Is Ground Turkey Healthier Than Ground Beef?

turkey burger using lean ground turkey

Many people when dieting wonder if ground turkey is healthier than ground beef.  The answer lies in whether you are talking about lean ground beef or not. Many grocery stores and butchers have 90-95% lean ground beef which reduces the amount of fat drastically, making it a more healthier option than the 70-80% varieties.

Many health journals and television shows shape people’s perceptions of what is healthiest for them. Food manufacturers also try and convince you that their food is good for you. And while it may be healthy – this does not always mean it is the healthiest!

The key in deciding whether something is actually healthier for you or not is to take some time and research the nutrition labels. This can be time consuming and confusing, especially if you are trying to figure this all out while standing in the aisles of the grocery store! Fortunately, most nutrition data is now available online, both at manufacturer’s official websites as well as other sites which collect data concerning fat, calories, protein, carbs, vitamins and more. A great website for finding out calorie, fat, cholesterol, and other nutrition label data on most products available is, which is where we pulled this information from below, as well as from the official Jennie-O website. By compiling this information for you, you’ll be able to decide on your own which is the healthiest choice for you.

So, to settle the debate once and for all, let’s take a look at how the labels all compare to one another:

85% Lean Jennie O Ground Turkey
Calories: 220 total, 150 from fat
Grams of Fat: 17 grams total, 4 grams saturated fat
Cholesterol: 85 grams
Sodium: 85 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 grams
Protein: 20 grams

99% Lean Jennie-O Ground Turkey
Calories: 120 total, 15 from fat
Grams of Fat: 1.5 grams total, .5 grams saturated fat
Cholesterol: 55 mg
Sodium: 70 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 grams
Protein: 26 grams

80% Lean Ground Beef
Calories: 231 total, 131 from fat
Grams of Fat: 15 grams total, 6 grams saturated fat, 1 gram Trans-fat
Cholesterol: 76 mg
Sodium: 77 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 grams
Protein: 23 grams

95% Lean Cooked Ground Beef
Calories: 164 total, 58 from fat
Grams of Fat: 6 grams total, 3 grams saturated fat
Cholesterol: 76 mg
Sodium: 73 mg
Carbohydrates: 0 mg
Protein: 25 grams

Looking at all of these labels will helpfully make you realize one very important thing: reading nutrition labels is critical if you want to make a decision if something is healthier compared to something else! As you can see, the 85% ground turkey is actually worse than the 95% lean ground beef! However, in the end, the 99% lean Jennie-O ends up having the least amount of calories and fat. So, in that case, you could say that one is the “healthiest” for you.

What are your thoughts? Is Ground turkey healthier than ground beef? We’d love to hear your comments below!

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One thought on “Is Ground Turkey Healthier Than Ground Beef?

  1. Brooke

    I just recently started substituting ground turkey for ground beef. I use Honeysuckle 99% lean turkey, and my family loves it. Even my uber-picky children can’t tell the difference. I love the fact that there is virtually no fat to drain after cooking- I feel great knowing that we are doing one more thing to live a healthy lifestyle.


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