Characteristics of Poultry

Written by mario ramos
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Characteristics of Poultry
The characteristics of poultry are much more diverse than you might think. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Poultry is a wonderful source of nutrients and a healthy addition to any diet. However, poultry is more than just chicken --- it also includes duck, goose and turkey. In weighing the health pros and cons of which poultry to eat, one of the biggest factors to consider is whether to discarding the skin, because it makes a significant difference in how nutritious the poultry will be. All information is based on 100 grams of poultry that is roasted or broiled.

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Chicken

The healthy aspects of chicken vary according to whether the meat is light or dark and whether it is skinless. Light meat with skin contains the lowest amount of cholesterol of all chicken types. Light meat without skin contains the highest amount of protein, as well as the lowest amount of fat. Skinless, dark meat provides the highest amount of zinc, and dark meat with skin contains the highest amount of calories.

Duck

Duck is a healthy addition to any diet. However, its benefits vary according to whether you eat the skin. Eating duck with the skin results in more calories (337) and fat (28.35 grams) per 100 grams of the meat than if it was consumed without skin. Yet skinless duck contains more cholesterol --- 89 milligrams, as opposed to 84 milligrams --- for duck with skin. Discarding the skin provides more protein, zinc and thiamine.

Goose

Goose is a source of many important nutrients. Skinless goose provides less fat and more protein than goose with skin, but it also contains slightly more cholesterol (96 milligrams, compared to 91 milligrams for goose with skin). Skinless goose also contains less calories and more iron and thiamine than goose with its skin.

Turkey

The nutritional value of turkey varies in much the same way as that of chicken; it depends on whether the meat is light or dark and whether it is skinless. Skinless light meat has the lowest amounts of iron, calories, fat and cholesterol, as well as the highest amount of protein. Skinless dark meat provides the highest quantities of iron, zinc, thiamine and vitamin B12.

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