Differences between dark and white meat in turkey


(WYTV)- Most people who enjoy turkey will have a preference for white meat or dark.

It’s a matter of taste and texture.

Dark meat tends to have more flavor and it’s more moist. White meat is less fatty, it might taste bland and somewhat dry but is it healthier. It does have less fat and fewer calories than dark.

But the difference isn’t that big.

Let’s say you have a 3 1/2 oz. serving of white meat, about the size of a computer mouse. That’s 160 calories and 4 grams of fat. The same size dark meat has 230 calories and 13 grams of fat, but more vitamins.

Why do we have two types of meat on one bird?

The color depends on the kind of muscle it is and how much myoglobin it has. Myoglobin is a protein that stores oxygen and the muscles a turkey uses for running and flying have more myoglobin, which means they’re darker.

And turkeys run up to 25 mph so their legs and thighs have lots of myoglobin and that dark meat.

But domestic turkeys don’t really fly so their breast and wing muscles have less myoglobin and are white meat.

Want a taste of the past this Thanksgiving? Roast a heritage turkey, a slow growing turkey raised in a pasture, four times as expensive as a regular frozen turkey from the grocers but especially flavorful.

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