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Is Turkey Keto-Friendly?

Turkey on a kitchen counter

Is Turkey Keto-Friendly? The short and sweet answer is yes! In this detailed article, we're going to break down everything you need to know about incorporating Turkey into your keto diet.

We'll delve into Turkey's low-carb profile, provide practical ways to enjoy it as part of your keto meal plan and explain its nutritional benefits.

Plus, we'll even discuss some keto-compatible alternatives for a bit of variety.


  • Turkey is indeed keto-friendly, fitting comfortably within the strict carb limits of a keto diet.
  • Turkey is not only low carb but also a powerhouse of essential vitamins, minerals, and high-quality protein.

Is Turkey Keto-Friendly?

Yes, Turkey is indeed keto-friendly. Backed by nutritional data, Turkey boasts a minimal 0.14 g net carbs per 100 g, making it highly compatible with a ketogenic diet.

This lean protein source aligns well with the principles of the keto diet, which emphasizes low-carb consumption. The ketogenic lifestyle, by definition, relies on the body's ability to switch from burning glucose to burning fat for energy. With only 0.14 g net carbs per 100 g, Turkey easily fits into a daily keto regimen without significantly contributing to the carbohydrate load.

A typical serving size of Turkey, which is about 100 g, will only add an insignificant 0.14 g of net carbs to your daily intake. This small amount of carbs is easily manageable and won't push you out of ketosis, keeping in mind that the daily net carb intake for a ketogenic diet usually ranges between 20 to 50 grams.

Can You Have Turkey on a Strict Keto Diet?

Absolutely, Turkey can indeed fit into a strict keto diet. A strict ketogenic diet defines the consumption of less than 20g of carbs per day. Given that Turkey only contains 0.14g net carbs per 100g, it can be incorporated into a strict keto diet without worrying about exceeding the daily carb limit.

Furthermore, some people choose to follow a less stringent version of the ketogenic diet or a low-carb diet, limiting their daily net carb intake to between 30 and 50g. Even under these modified versions, Turkey can still be readily included as a low-carb food.

Carbs In Turkey

Analyzing Turkey's carbohydrate content, we find 0.14 g net carbs per 100 g, which is remarkably low. Moreover, Turkey has a glycemic index of 0, which denotes its negligible impact on blood sugar levels [source].

This low glycemic index underscores Turkey's compatibility with a ketogenic or low-carb diet. Foods with a lower GI digest slowly, leading to a steady rise in blood sugar levels, whereas foods with a high GI are quickly digested, causing a rapid spike.

Turkey Nutrition Facts

Turkey, per 100g, packs a nutritional punch, offering an energy yield of 479.0kJ. Contributing to this energy quota is 23.66g of protein, along with 1.48g of total lipid (fat) and a minimal 0.14g of net carbs.

Turkey's macronutrient composition is not its only attraction. It brims with crucial micronutrients, too. The roster includes an array of vitamins such as Vitamin A (20.0IU), Vitamin B-6 (0.813mg), and Vitamin B-12 (0.63µg), not to forget about Vitamin D (5.0IU) and Vitamin E (0.06mg).

In terms of minerals, the turkey dish serves up 11.0mg of calcium, 0.73mg of iron, 28.0mg of magnesium, and 201.0mg of phosphorus. The sodium content stands at 113.0mg, while potassium measures 242.0mg. Other trace minerals like zinc (1.28mg), copper (0.07mg), and selenium (22.7µg) are also present.

Even turkey's lipid profile is intricate. Saturated fats total 0.289g, with a breakdown including fatty acids like SFA 16:0 (0.177g) and SFA 18:0 (0.093g). The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats come to 0.264g and 0.258g, respectively, featuring fatty acids like MUFA 18:1 (0.235g) and PUFA 18:2 (0.2g). Trans fats are minimal, only 0.013g.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100 g
Net Carbs0.14g
Total lipid (fat)1.48g
Carbohydrate, by difference0.14g
Total Sugars0.05g
Calcium, Ca11.0mg
Iron, Fe0.73mg
Magnesium, Mg28.0mg
Phosphorus, P201.0mg
Potassium, K242.0mg
Sodium, Na113.0mg
Zinc, Zn1.28mg
Copper, Cu0.07mg
Manganese, Mn0.011mg
Selenium, Se22.7µg
Pantothenic acid0.775mg
Vitamin B-60.813mg
Folate, total7.0µg
Folate, food7.0µg
Folate, DFE7.0µg
Choline, total61.3mg
Vitamin B-120.63µg
Vitamin A, RAE6.0µg
Vitamin A, IU20.0IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.06mg
Tocopherol, gamma0.01mg
Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units5.0IU
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)0.1µg
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)0.1µg
Fatty acids, total saturated0.289g
SFA 10:00.004g
SFA 12:00.003g
SFA 14:00.004g
SFA 15:00.002g
SFA 16:00.177g
SFA 17:00.003g
SFA 18:00.093g
SFA 20:00.002g
SFA 22:00.002g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.264g
MUFA 14:10.001g
MUFA 16:10.023g
MUFA 16:1 c0.023g
MUFA 17:10.001g
MUFA 18:10.235g
MUFA 18:1 c0.226g
MUFA 20:10.003g
MUFA 24:1 c0.001g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.258g
PUFA 18:20.2g
PUFA 18:2 n-6 c,c0.196g
PUFA 18:30.009g
PUFA 18:3 n-3 c,c,c (ALA)0.009g
PUFA 20:2 n-6 c,c0.003g
PUFA 20:30.005g
PUFA 20:3 n-60.005g
PUFA 20:40.028g
PUFA 22:40.009g
PUFA 22:5 n-3 (DPA)0.003g
PUFA 22:6 n-3 (DHA)0.002g
Fatty acids, total trans0.013g
Fatty acids, total trans-monoenoic0.01g
TFA 18:1 t0.01g
TFA 18:2 t not further defined0.003g
Fatty acids, total trans-polyenoic0.003g
Aspartic acid1.892g
Glutamic acid3.209g

Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Turkey on a Keto Diet

Turkey is a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals, boasting notable quantities of iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium, all of which play integral roles in maintaining optimal bodily functions.

The meat is also packed with high-quality protein, necessary for muscle building and tissue repair. However, it's worth noting that Turkey, especially processed variants, can contain high sodium levels, which if consumed excessively, could potentially lead to health concerns such as hypertension.

Incorporating Turkey into Your Keto Meal Plan

  1. Turkey can be enjoyed in various ways within a keto meal plan. It's versatile and can be roasted, grilled, or used in salads, all while keeping the carb count low. Remember to complement it with high-fat, low-carb sides for a well-rounded keto meal.
  2. There are countless keto-friendly recipes featuring Turkey. For instance, a Turkey and veggie stir-fry cooked in a healthy fat like olive oil, or a creamy Turkey soup made with a low-carb broth and a mix of keto-friendly veggies can be a delicious addition to your menu.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Turkey

  1. Chicken is a universally admired keto-friendly alternative to Turkey. Just like Turkey, it's low in carbs and can be flexibly utilized in various keto recipes. For instance, grilled chicken salad or a stir-fry using keto-friendly vegetables can be a delicious substitute for Turkey-based meals.
  2. Fish, such as salmon or mackerel, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and similarly low in carbs like Turkey, is another excellent choice. Baked salmon with a side of sautéed vegetables is a quick and easy keto-friendly recipe that can replace a Turkey meal.
  3. For vegetarians on a keto diet, tofu can be a good alternative to Turkey. It's low in carbs and can be used in a wide array of keto-friendly dishes. Tofu scramble with low-carb veggies or tofu stir-fry can be a delightful addition to your keto meal plan.

Concluding Thoughts on Turkey and Keto

From the analysis presented, it's clear that Turkey is not just a viable choice but an excellent one for a keto diet. With its low-carb content, Turkey fits comfortably within the strict 20g daily limit of a ketogenic diet and even the relaxed limits of a low-carb diet. Besides its keto compatibility, Turkey also offers various nutritional benefits, packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and high-quality protein.

Incorporating Turkey into a keto diet is not only beneficial but also offers an enjoyable culinary adventure- whether it's roasted, grilled, or stirred into a salad. However, it's important to be mindful of portion control and the overall carb count.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, Turkey is low in carbs and can be effectively incorporated into a keto meal plan.

Turkey could be roasted, grilled, or used in salads with high-fat, low-carb sides for a well-rounded keto meal.

Yes, most types of Turkey are keto-friendly, but it's important to be mindful of any added ingredients or sauces that may increase the carb content.

Ground turkey is great for the keto diet. Just ensure it's not mixed with fillers or additives that could increase the carb content.

Chicken, fish like salmon or mackerel, and tofu for vegetarians are all excellent keto-friendly alternatives to Turkey.