Turkey is always the main course on everyone's lips during the holidays, but did you know that the National Turkey Federation (yes, it's a real organization) in 2019 estimated Americans ate 5.3 billion pounds of turkey – or 16, 1 pound per person. In 2017, 44 million turkeys were consumed on Thanksgiving alone.
Consumption of turkey – a bird Benjamin Franklin once described as "respectable" and "bird of courage" – has actually doubled in the United States in the past 25 years. If you're indulging (or indulging in) something this year, you know you are not alone.
That being said, the turkey should actually be one of your favorites this holiday season (in addition to having too many veggies on your plate). A 3-ounce serving of skinless turkey breast contains 26 grams of protein and just one gram of fat (120 calories total). If you're a dark meat fan, both drumsticks and thighs have 140 calories with 24 and 23 grams of protein protein, respectively.
Some things to keep in mind: Take care of the sauce. While it is delicious, the brown juice only adds an irresponsible number of calories to your plate and dilutes the quality of your plate. Also, try to remove the skin if you can – there will be a lot of fat there.
While the holiday season feels like a huge cheat day, it doesn't have to be, especially with turkey on the table. Here are the surprising health benefits of the big bird at the table, so you and your family can devour guilt free.