Poultry : nutrition, shocking medical use & adverse effects

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(Chicken, duck, goose, turkey)

Poultry Nutritional Profile

•  Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate
•  Protein: High
•  Fat: Low to high
•  Saturated fat: High
•  Cholesterol: Moderate (chicken, turkey) High (duck, goose)
• Carbohydrates: None
• Fiber: None
• Sodium: Moderate
• Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins
• Major mineral contribution: Zinc, magnesium

How Many Nutrients in This Food

• Like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy foods, poultry have high-quality proteins with adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids). Poultry fat is usually lower in saturated fats than red meat. Most poultry (especially white meat) has less fat than an equal-size serving of most beef, lamb, pork, or veal.

• A serving of white meat chicken or turkey has about the same amount of cholesterol as a four-ounce serving of lean beef; dark meat from chicken or turkey has about the same amount of cholesterol as pork and lamb; duck and goose have more. Like other foods from animals, poultry is a good source of heme iron, the form of iron most easily absorbed by your body.

How To Serve Nutritious Food

• Broiled or roasted, with the skin removed to reduce the fat. Soups and stews should be skimmed.

Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food

• Controlled-fat, low cholesterol diet (duck, goose)
• Low-protein diet

How To Buying This Food

Look for:

Poultry with fresh, unblemished skin and clear unblemished meat. If you buy whole fresh chickens that have not been prepacked, try to bend the breastbone the more flexible it is, the younger the bird and the more lean and tender the flesh.

• Choose the bird that fits your needs. Young birds (broiler, fryer, capon, rock cornish hen, duckling, young turkey, young hen, and young tom) are good for broiling, frying, and roasting. Older birds (hen, stewing chicken, fowl, mature duck) have tougher muscle fiber, which requires long stewing or steaming to tenderize the meat.


Poultry whose skin is dry or discolored.

How To Storing This Food

• Refrigerate fresh poultry immediately. Refrigeration prolongs freshness by slowing the natural multiplication of bacteria on the surface of the chicken, turkey, duck, or goose.

• Left unchecked, these bacteria will convert proteins and other substances on the surface of the poultry to mucopolysaccharides, a slimy film. They will also convert the sulfur containing amino acids methionine and cystine into smelly sulfur compounds called mercaptans, which give spoiled poultry a characteristic unpleasant odor.

• The bacteria multiply most on poultry wrapped in plastic, which is why it often smells bad when you unwrap it at home. Never use, store or freeze any poultry that does not smell absolutely fresh. Throw it out or return it to the store.

• Cover fresh poultry and refrigerate it in a dish that keeps it from dripping and contaminating other foods or the refrigerator. Properly wrapped fresh poultry will keep for one or two days at 40°F. For longer storage, freeze the poultry.

How To Preparing This Food

• Wash the poultry under cool running water to flush off the bacteria on its surface. There are more bacteria on an animal’s skin than in its flesh.

• Since we buy poultry with the skin on, it has a much higher population of bacteria (including the ones that cause Salmonella food poisoning) than beef, veal, pork, and lamb. Beef and pork may have a few hundred bacteria per square centimeter; chicken will have several thousand.

• Discard any poultry that feels slimy to the touch. If you are preparing duck or goose, pull as much fat out of the abdominal cavity as possible. To cut down on the fat in the chicken, remove the skin before cooking.

• To prevent poultry-borne illness: Keep raw chicken cold, frozen chicken frozen solid, and leftover cooked chicken in the refrigerator. Use fresh chicken within one or two days. Keep cutting boards and utensils clean by washing in hot soapy water to prevent any cross-contamination between raw poultry (or its juices) and other foods.

• Cook poultry thoroughly to an internal temperature of 180°F (no guessing use a meat thermometer). The fresh chicken stays fresh one to two days in the fridge; plain cooked chicken, three to four days; chicken in gravy, two days.

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What Happens When You Cook This Food

• Cooking changes the way poultry looks and tastes alters its nutritional content and makes it safer to eat. Heat changes the structure of the poultry’s proteins.

• It denatures the protein molecules so that they break apart into smaller fragments or change shape or clump together. These changes force moisture out of the tissues so that the poultry turns opaque as it cooks.

• As it loses water, the poultry also loses water-soluble B vitamins, which drip out into the pan.

• Since they are not destroyed by heat, they can be saved by using the skimmed pan drippings for gravy. Cooking also caramelizes proteins and the small amounts of sugar on the bird’s surface, a “browning” reaction that gives the skin of the bird its characteristic sweet taste.

• As moisture escapes from the skin, it turns crisp. At the same time, the heat liquefies the fat in the bird, which runs off into the pan, lowering the fat and cholesterol content.

• Finally, cooking kills the Salmonella and other microorganisms on the skin and flesh of poultry. For maximum safety, poultry should be cooked to a uniform internal temperature of 180°F.

• If you are cooking your poultry in a microwave oven, check to be sure that the surface of the bird which is cooled by evaporating moisture is as hot as the inside, otherwise bacteria on the skin may remain alive.

How Other Kinds of Processing effect This Food


When poultry is frozen, the water in its turns into ice crystals which rupture the cell walls. When you thaw the poultry, liquid from the cell and the chicken, turkey, duck, or goose may taste dry and stringy

• The unsaturated fatty acids in poultry will continue to oxidize (and eventually turn rancid) while the bird is frozen. Poultry cut into pieces will spoil more quickly than a whole bird because it has more surfaces exposed to the air.

• Fresh whole chicken and turkey will keep for up to 12 months at 0°F; chicken pieces will keep for nine months; turkey pieces and whole duck and goose for six months.


Smoking (which means slowly roasting a bird in the smoke from an open fire) gives poultry a rich taste that varies according to the wood used in the fire. Birds smoked over an open fire may pick up carcinogenic chemicals from the smoke, including a-benzopyrene, the most prominent carcinogen in tobacco smoke.

• Artificial smoke flavoring is commercially treated to remove tar and a-benzopyrene. Smoked poultry has less moisture and proportionally more fat than fresh poultry.

Self-basting” turkeys.

To make these birds “self-basting,” fat or oil is inserted under the skin of the breast before the bird is packed or frozen. As the bird cooks, the fat warms, melts, and oozes out, basting the turkey. “Self-basting” turkeys are higher in fat than other turkeys; depending on what kind of fat is inserted into the breast, they may also be higher in cholesterol.

poultry food

Amazing Medical Uses and/or Benefits

To relieve the congestion of a cold.

Hot chicken soup, the quintessential folk remedy, does appear to relieve the congestion that comes with a head cold. Exactly why remains a mystery but some researchers have suggested that the hot steam from the soup helps liquefy mucus and clear the nasal passages.

Adverse Effects Associated with This Food

Increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Like other foods from animals, poultry is a significant source of cholesterol and saturated fats, which increase the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood and raise your risk of heart disease.

• To reduce the risk of heart disease, the National Cholesterol Education Project recommends following the Step I and Step II diets.

• The Step I diet provides no more than 30 percent of total daily calories from fat, no more than 10 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, and no more than 300 mg of cholesterol per day. It is designed for healthy people whose cholesterol is in the range of 200–239 mg/dL.

• The Step II diet provides 25–35 percent of total calories from fat, less than 7 percent of total calories from saturated fat, up to 10 percent of total calories from polyunsaturated fat, up to 20 percent of total calories from monounsaturated fat, and less than 300 mg cholesterol per day. This stricter regimen is designed for people who have one or more of the following conditions:

• Existing cardiovascular disease

• High levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or “bad” cholesterol) or low levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, or “good” cholesterol)

• Obesity

• Type 1 diabetes (insulin-dependent diabetes, or diabetes mellitus)

• Metabolic syndrome, a.k.a. insulin resistance syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that includes type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent diabetes)


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