Is Chicken Good For Me?
By Sam Wass, Medium Well
You’re probably aware that Chicken makes up a huge amount of many low-fat high protein diets, and is often seen in diet plans of elite athletes and fitness professionals. If you’ve ever asked is chicken is good for you, hopefully we can give you the answers here.
In the simplest of terms, Chicken is a great source of protein, which is essential for the bodies regeneration. Protein is key to a healthy diet, because your body uses it to create new cells and to repair and maintain existing cells. It’s also worth noting that chicken is classified as a high-quality protein, in so much that it is a protein that contains the eight essential amino acids. Although classed as low-fat, the actual fat found in chicken is unsaturated, which studies suggest protects against heart disease - they’re good fat.
Protein slows the emptying of food from your stomach and helps maintain more stable blood sugar levels so you do not feel as hungry after yeating. This means that on a practical, and on an economical level, chicken is really filling and takes longer than average to digest, which means you’re less likely to snack on unhealthy things, as it keeps you going for hours after eating.
Chicken is also a good source of vitamin B3, which is needed by the body to effectively function your nervous and digestive systems, and also vitamin B6, which is necessary for metabolising amino acids and the formation of red blood cells. Eating poultry is also a useful way of getting selenium, which is a mineral that scientists indicate may be protective against cancer. It’s a mineral difficult to find in the UK so many people are not getting enough of it, which is a growing concern for some nutritionalist studies.
Skinless Chicken breast fillets is the most popular form of chicken sold, almost certainly because it is the part of the bird with the lowest fat content, and is therefore arguably the healthiest part.
Darker meat from the bird, things like Chicken Legs Chicken Wings and Chicken Thighs, have a higher fat content than the white breast meat, mainly because they contain more connective tissue which hold the fat. That said, just as with beef and red meat, that connective tissue is amazing in its own right for distributing moisture in the cooking process, and making chicken taste amazing. It’s the reason that Chicken Thighs and Chicken Wings taste incredible when they’re slow cooked on the barbecue, because the fat and collagen melts keeps the meat tender and juicy during the cooking process.
Chicken Skin is undoubtably where the highest fat content in a chicken resides, with about 41 grams of fat per 100 grams and 454 calories. Obviously it can taste amazing, especially when it’s deliciously crispy, but if you’re counting the calories, then take the skin-off after cooking, and you’ll also be removing those calories.
Whether Chicken is good for you probably depends on each individual. Like all good diet and nutritional advice, what we would stress is that for significant weight loss to occur, you need to follow a diet and food plan for a substantial length of time. You should also try and get hold of the best chicken breasts you can afford to buy. The market is full of cheap chicken, most of it imported and a lot of it pumped full of water and protein to bulk it out. You really have to ask yourself what is the real price if cheap imported chicken on British farmers? British chicken tastes superior and it supports British farms, and if you're willing to pay a bit more you get superior flavour and nutritional value. A tasteless diet can lead you to give up your efforts, while interesting food that helps the local economy can keep you motivated to continue trying to achieve your goals.