First, we need to understand why their is both white and dark meat in the turkey. Well since turkeys don't fly much, their legs and thighs are the their primary mode of transportation. So the muscles of the legs and thighs are full of myoglobin proteins , which ship oxygen to the muscle cells so the turkeys can run around all day and not get tired. These myoglobins make the flesh darker.
Now we know why it appears darker...... what are the nutritional differences??
Well overall turkey is a great source of low-fat protein and nutrients, whether it is dark or light.
When comparing dark vs light nutritionally here is the comparison:
-Dark meat contains about twice as much riboflavin and zinc than white meat. They also usually contain more heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. It is the saturated fat content which lowers the true quality of dark meat that most people worry about.
But I found that per one ounce....... dark meat only has about ~10 more calories and a little over 1 gram of fat more when compared to one ounce of the white meat. So although the dark meat is slightly higher in calories and fat, the benefits that it contains don't really make that big of a difference. So go ahead and grab for the drumstick on occasion.
*I believe that it is more important to avoid the skin.... this is where the majority of the fat is. So eat up on the turkey while avoiding the skin.
So if you aren't currently involved in a Thanksgiving morning activity, START A NEW TRADITION. YOU can be the one in your family or group of friends to start it all. So get organizing..... whether a Turkey Trot or a Turkey Bowl (football game), do something to get everyone out moving! It does not need to be anything serious... everyone can walk... so don't let your family tell you they can't take part. Our turkey trot consists of old, young, fast and slow...... you don't have to be an experienced runner.
BMI: Click HERE to calculate. You can also calculate your RMR (resting metabolic rate aka metabolism, and calculate for weight loss.)
Waist to Hip Ratio: Click HERE to calculate.
HAMWI Method: Click HERE to calculate.
So whether it is 8 am or 8 pm, your food is going to have the same amount of calories and total calories is what leads to weight loss or weight gain. For example the apple you just ate isn't suddenly going to have 250 calories instead of 100 calories just because you ate it at 9 pm instead of 9 am. What matters is the TOTAL amount of Calories (food and beverages) that you have over time.... say a week, a month, a year etc. Eating additional calories (whether you eat them in the early hours of the day or late at night) will turn into extra fat over time.
Although the calories you are eating at night aren't adding up more than your other calories, I still highly encourage you to limit your late-night eating because if you aren't eating at night your total daily caloric intake is most likely going to be less- which means less calories added up over time, which means less weight gain- or maybe even weight los. Plus I know when I start snacking after dinner and into the night, it is usually the higher caloric- less nutritious food like ice cream, cookies, or whatever else I can find lying around the house.
The BAD Fats are Saturated Fats. Focus on limiting these. Food Sources include: Red Meats, Butter, Milk, Yogurt, Ice Cream, Cheese, Eggs, Coconut, & Palm Oils. Saturated fats raise your total cholesterol, raise LDL(the bad) cholesterol, and increase your risk for heart disease.
The UGLY Fats are Trans Fats. Avoid these at all costs. Food Sources include: shortening, stick margarine, commercially packaged items: sweets, cookies, crackers, cakes, Doughnuts, Fast food-most fried foods. Trans fat Increase your risk for heart disease, Lower HDL(the good) cholesterol, & Raise LDL(the bad) cholesterol.
- Use lower-fat version dairy such as 1% or skim milk instead of whole milk.
- Grill or Broil over Frying!
- Remove the skin from chicken/turkey —the skin is where the majority of the bad fat is.
- Rinse off melted fat from cooked ground meats before serving.
- Cut butter or margarine in half when making boxed meals.
- When baking, replace 1 cup shortening or butter with ½ c. applesauce & ½ c. vegetable oil.
"Eating is a social activity," says Young. "In university cafeterias people select their food before they are seated and perhaps before they know with whom they will eat. Given the observed differences it seems likely that social groupings were anticipated at the time of food selection."