It cannot be denied that chicken meat is one of the most delicious alternatives, but it is also quite healthy, too. This is why chicken has become the most popular kind of poultry in the country. TO begin with, chicken is a very rich source of protein, which is an important nutrient for our body. Besides, chicken meat is relatively low on calories, especially when we remove the skin. Also, regardless of the cut you get, chicken meat is free of carbs, even when it is not free of fat. Lastly, chicken is also a rich source of different minerals and vitamins that will help us stay healthy if we consume them regularly.
Rich Source of Protein
When it comes to protein sources, there is nothing like chicken, as it is a source of high-quality protein. In order to understand the impact of chicken on our body, we need to think of protein quality being determined by the amino acids it contains. There are 11 amino acids that are naturally produced by our body, and the other 9 that we must get from food. Chicken contains these 9 amino acids, which means that it completes the proteins our body needs. This will depend, of course, on the cut we get and the quality of meat.
Calories in Chicken Breasts
Another great benefit of chicken is that it is relatively low in calories, especially chicken breasts. Even when the actual amount of calories you get depends on the type of chicken, the cut, and how you prepare it. However, we can say that, for example, 3 oz. serving of boneless and skinless chicken breasts would come with around 90 calories. Now, if we are talking about an entire bird, we are likely to get somewhere around 850 calories in a pound of chicken. Again, this depends on how we prepare it and cook it, so keep that in mind.
Carbs and Fat
Chicken and poultry are meats that are free of carbohydrates, which is why they tend to be the foundation for diets that focus on low-carb and high-protein meals. Nonetheless, some cuts might be prepared using additives that increase the carb count, just as frozen chicken or supermarket rotisserie chicken. On the other hand, chicken does come with its fair share of fat, depending on the cut. For example, chicken breasts contain no more than 1.5 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving. However, the thighs contribute 6.75 grams of fat on a serving of the same size. That’s why we must learn how to balance and choose lighter cuts.
Minerals and Vitamins
Protein, fat, and carbs are part of a group that is called macronutrients, yet we can also find a wide range of micronutrients, or vitamins and minerals, in chicken meat. Some of these nutrients include niacin, or vitamin B3, selenium, vitamin B6, riboflavin, or vitamin B2, and potassium. This is why chicken has always been an important part of any healthy diet, and it seems like it will remain like that for plenty of years to come.