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Thanksgiving Calories: White Meat vs Dark Meat


There’s always a fight between the men as to who will eat the turkey legs at my family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Luckily, I don’t like the greasy dark meat or turkey skin but if you do, and it’s just once a year, (say no to a week of leftovers with fatty skin) I say go ahead and indulge!

But biter beware you may be adding a lot of fat and calories. I decided to find out just what the difference is between white and dark meat, skin versus no skin so you can decide what works for you. Want that slice of pumpkin pie—ala mode? Maybe skip the skin. It’s up to you where you want to splurge and where you want to save. Me? I’m a dessert girl but I'm making room for a ladle full of gravy on top of my skinless white meat too!

*Calories in turkey calculated based on a 4oz serving. 

White meat with skin
185 calories
1.4g saturated fat
33g protein

White meat, no skin
158 calories 
.4g saturated fat
34g protein

Dark meat with skin
206 calories
2.4g saturated fat
33g protein

Dark meat, no skin
183 calories 
1.6g saturated fat
33g protein

Wing with skin
256 calories
4g saturated fat
32g protein

Wing, no skin
184 calories
1.2g saturated fat
34.9g protein

As an editor at SHAPE I have the chance to learn about the healthiest ways to cook, eat, and live from all sorts of experts but I’m also a single girl living in NYC with a busy schedule, active social life, and chocolate cravings. I’m here to share what works for me—and where I need a little help from you.


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