Chicken, turkey and duck are each protein-packed meats that also supply iron, potassium and zinc. Some cuts of poultry, however, also contain cholesterol, as well as saturated fat, which can have a negative impact on your cholesterol level. Certain types of poultry, as well as preparation methods, are better than others when it comes to cholesterol, and knowing the difference will help you create a healthy eating plan that's right for you.
One-half of a white-meat chicken breast without skin contains 73 milligrams of cholesterol. That's one-quarter of the 300 milligrams of cholesterol healthy adults should limit themselves to each day. It's 37 percent of the 200-milligram cholesterol limit suggested daily for people with high cholesterol, which is defined as over 240 milligrams per deciliter. For comparison, one chicken thigh contains 70 milligrams of cholesterol, and half a chicken breast with skin contains 87 milligrams. Chicken giblets contain 641 milligrams of cholesterol per cup.
A cup of turkey giblets contains 755 milligrams of cholesterol, and one turkey neck has 195 milligrams. A 3-ounce serving of roasted dark turkey meat is a healthier option that contains 89 milligrams of cholesterol. The same amount of light turkey meat has 59 milligrams. A 3-ounce serving of turkey roast has 45 milligrams of cholesterol.
A 3.5-ounce portion of duck with skin contains 84 milligrams of cholesterol. Surprisingly, the same amount of roasted duck without the skin contains 89 milligrams of cholesterol, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database. One duck liver has 227 milligrams of cholesterol.
Preparation Methods Matter
The way you cook poultry can influence how much cholesterol it has. Half of a fried chicken breast with skin contains 119 milligrams of cholesterol, which is 32 milligrams more than the same amount of roasted chicken breast with the skin. A fried chicken thigh contains 10 milligrams more cholesterol than a roasted chicken thigh. Roasting, baking, broiling or grilling instead of frying your poultry are healthier ideas in terms of cholesterol. In most cases, eating your poultry without the skin will cut down on how much cholesterol it contains, as well.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Cholesterol Content of Selected Foods
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Cholesterol
- American Heart Association: Knowing Your Fats
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Duck, Domesticated, Meat and Skin, Cooked, Roasted
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Duck, Domesticated, Meat Only, Cooked, Roasted
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Duck, Domesticated, Liver, Raw