Duck meat is a very flavorful type of poultry. Most people do not cook duck meat at home, but it can be a delicious treat when eating out. Duck meat is a good source of protein, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, iron, zinc, vitamin B-6 and thiamine and smaller amounts of vitamin B-12, folate and magnesium. Duck meat is relatively high in fat and cholesterol, especially if you eat the skin.
A 3-ounce serving of cooked duck meat with the skin contains 70 milligrams of cholesterol, and a 3-ounce serving without the skin contains 75 milligrams. This is approximately 25 percent of the recommended limit of 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day for healthy adults. If you have heart disease or high cholesterol, limit your daily cholesterol intake to 200 milligrams per day.
Saturated fat consumption has a greater effect on your blood cholesterol levels than cholesterol intake. Limit your saturated fat intake to no more than 7 to 10 percent of your daily calories. Three ounces of cooked duck meat without the skin contains 4 grams of saturated fat, and 3 ounces of cooked duck meat with the skin contains 8 grams of saturated fat. For someone on a 2,000-calorie diet, this is 20 percent or 40 percent of the recommended saturated fat intake for the day, depending on which type of duck meat you consume.
If you are watching your cholesterol, choose duck meat that is prepared without a lot of added fat and limit yourself to no more than one serving of duck without skin per day. Avoid ordering crispy duck, as this is usually duck that is fried with the skin on. Baked, roasted or braised duck is a better choice than fried. Consume foods that are low in cholesterol and saturated fat for the rest of your meals on days when you consume duck.
Having high cholesterol makes it more likely you will develop clogged arteries and heart disease and suffer from a stroke or heart attack, so stick within the recommended limits for saturated fat and cholesterol. Other types of poultry, such as chicken or turkey breast, can be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than duck meat; select these most often when you consume poultry.