Battleground: Beef vs Turkey

Brandon Hahn April 11, 2013 Athletic Xtreme News
Battleground: Beef vs Turkey

It’s almost summer and people are starting to pull out their grill.  You are getting that man maker all cleaned up and ready to rock.  The choices for cuts of meat tend to vary.  Most often, you’ll hear people say to choose ground turkey over beef.  Simple response is, it’s healthier.  Well, how much healthier?  We know it’s can’t taste better.  So, if I’m sacrificing flavor, what am I gaining?

Calorie Breakdown

Ground beef decides to throw the first punch.   Here we need to focus on a few different things.  People decide that ground beef must have one option on the shelf.  However, there are options from traditional hamburger to a lean 93/7 (lean beef/fat content).  A tasty beef burger is going to fall between 85/15 to 80/20.  Let’s roll with 85/15 because we want to remain healthier, right?  There’s little sacrifice in flavor here as well. So, 85/15 for both ground beef and ground turkey, *ding ding*. 85/15 Ground Beef (3oz. Cooked)

  • Fat 13g (5g saturated fat)
  • Carbs 0g
  • Protein 24g
  • Total Calories 218

85/15 Ground Turkey (3oz Cooked)

  • Fat 9g (3g saturated fat)
  • Carbs 0g
  • Protein 15g
  • Total Calories 144

There are more calories in 3 ounces of cooked ground beef versus cooked ground turkey.  If you want less calories, ground turkey will provide less calories overall per ounce.  Ground beef has a little more saturated fat than ground turkey at around 5% per 3 ounces.  You can be the judge here as everyone has their personal preference.

Here’s the key pay attention and compare.  Most labels and articles will tout ground turkey like it reigns supreme over beef.  Pay attention to the calorie content per serving.  Most times a label wants to exploit the worst attribute to offer comparison.  So, a ground turkey label will most often be compared to a 70/30 mix of ground beef.  With those numbers it would be very easy to tout ground turkey as the winner.  However, here the calorie difference is not insane.  There are leaner varieties of ground beef that still provide a solid beef flavor versus turkey.  The saturated fat content is also a bit lower on the leaner beef varieties.

If you don’t mind the taste of a turkey burger, then grill ‘em up!  However, if you were to come to a cookout at my house with ground turkey, you’d have a hard time finding room on the grill.  Beef still packs an abundance of nutrients for a growing body.  Ground beef has the edge on nutrients, however it’s not a massive difference.  If it’s up to me, I’d give the edge to beef, and simply skimp on the extra sides at the cookout.

About The Author

Brandon has been in the fitness industry for over seven years and has trained over 1,000 clients. He has competed in several bodybuilding competitions and continues to improve his physique with hardwork and dedication. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science, Brandon has the knowledge and skills to get you on the fast track to fitness.