Harvard Health Letter

Ask the doctor: Why is poultry a protein on your Healthy Eating Plate?

Q. I saw Harvard's Healthy Eating Plate and noticed that poultry was listed as a healthy protein. I am not surprised that you're recommending fish, nuts, or beans. But why poultry?

A. The main reason we listed chicken and turkey as healthy sources of protein is that they have relatively low levels of saturated fat compared with red meat, which, for nutrition purposes, includes beef, lamb, and pork.

Look at the chart below. You can see there's about half as much saturated as unsaturated fat in chicken and turkey fat. By comparison, beef and pork fat contain a good deal more saturated fat than chicken and turkey fat and less unsaturated fat.

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