6
Turkey Breast, Roasted 160 55 60 2 24 6
Turkey Wing, Roasted 190 50 70 3 23 6

As you can see, they are fairly comparable in most aspects. Chicken breast and turkey breast are close in total calorie content, protein content and percent daily value of iron. Where they differ slightly is sodium content and cholesterol levels. Chicken breast is marginally higher in both sodium and cholesterol. 

You’ll see more of a difference across the board when comparing chicken wings to turkey wings. Chicken wings are slightly higher in total calories, sodium, and saturated fat. They do, however, contain the same amount of protein and percent daily value of iron. 

The choice then, may come down simply to tradition or taste. Which do you prefer? Which does your family eat on Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments!

Check out our other Thanksgiving blogs:

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Sarah Brunner Registered Dietician at Elite Sports Clubs

Written by Sarah Brunner, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian

Sarah is certified in food allergies/intolerances and nutritional counseling, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; has a certificate in Dietetics from Mount Mary University; and a BA in Education and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.

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