The Bird Is The Word
By Chelsea Fisher
As long as you stay away from the deep fat fryer on Thanksgiving, this good old bird is likely to be one of the healthiest things on your holiday plate. Skinned white meat turkey is low in fat and very high in protein. Dark meat is slightly more fattening than white, but still has its fair share of benefits and a whole lot of flavor. If you’re watching your waistline, just avoid eating the skin. That’s where most of the unhealthy fats reside.
Always blaming the turkey for your post-meal sleepiness? Give the bird a break. According to experts, it’s not the tryptophan –that oft-blamed amino acid in the turkey but more likely the truckload of food (and wine) that plummet to the bottom of your stomach that is the reason for your fatigue.
Turkey isn’t only for Thanksgiving. Ground turkey makes a great substitution for ground beef in burgers. The meat holds together well on the grill and will seriously cut down on unhealthy fats. But not all turkey is created equal. Overly processed deli-style turkey has more than its fair share of preservatives. According the American Institute for Cancer Research, processed meats have been linked to colon cancer, and the institute recommends limiting or eliminating them from your diet.
The FDA’s newest guidelines state that a cooked whole turkey needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees to be safe to eat. This means the thigh and the stuffing need to reach this temperature in order for the turkey to be safe, especially for those on chemotherapy. To make sure the bird is cooked all the way through, we recommend baking the bulk of your stuffing separately in a pan, and only stuffing the neck. Leave the body cavity empty aside a few aromatic herbs and veggies for flavor.
There are so many different ways to prepare a turkey, but we prefer to keep it simple. Flavored inside with aromatics, and slow-roasted, your turkey will turn out tasty and moist. Try using our Basic Roast Turkey recipe this Thanksgiving. One of the best parts about Thanksgiving is the leftover turkey. There are a ton of creative ways to use turkey in meals throughout the week. We particularly like our Leftover Turkey Soup or our Quick Leftover Curry. If you’re planning an entire meal, find every dish you need in our healthy holiday Thanksgiving round-up.