Chicken is probably the most loved dish. So what is great about it? What are some of the good nutritional benefits of eating chicken?
The most important benefit of chicken is that it is a great source of high quality protein with low fat levels compared to other types of meat such as beef and pork.
There is a misconception that the chicken meat does not have a high density of proteins compared to other sources such as red meat. However, this is not actually true. The protein content is virtually the same for all kinds of meat including pork, beef and lamb: at about 22%.
Here are other key facts about the nutritional content of chicken meat:-
- Chicken meat is generally low fat compared to other meats. Depending on the condition in which the chicken raised, the fatty acid content can be even lower. For example, meat from chicken raised in free range conditions generally has a lower fat content than that from chickens grown in an enclosure or factory environment.
- Chicken meat also has lower saturated fatty acid content compared to other types of meat.
- Chicken meat contains all the important vitamins and minerals but chicken meat is advantageous due to its higher niacin content. This is an important nutrient that is necessary for energy metabolism.
However, it is important to keep in mind that different cuts of chicken meat will have varying nutrient profiles. This is especially the case when it comes to the fat levels on the chickens. Most of the fats on the chicken meat is stored on the skin so the cuts that are eaten with the skin still on or those that have a high proportion of skin like the wings or breast fillets will likely have a higher fat content.
If you don’t want much of the fat, you can remove the skin and trim off the surplus fat from the chicken meat before you consume it to cut down on the amount of fat intake.
The leanest part of the chicken meat is the breast meat and represents about 41% to 49% of the edible parts of the chicken meat. In some countries, only the breast meat is harvested for consumption and the rest is recycled or dumped.
There are several other reasons to consume chicken meat:-
- Chicken meat is the most affordable lean meat currently available in the market so it is a fairly affordable source of high quality proteins.
- Chicken meat is highly versatile and also easy to cook. You can prepare chicken meat in numerous ways; there are thousands of recipes to choose from.
- Chicken meat is generally popular with the whole family. Almost everyone eats chicken meat. You can therefore easily include it in the whole family meals.