Chicken Nutrition Facts: Chicken is well-documented for its health benefits; however, various components and cooking methods influence how healthy your meal is. Cuts that are darker such as the drumstick and thigh, have higher calories than lighter cuts such as the breast. In addition, frying or keeping the skin on the chicken can also increase saturated fat.
If you’re replacing the red meat with chicken, stay with breast meat because it’s the most nutritious cut of meat from the bird.
Chicken Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits
Chicken can be a great alternative to red meat. An excellent source of protein, chicken, has been associated with various health benefits.
Stronger Bones and Muscles
Lean protein found from chicken is a great supply of amino acids. The body uses amino acids to create muscle tissue, which is especially important when we get older. Research has shown that eating more protein can help keep the bone mineral content. Consuming chicken may help strengthen muscles and create healthier bones, which reduces the chance of injury and illnesses like osteoporosis.
Weight Management and Heart Health
Research suggests that 25-30g of protein per meal could aid in feeling fuller. Protein-rich meals can help us feel fuller, despite eating less, which is a great way to improve weight management. A healthier weight can lead to reductions in risk factors for heart-related issues like high triglycerides and hypertension. A protein-rich chicken can aid in weight control and decrease the risks of heart disease.
Chicken is a source of an amino acid called tryptophan that has been associated with higher concentrations of serotonin (the “feel-good” hormone) in our brains. The levels of tryptophan in the chicken aren’t enough to cause you to feel immediately high, but research suggests that it may help increase serotonin levels when it’s combined with other triggers.
Chicken is packed with top-quality proteins and doesn’t have any fat, especially when consuming lean cuts. In addition to its high protein and fat content, chicken is also rich in:
- Vitamin B12
Nutrients per Serving
Uncooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast fillet consists of:
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 26 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar Zero grams
Things to Watch Out For
The USDA suggests limiting portions of food items like chicken up to two or six pounds of protein daily. Active people might require more.
Make sure you properly prepare and store your chicken in order to avoid food-borne diseases. The cross-contamination during cooking or letting the chicken remain out for too long could lead to the growth of bacteria, which can make you very sick.
While it’s often referred to as a low-fat protein, chicken has little cholesterol. If you’re following a low-cholesterol diet or have a high chance of developing heart diseases, be sure to pay careful attention to the amount of cholesterol present in the chicken you purchase. It’s never hurt to discuss your diet with a physician or dietician.
How to Prepare Chicken
When you purchase chicken, ensure that you keep it in the refrigerator for two hours. If you don’t cook the chicken in two days, you can freeze it in the freezer-safe plastic wrap and allow it to thaw before cooking. There are many ways to thaw frozen poultry:
- Refrigerate it for 24 hours prior to cooking.
- Place it in cold tap water until it begins to melt. Change the water every 30 minutes. A 3-pound bag will take about two hours to defrost using this method.
- Utilize your microwave to melt chicken. Be sure to cook it right away afterward.
No matter what method you decide to use, Whatever method you choose, don’t leave your chicken at a temperature that is more than 40 degrees F during thawing as bacteria could begin to develop in the chicken’s meat. You may also opt to cook your meat that has been frozen.
When cooking, you should concentrate on warming the chicken to the correct temperature, not cooking time. The chicken should be cooked to the internal temperature at 160 degrees F before eating. To test this, insert an edible thermometer in the fattest part of the piece or chicken piece you’re cooking. Do not let the thermometer be in contact with any bones.
In the case of baking chickens:
- A breast of 4 ounces that is boneless is expected to take between 20 and thirty minutes in 350 degrees F to cook.
- Bone-in chicken breasts are bigger and will require more time to cook. Bake them in 30-40 minutes, at 350° F.
- To stuff chicken breasts with a filling, Bake for an additional 15-30 minutes to ensure the chicken is cooked to perfection.
If you need to chop your bird, you must use an entirely separate cutting area and knife in order to avoid cross-contamination with other food items. After the chicken is cut, you must thoroughly clean and disinfect the cutting area and all kitchen equipment that came in contact with the chicken’s raw meat. Make sure to wash your hands after touching raw meat as well as any other food item.
There are numerous ways to relish a delicious chicken breast, which includes:
- Shredded in salads.
- Grilled with rice or vegetables.
- A sandwich is cut into slices.
- It can be used as a substitute for a beef patty that is used in the form of a hamburger.
- Serve with pasta and the sauce you prefer.
- Wrap it up with salsa and Hummus.
Chicken Breast: 284 Calories
Chicken breast is among the most well-known kinds of meats from chicken. It’s high in protein as well as low in fat. This makes it a fantastic option for people looking to shed weight.
Skinless, boneless cooking bird breast (172 grams) includes the breakdown of the following nutrients ( 1):
- Calories: 284
- Protein: 53.4 grams
- Carbs0 grams
- The Fat 6.2 grams
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of chicken breasts provides 165 calories, the protein content is 31g, and 3.6 grams of fat.
This means that around 20% of calories in chicken breast come from protein, and 20% are from fat.
Remember that these numbers refer to the plain chicken breast without additional ingredients. When cooking in oil or adding marinades, sauces, or marinades, add calories, carbohydrates, and fat.