Both classified as poultry products, turkey breast and chicken breast have quite a few things in common. There are just a few subtle differences between the two. Therefore, it's often difficult to determine which is better. You may prefer the flavor of turkey breast over chicken breast, or vice versa.
A 3-ounce portion of grilled chicken breast generally contains slightly more calories than turkey breast, but the difference is subtle. Each 3-ounce cooked portion of chicken breast provides about 130 calories, and the same portion of turkey breast contains just 125 calories, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database. Grill or roast your turkey or chicken without the skin instead of frying it to keep the calorie content as low as possible.
Protein and Amino Acids
Chicken breast and turkey breast both provide you with about 26 grams of protein in each 3-ounce portion, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Men need at least 56 grams of protein daily, women require a minimum of 46 grams, and pregnant and nursing women need 71 grams of protein each day, notes the Institute of Medicine. Both chicken and turkey breasts contain all of the essential amino acids your body requires on a daily basis -- including tryptophan, which is beneficial for healthy sleep and a stable mood, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Carbohydrates, fat, Cholesterol, and Vitamins
Chicken and turkey breasts are again similar when it comes to carbohydrate, fat, cholesterol, and vitamin content. Both forms of poultry, as long as they are skinless and un-breaded, are carb free and low in fat. Turkey breast contains about 70 milligrams of cholesterol, and chicken breast provides just under 90 milligrams of cholesterol in each 3-once portion. Both chicken and turkey breasts are rich in niacin and vitamin B-6, with chicken containing slightly more of these two essential vitamins.
Flavor Preference, Texture, and Cost
Because turkey and chicken breasts are so similar nutritionally and interchangeable in recipes, it really comes down to flavor preference, texture and cost when deciding on one or the other. Chicken breasts generally taste slightly blander than turkey breasts, since turkey has a somewhat distinct flavor. Turkey breasts may have a firmer texture as well. The cost of chicken vs. turkey breasts is often comparable, but may vary from supermarket to supermarket and from year to year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics.
An experienced health, nutrition and fitness writer, Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian and holds a dietetics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has worked as a clinical dietitian and health educator in outpatient settings. Erin's work is published on popular health websites, such as TheNest.com and JillianMichaels.com.