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How do these 10 Thanksgiving staples compare on nutritional value?

By: Robin Shreeves on Nov. 16, 2010, 7:22 a.m.
turkey breast on plate

Photo: brapps/Flickr and peripathetic/Flickr

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Turkey

Skinless turkey breast vs. turkey breast with the skin on: OK, this one's a no-brainer. Everyone knows that a lot of fat is hidden in poultry skin, which is why skinless chicken is such a staple.

Skinless turkey breast scores a 48 on the NuVal scale. (And on the NuVal scoreboard, higher is better.) It loses 17 points when you keep the skin on — for a tally of 31 points — so leaving the skin behind is the healthier option.

But here's a detail that might surprise you: Turkey breast is one of the highest scoring meats on the NuVal scale. Skinless turkey breast scores 9 points higher than skinless chicken breast, which earns 39 points. Pork tenderloin, one of the leaner pork cuts, scores 35 points. So as you serve up your Thanksgiving bird, you can be pleased that you — and most of America — are serving your guests one of the more nutritious fresh meats available.