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This vs. That: Ham and Turkey

Ham and turkey are both some of the most popular holiday meats in North America. Additionally, they are both some of the go-to choices for sandwich toppings. Turns out, they are both similar and different in many aspects.


Ham has been a part of the human diet for thousands of years. A great part about it is its shelf life, as it can be kept for quite a long time under the right conditions. However, it is less accessible as pork is forbidden is some religions. Furthermore, it is more expensive than turkey, especially when buying higher-quality ham. Ham is lower in calories than turkey, but has more carbs. However, the amount of carbs is minimal. Ham is lower in protein but also lower in fats, making it a better option for weight loss. Similarly, it is higher in trans fats but lower in cholesterol. Perhaps the biggest downside to ham is its high sodium levels, which in some cases amount to more than 50% of the recommended daily intake.


Turkey has not been around in European culture for as long as ham, as it mainly became a part of the culture once America was colonized. Turkey has a shorter shelf-life than ham, but is more accessible to different religions and budgets. It is higher in calories than ham, but it has virtually no carbohydrates. Another benefit is its high amount of protein, almost 50% more than ham. Turkey has more fat compared to ham, though it has a lower amount of trans fats. A downside to turkey is its amount of cholesterol, as it contains upwards of a third of the recommended daily intake. However, it is significantly lower in sodium, which is great.

Overall, both meats have health benefits and downsides, meaning the choice is up to personal preference!