Ground Beef vs Ground Turkey - Which One Is Healthier?

Ground Beef vs Ground Turkey – Which One Is Healthier?

Meatballs, tacos, and spaghetti sauce have one thing in common; they tend to have ground meat. However, there has been a heated debate about the ground beef vs ground turkey for the last couple of years. However, the real question is which is the healthier between the two?

When I first heard the debate, I vividly remember standing in a meat department trying to contemplate whether to pick ground beef or ground turkey. I had always remained fun for ground meat for many years, but I wanted to be healthier.


Like most of you, I wanted to offer my children better and healthier foods. With the largest number of people in the debates citing that the ground turkey was better, I reluctantly put the ground turkey in my cart but promised myself to ask my recommendation.

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When I visited the doctor, I asked him for a recommendation, but he never gave a definitive answer. His reply was to that the cut of turkey decided whether it was better or not. If the turkey was not pure white meat or mixed, then it meant that meat could have the same problems that come with the ground beef. Learn Different Types of Meat Grinders here.

Although this was not straight up answer, it was a really eye opener for me. I decided to do further research and this is what I came with. Going through my finding may help you in making a more informed decision.

Ground Turkey and Ground Meat Comparison


According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 you should not have more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol in your daily diet. Both beef and turkey meat contains cholesterol. 

However, it is surprising to note that that ground beef has lesser cholesterol than the ground turkey. Research conducted on two pieces of meat (beef and turkey). These pieces were, made of 85 percent of lean meat and weighed about 3.5 ounces each. 

The turkey had 105 milligrams of cholesterol while the beef had 95 milligrams. The research also indicated that the cholesterol did not change even when you go to a leaner turkey. 

However, the cholesterol dropped further with leaner beef. With the dangers that are associated with higher cholesterol in our body, the ground beef is a better alternative.


It is interesting to note that ground beef might contain as many calories like those found in ground meat. Research shows that the number of calories you get from either of this meat will depend on the variety you choose. The table below shows the number of calorie in various types of turkey and beef.

Ground Turkey

No of Calories

Ground Beef

No of Calories

Generic ground turkey


Generic ground beef


Ground turkey 85/15


Ground beef 85/15


93/7 Ground turkey


93/7 Ground beef


Ground turkey 99/1


Ground beef 99/1


Cooked generic turkey ground


Cooked generic beef ground


Saturated Fat:

Well, am sure most turkey fan is not happy with the findings, but the findings don’t mean that turkey is away bad for health. When it comes to saturated fat, you can rejoice if you are a turkey burger fan. 

Consuming a turkey patty rather than a beef one saves your body from the unhealthy fats. A 3.5 patty made of 85 percent turkey has about 4 grams of fat while the same piece of beef has 6 grams. Switching to a leaner turkey (93 percent), it reduces to 3 grams, which is equivalent to the grams get from 95 percent leaner beef.

Micro nutrients:

If you are concerned about the macro and micro-nutrients, you can relax since both these patties are equal. Although there are slight difference in the Iron, Zinc, and vitamin c when you compare them across the board they will bring almost the same results.

Let us look at another detailed table that compares both ground beef and turkey that are leaner. This table will give you a better understanding of the two types of meat.

Ground Beef vs Ground Turkey 93/7 comparison

Ground Beef vs Ground Turkey

Ground Turkey:


Daily value





Saturated Fat












Vitamin B12



Vitamin B6



Ground Beef:


Daily value





Saturated Fat












Vitamin B12



Vitamin B6



As you can see from the table above, it is surprising that the turkey has more fat, more calories, and cholesterol than the ground beef. The primary reason for this is that most turkey options have dark meat and a lot of skin that increases the cholesterol. 

However, the turkey breast has reduced levels of fat. Should you decide to select the turkey breast, pick those that are skinless and boneless?

Flavor and Texture:

The Turkey usually come with a mild flavor when compared to the beef product and sometimes tastes dry and bland. Additionally, turkey meat has a lesser robust texture that the ground meat and this makes it less juicy. However, this is not a big deal when you are using the turkey meat for stews. 

Nevertheless, if you are using it for patties or similar recipes, the difference may be extensive, and this could even ruin your recipe. Taking the following steps can, however, allows you to make delicious recipes.

Start by adjusting the flavor of the turkey using spices and herbs. When doing a use the same herbs that you use to spice your beef but add in an extra half of the amount you usually use.

The second step is to add moisture to the turkey meat. You can do this by finding ingredients that add moisture when cooking. Some of the best ingredients to use include dill, parsley, onions, cilantro, bell peppers, and celery

In conclusion, the question of whether to opt for ground beef or ground turkey boils to a matter of preference. However, if you are more conscious about health, you should always read the label before making the purchase. Using any of this meat in your diet will not hurt, but you need to be smart about what you are consuming!

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Theresa Lori

Hi, I'm Theresa. My passion for grilling delicacy gradually built during the time I was living with my parents. My family members especially my mother was a great fan of grilled dishes to and from the love of food. I started preparing smoked food with my mom. This bonding helped me to know more and more about to smoke, grill what always I share on So, in two words you can call me a BBQ lover.

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