Columns and Letters

Column: The health benefits of turkey

October 6, 2021

-by Bonnie MacIsaac
    It's sneaking right up on us. Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. It's the most guilt-free holiday of the year. You don't have to buy presents or make sure anything is decorated perfectly. There is lots of food, family, and friends. What's not to like?
    The harvest of the gardens, the colours, and the weather. We are so fortunate to live in this part of the world. Mother Nature is the perfect artist! No wonder people from all over the world come here to take in the beauty of our island.
    I won’t have anyone coming home for Thanksgiving this year. That is fine. I am thankful my children are healthy and happy, and succeeding in their chosen fields. Thanksgiving will be still be filled with friends, who are like family and how thankful am I for each and every one of them! The main part of this designated day to me is being mindful and thankful for all our blessings in life.
    Turkey is on the menu with some other dishes this year. I always have some new recipes picked out and ready to try. Just to liven it up a little! I like having turkey anytime not just on specials occasions. It's good for you. It is one of the world's great comfort foods and it is gaining in popularity with its health benefits. In 2020, according to the Turkey Farmers of Canada's numbers, Canadians consumed 143.8 million kg (Mkg) of turkey. Per capita, turkey consumption was 3.8 kg. An estimated 55.3 Mkg of turkey and turkey products were purchased at retail by Canadians. Of that 55.3 Mkg, 43.6 Mkg of whole turkeys were purchased. Canadian households consumed a total of 7.0 million whole turkeys! Annual sales of turkey parts and processed turkey products in Canadian supermarkets increased from 8.8 Mkg in 1993, to 11.6 Mkg in 2020 (excluding deli).
    For Thanksgiving last year, 2.5 million whole turkeys were purchased by Canadians, equal to 36 per cent of all whole turkeys that were sold over the year. And, 32 per cent of all Canadian households (4.6 million) purchased turkey and turkey products for Thanksgiving 2015.
    The facts about turkey point to a simple conclusion – turkey is a “super” food and one we should cook up more often. Take a look at these health benefits:
– Saturated fat is necessary for biological functions, hormone production, padding for organs and energy. While saturated fat is necessary for a healthy body, most moderately-active people should be mindful of overindulging. Turkey has less than 12 per cent of the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat per 4-ounce serving.
– Protein is an essential building block for your bodies. Turkey is an excellent source of lean protein. One serving of turkey provides more than half your body's protein requirement, with half the fat of beef and 30 per cent fewer calories.
– A little-known health benefit of turkey is that it contains trace minerals thought to aid in cancer prevention. Turkey contains selenium, which is essential for the healthy function of the thyroid and immune system. Selenium also has an essential role to play in your antioxidant defense system, helping to eliminate cancer-friendly free radicals in the body. Each serving of turkey contains almost half of the body's requirement for selenium.
– The B Vitamin niacin in turkey is a cancer preventer as well. Niacin also helps convert elements of the food we eat into the energy our bodies run on. Turkey is a nutrient rich food, making it a healthy choice year-round. A serving of turkey meat has 36 per cent of the daily allowance of Vitamin B3 or niacin, which plays a critical role in the processing of fats in the body and 27 per cent of our recommended intake of B6, a vitamin that helps maintain steady blood sugar levels. Niacin and Vitamin B6 prevent the accumulation of homocysteine in our body. High levels of homocysteine damage blood vessels and significantly increase our risk for heart disease. So turkey is very heart healthy.
    The availability of turkey pieces, boneless turkey breasts, turkey cutlets, and ground turkey make including this nutritious food in our menus an easy choice not just on special occasions.
    Recalled! Advil Cold & Sinus Day/Night Convenience Pack, in boxes of 18 caplets and 36 caplets. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Health care ULC (GSK) is recalling two lots (ER2072, ER2069, expiry 2023-02) due to a labelling error on the back of the blister pack. Consumers may take a nighttime caplet instead of a daytime caplet, and vice versa. Taking a nighttime caplet when alertness is required may pose health risks.
    The following products are recalled:
– Advil Cold & Sinus Day/Night Convenience Pack. Size: Box of 36 caplets (24 daytime and 12 nighttime) DIN# 02399733 (convenience pack) and 02267616 (daytime caplets). Lot# ER2072 Expiration Date: 2023-02
– Advil Cold & Sinus Day/Night Convenience Pack. Size: Box of 18 caplets (12 daytime and 6 nighttime). DIN# 02267632 (nighttime caplets). Lot# ER2069 Expiration Date: 2023-02
    GSK is recalling two lots of Advil Cold & Sinus Day/Night Convenience Pack (one lot of 18 caplet boxes and one lot of 36 caplet boxes) due to a labelling error on blister packs. The foil backing on the blister pack is rotated upside down and misaligned, so the nighttime caplets are labelled as daytime caplets, and some daytime caplets are labelled as nighttime caplets. Consumers may take a nighttime caplet when they intend to take a daytime caplet, and vice versa.
    The daytime and nighttime caplets have a different shape and colour (the daytime caplet is beige and has the marking “ADVIL COLD & SINUS” in black ink. The nighttime caplet is orange and has the marking “Advil A/S”). The nighttime caplets contain an antihistamine medicinal ingredient (chlorpheniramine maleate) that can cause drowsiness. Taking a nighttime caplet when alertness is required may pose potentially serious adverse health consequences, such as when driving motor vehicles or operating heavy machinery. It may also cause potentially serious health consequences for those who have taken other sedatives or tranquilizers, consumed alcohol, and the elderly.
    The affected products were distributed in Canada starting July 2021. Consumers are asked to stop using the recalled products. Consult a health care professional if you have used any of these products and have health concerns. Return the product to your local pharmacy for proper disposal. Contact GSK by calling toll-free 1-855-367-7349, or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., if you have questions about the recall.
    Also recalled! Kids Paw Patrol Skye Costume. Health Canada's sampling and evaluation program has determined that the recalled Kids Paw Patrol Skye Costume does not meet the flammability requirements under the Toys Regulations.
    The following products are recalled:
– Toddler: UPC Numbers: 883028054923, 482298101308, and 048229810130
– Small: UPC Numbers: 883028054930, 482298101476, and 048229810147
    The hazard identified by Health Canada means if the costume is exposed to ignition sources such as stove elements, candles, matches or lighters, the Kids Paw Patrol Skye Costume can catch fire, posing a risk to children. The affected products were sold prior to September 2021.
    Consumers should immediately take the recalled Kids Paw Patrol Skye Costume away from children and return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers may also contact Rubies II at 516-326-1500 for more information. Please note that the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act prohibits recalled products from being redistributed, sold, or even given away in Canada.
    From my home to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!






























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