When you spend the day at the county fair or a local theme park, part of your day may include a treat that is tough to find anywhere else -- a giant smoked turkey leg. It seems like a harmless treat, after all, turkey is a lean protein and it is smoked, not fried. The nutrition facts behind this popular treat may make you reconsider snack time at the fair.
Calories and Fat
Most places serving smoked turkey legs are not going to trim off a healthy 2 oz. slice and send you on your way. Instead, you will be served a greasy, 1 lb. leg from a 40 to 50 lb. bird. A leg that big has almost enough calories to satisfy an entire day's menu, ringing in at 1,136 calories per serving, not to mention 54 g of artery-clogging fat.
Protein and Carbohydrates
If you are on the Atkins diet, you will be excited to learn that there are no carbohydrates in a smoked turkey leg. However, you will more than meet your protein requirement for the next several days as this theme park treat serves up 152 g of protein per 1 lb. serving.
Vitamins and Minerals
Although this simple entree turned county fair snack is more food than anyone really needs in one sitting, it does offer a few essential nutrients. Niacin, folate, thiamin and vitamin K top the list of vitamin content. And to keep the valuable nutrients coming, you can also catch up on your intake of some vital minerals, as this bird contains 4,480 mg of potassium, 608 mg of selenium and 512 mg of calcium per pound, plus a plethora of other useful minerals in just slightly smaller quantities.
Proceed with caution as you enjoy each bite of this county fair delight. Consuming the entire leg will provide you with six days' worth of the RDA for sodium, 1,360 mg of cholesterol and 48 g of saturated fat. If this treat is a non-negotiable part of your yearly visit to the fair, consider sharing it with friends, and keep your good health in mind.