Is Eating Duck Healthy for You & What about Duck Fat?
Like you I like to incorporate a variety of foods into my diet. Both for health reasons but also for a change. Curious as many of you I came to wondering if duck is healthier than chicken and also what were the health benefits to eating duck. Also what has become a normal part of the supermarket shopping in the fat department, is duck fat. Once again curious as to whether this could cause harm or if it had health benefits, this is what I discovered.
Is Duck Healthy to Eat?
Duck is rich in flavour, juice and succulent to eat. It can be an expensive way to boost your protein intake, but may well bring a pleasurable change to your regular eating.
Duck does add a healthy addition to your regular diet offering several nutrients important for tissue function. As with other meat duck provides complete protein, which means that its amino acid profile includes each of the amino acids needed in your daily diet. Protein supports your immune system, helps maintain your tissue and keeps your skin strong and healthy.
Further Nutrient Information about Duck!
Adding duck meat to your diet also boosts your mineral intake of zinc and selenium. Both of these minerals play a role in enzyme function and activate enzymes needed for healthy cellular metabolism. Zinc also boosts your immune system, while selenium helps your thyroid function properly. As with the serving size of animal protein use the inside of the palm of your hand. This is the serving size that is right for your body.
Enjoy the health benefits of its Vitamins B-5 and B-12. Each serving of duck contains 1.6 milligrams of vitamin B-5, or pantothenic acid — 32 percent of your recommended daily intake — as well as 0.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12, or 17 percent of the B-12 you need each day. Both vitamins B-5 and B-12 support nervous system function — vitamin B-5 helps you make chemicals involved in nerve signalling, while getting enough vitamin B-12 in your diet protects you from nerve damage.
In Summary: It well known that Duck is higher in saturated fat and cholesterol compared to chicken or turkey. However the facts confirm that it is indeed higher in saturated fat (9.5% for duck against 5.9% for chicken). But has been found to be much the same level of cholesterol (<0.1%) as chicken, most of which is in the meat and not the skin, contrary to popular belief.
It contains healthy omega 3 fats that are very much the equivalent between chicken and duck. The amounts 0.3%. Vitamin B3 (niacin) and selenium are other micronutrients are similar to those that are found in other poultry. As well as small amounts of iron, zinc and copper
Things to consider when cooking Duck!
Even with the skin removed, duck meat contains a fair amount of fat — 6 grams of total fat and 2.3 grams of saturated fat per serving. To help keep your duck as lean as possible, make sure to cook it skinless, trim away any visible fat before cooking and there is no need to add oil for the cooking process.
As with any animal protein this should make up the minimum portion of your plate whilst incorporating a mix of vegetables such as kale, broccoli, beetroot, carrots, pumpkin, parsnips and sweet potato. It is important to cook your duck well, this is definitely not a protein to have rare. Either cook in an oven of say 180 – 200 degrees or on the top of your stove on a grill plate. Cooking for at least 20 – 30 minutes.
One consideration you should bear in mind when eating any animal protein in a restaurant is that there could be additions of sauces that are less than healthy. Containing amounts of sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate and so forth. It is probably a good idea to either ask for the sauce on the side or to eliminate any sauces altogether.
The benefit of cooking duck yourself is that you can control this.
Is Duck Fat actually Healthy for you?
Some people swear duck fat is healthy, and even save it from the roasting pan to use as a spread. Here’s the surprising facts about Duck fat. While duck may offer a wide range of nutritional value, including healthy fats, protein, minerals and vitamins, it is high in unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol.
The Run Down on Duck Fat
- Monounsaturated Fats – The majority of the fat in duck meat is healthy, monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat can help reduce your low-density lipoprotein, or unhealthy cholesterol, levels and improve your overall cardiovascular health. Of the 39.34 grams of total fat in a 100 gram serving of duck meat, about 18.7 grams come from monounsaturated fats.
- Saturated Fats – Duck meat also contains an abundance of saturated fat, with over 13 grams per 100 gram serving. While monounsaturated fat lowers blood cholesterol, saturated fat intake is associated with elevated LDL cholesterol levels and increased cardiovascular risk. Major health organizations vary slightly in their recommended maximum daily saturated fat intake, with the American Heart Association being the strictest, advising 7 percent of total caloric intake.
- Polyunsaturated Fats
Duck meat contains about 5 grams of polyunsaturated fats per 100-gram serving. Like monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats can help lower LDL cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health. Polyunsaturated fats may also lower blood glucose levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat should comprise the vast majority of your dietary fat intake.
- Cholesterol – A 100-gram serving of duck meat contains 76 milligrams of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a compound lipid, found only in animal products. This natural animal lipid is similar to saturated fat and can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease when consumed in excess. Both the USDA and AHA recommend consuming less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day, and 200 mg or less if you have a history of cardiovascular problems.
Read Next: “Good Fats vs Bad Fats”
Learn more about the Foods to Eat & Why for Optimal Health in Julie’s eBook – Eating to Live
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