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Turkey meat vs Duck meat - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian by Jack Yacoubian | Last updated on April 15, 2022
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Turkey meat
vs
Duck meat

Summary

Turkey meat is richer in proteins and contains less fat and specifically saturated fats. Turkey meat is richer in B vitamins, zinc, and phosphorous. Ducks are richer in copper and iron vitamins B1 and B5.

Turkey meat is healthier meat compared to duck meat. It is rich in proteins, has neutral associations with cardiovascular diseases, and is a good source of tryptophan that has positive mental health impacts. Duck meat contains higher fat content, which is associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Processed forms of turkey meat and duck meat negatively impact overall health. It is recommended to avoid processed meat in general.

Introduction

This article will be comparing two types of poultry meats, turkey meat, and duck meat. They are both classified as white meat. However, differences do exist between them. We will compare their nutritional aspects, health impacts, and in the end, some general differences about them.

It is essential to understand which meat is healthier in this case. Thus we need to dig deep into the nutritional and health impacts to conclude.

In this article, we consider turkey meat and duck meat to be roasted with the skin.

General differences

Turkey meat and duck meat are both poultry meats. One of the main differences is that duck meat contains more fats and has a fattier taste than turkey meat.

Duck meat has a stronger taste and flavor and has a darker color.

Turkey meat and duck meat cuts are nearly similar to chicken cuts. Breast, drumstick, wing, thigh. In addition, duck foie gras can be found, which is duck liver can is primarily fat.

Nutritional content comparison

In this section, we are considering turkey and duck as a whole. Although some differences exist between each part, we are taking it as whole.

Calories

Duck meat contains higher amounts of carbs than turkey meat.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index of turkey and duck meats is equal to 0.

Carbs

They contain a negligible amount of carbs.

Proteins

Turkey meat is richer in proteins. Turkey meat is one of the highest protein-containing meats.

Fats

Duck meat contains higher amounts of fats compared to turkey meat. Duck meat on its own is very high in fats.

Types of fats

Duck meat contains five times more saturated fats compared to turkey meat.

However, the highest fat available in duck meat is monounsaturated fats.

Cholesterol

Turkey meat contains higher amounts of cholesterol.

Minerals

Turkey meat is richer in zinc and phosphorous.

Whereas duck meat is richer in copper and iron.

The diagram below displays their distribution.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +27.3%
Contains more Magnesium +87.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +42.9%
Contains more Potassium +17.2%
Contains more Zinc +33.3%
Contains more Iron +147.7%
Contains less Sodium -42.7%
Contains more Copper +144.1%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 5% 41% 22% 96% 22% 14% 68% 31%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 4% 102% 12% 67% 18% 8% 51% 76%
Contains more Calcium +27.3%
Contains more Magnesium +87.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +42.9%
Contains more Potassium +17.2%
Contains more Zinc +33.3%
Contains more Iron +147.7%
Contains less Sodium -42.7%
Contains more Copper +144.1%

Vitamins

Turkey meat is richer in vitamins B2, B3, B6, and B12. on the other hand, duck meat is richer in vitamins B1 and B5.

The diagram below displays their distribution.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
Contains more Vitamin D +300%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +98.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +242.2%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +240%
Contains more Vitamin A +438.5%
Contains more Vitamin E +900%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +286.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +15.8%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.269
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 3% 2% 12% 0% 12% 65% 180% 57% 143% 7% 128% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 13% 14% 3% 0% 44% 63% 91% 66% 42% 5% 38% 13%
Contains more Vitamin D +300%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +98.4%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +242.2%
Contains more Folate +50%
Contains more Vitamin B12 +240%
Contains more Vitamin A +438.5%
Contains more Vitamin E +900%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +286.7%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +15.8%
Contains more Vitamin K +∞%
Equal in Vitamin B2 - 0.269

Health impacts

White meat consumption, such as turkey meat and duck meat, positively affects overall health. White meat consumption is inversely related to overall mortality rates. (1)

Health impacts of turkey meat

Bodybuilding

Turkey meat is very rich in proteins and is an excellent addition to muscle-building diets. (2)

Diabetes and cardiovascular health

Consuming turkey meat has a neutral association with the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular health. Consumption of turkey meat is an excellent alternative to red meat. (3)

Cancer

Turkey meat consumption in its unprocessed form has neutrally associated with cancer development. In addition, there are lower incidence rates of developing cancer compared with the positive association between red meat and cancer development. This indicates that consumption of poultry, in this case, turkey meat, instead of red meat decreases the risk of developing cancer. (3)(4)

Sleep and mood

Eating turkey meat is usually associated with a sleepy feeling mainly due to the high amounts of tryptophan, an amino acid involved in sleep. (5)

Tryptophan is also a serotonin precursor which increases serotonin levels and provides a feeling of well-being. (6)

Negative health impacts of turkey meat

Processed turkey contains preservatives and additives responsible for its negative health impacts.

Processed turkey consumption is positively associated with increased risks of cardiovascular health diseases, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. (7)(8)

Health impacts of duck meat

Metabolism

Duck meat consumption decreases basal metabolism by decreasing thyroid hormone activity. This, in turn, can lead to increased weight gain. (9)

Cardiovascular health, diabetes, and cancer

Overall there is a decrease in risks of CVD, diabetes, and cancer-associated with poultry meat compared to red meat. However, it is essential to mention that duck meat contains a higher amount of saturated fats, which increase the risks of developing these diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases. (10)

Overall, consumption of duck meat in moderation has a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases than red meat. (1)

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33672599/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31028659/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462824/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208759/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6764927/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908021/
  7. Meat Consumption, Diabetes, and Its Complications
  8. https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/meat-fish-and-dairy/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23665298/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32723506/
Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian
Education: Haigazian Medical University
Last updated: April 15, 2022

Infographic

Turkey meat vs Duck meat infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Turkey meat Duck meat
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Cholesterol ok
Lower in Sugar Equal
Lower in glycemic index Equal
Lower in price Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Turkey meat Duck meat Opinion
Net carbs 0.06g 0g Turkey meat
Protein 28.55g 18.99g Turkey meat
Fats 7.39g 28.35g Duck meat
Carbs 0.06g 0g Turkey meat
Calories 189kcal 337kcal Duck meat
Starch g g
Fructose g g
Sugar 0g 0g
Fiber 0g 0g
Calcium 14mg 11mg Turkey meat
Iron 1.09mg 2.7mg Duck meat
Magnesium 30mg 16mg Turkey meat
Phosphorus 223mg 156mg Turkey meat
Potassium 239mg 204mg Turkey meat
Sodium 103mg 59mg Duck meat
Zinc 2.48mg 1.86mg Turkey meat
Copper 0.093mg 0.227mg Duck meat
Vitamin A 39IU 210IU Duck meat
Vitamin E 0.07mg 0.7mg Duck meat
Vitamin D 15IU 3IU Turkey meat
Vitamin D 0.4µg 0.1µg Turkey meat
Vitamin C 0mg 0mg
Vitamin B1 0.045mg 0.174mg Duck meat
Vitamin B2 0.281mg 0.269mg Turkey meat
Vitamin B3 9.573mg 4.825mg Turkey meat
Vitamin B5 0.948mg 1.098mg Duck meat
Vitamin B6 0.616mg 0.18mg Turkey meat
Folate 9µg 6µg Turkey meat
Vitamin B12 1.02µg 0.3µg Turkey meat
Vitamin K 0µg 5.1µg Duck meat
Tryptophan 0.291mg 0.232mg Turkey meat
Threonine 1.004mg 0.773mg Turkey meat
Isoleucine 0.796mg 0.872mg Duck meat
Leucine 1.925mg 1.465mg Turkey meat
Lysine 2.282mg 1.486mg Turkey meat
Methionine 0.724mg 0.475mg Turkey meat
Phenylalanine 0.903mg 0.752mg Turkey meat
Valine 0.902mg 0.938mg Duck meat
Histidine 0.749mg 0.462mg Turkey meat
Cholesterol 109mg 84mg Duck meat
Trans Fat 0.101g g Duck meat
Saturated Fat 2.155g 9.67g Turkey meat
Monounsaturated Fat 2.647g 12.9g Duck meat
Polyunsaturated fat 2.119g 3.65g Duck meat

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Turkey meat Duck meat
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet Equal

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
50
Turkey meat
32
Duck meat
Mineral Summary Score
37
Turkey meat
42
Duck meat

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
171%
Turkey meat
114%
Duck meat
Carbohydrates
0%
Turkey meat
0%
Duck meat
Fats
34%
Turkey meat
131%
Duck meat

Comparison summary

Which food is richer in minerals?
Turkey meat
Turkey meat is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Turkey meat
Turkey meat is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 7.515g)
Which food contains less Sodium?
Duck meat
Duck meat contains less Sodium (difference - 44mg)
Which food is lower in Cholesterol?
Duck meat
Duck meat is lower in Cholesterol (difference - 25mg)
Which food contains less Sugar?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Sugar (0 g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
?
The foods have equal glycemic indexes (0)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($2)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Turkey meat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171479/nutrients
  2. Duck meat - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172409/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.