Although duck is available in the U.S., it's consumed less frequently than other types of poultry, such as chicken and turkey, notes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. However, duck contains a variety of essential nutrients -- especially protein -- and is similar in nutrition composition to dark-meat chicken and dark-meat turkey.
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A 3-ounce portion of duck, equaling about 85 grams, provides 115 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. This 3-ounce portion is about the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand. The USDA’s calorie estimation of 115 calories in each 3-ounce portion is used when eating duck meat only, not the skin. Consuming the skin of the duck adds additional calories.
Duck is rich in dietary protein, which helps boost satiety. Protein also helps your body grow and stay healthy. The amount of protein in duck is comparable to the protein content of dark-meat chicken and dark-meat turkey. The Institute of Medicine notes that the recommended dietary allowances, or RDAs, for protein are 56 grams daily for men and 46 grams per day for women. A 3-ounce portion of duck meat contains 16 grams of protein, according to the USDA.
Carbs and Fat
If you’re seeking a low-carb food, duck is an excellent choice. While a 3-ounce portion of duck contains about 5 grams of dietary fat, it provides less than 1 gram of carbohydrates. About half of the fat in duck is saturated fat, while the other half is a combination of mono- and poly-unsaturated fat. Duck also contains dietary cholesterol, containing about 65 milligrams in each 3-ounce portion. The American Heart Association suggests adults limit their dietary cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams daily.
Duck is abundant in a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. These include iron, zinc, B vitamins, potassium and phosphorous. Heme iron, the form of iron present in duck and other meat, fish and poultry, is better absorbed by your body than the non-heme iron found in plant-based foods. B vitamins help your body produce energy from the foods you eat. Getting plenty of iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6 by eating foods such as duck helps prevent anemia -- a condition that can cause fatigue, dizziness and headaches.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Poultry Production
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 26: Basic Report: 05141, Duck, Domesticated, Meat Only, Raw
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats