Chicken breast is low in fat and high in protein. A 100-gram chicken breast contains 165 calories, compared to 206 calories in a 100-gram chicken thigh. Of course, calorie counts vary depending on how the chicken is cooked and whether oils and other seasonings or flavorings are added.
Because chicken breast is widely available, easy to prepare, and a great source of lean protein, it is an excellent choice if you are trying to lose weight or build muscle.
What nutrients are in chicken?
Chicken contains several essential nutrients that are good for overall health:
- Protein: Needed for growth and repair and maintains muscles in the body.
- Minerals and vitamins:
- Niacin: Good for skin and hair.
- Selenium: Needed for good immunity and thyroid function
- Phosphorus: Helps keep bones and teeth healthy
- B vitamins: Vitamins B6 and B12, thiamine, and riboflavin play a role in intracellular biochemical processes and nerve health
- Zinc: Plays a role in immunity and wound healing
- Potassium and copper: Needed for cellular functions
Calories and nutrients by chicken cut
Although overall calorie content and nutrition value are similar across cuts, there are minor variations:
- Chicken breast (100 grams)
- Calories: 165
- Protein: 31 grams (80%)
- Fats: 3.6 grams
- Chicken thigh (100 grams)
- Calories: 209
- Protein: 26 grams (53%)
- Fats: 11 grams (47%)
- Chicken wing (100 grams)
- Calories: 203
- Protein: 30.5 grams
- Fats: 8.2 grams
- Chicken drumstick (100 grams)
- Calories: 172
- Protein: 28.3 grams
- Fats: 5.7 grams
The following are calories per 100 grams of different cuts:
- Tenders: 263 calories
- Back meat: 137 calories
- Dark meat: 125 calories
- Light meat: 114 calories
What are healthy ways of cooking chicken?
Preparing chicken in the following ways can keep calorie levels low:
- Grilled chicken: Grilling chicken with vegetables provides a good amount of nutrients and fiber. Not much oil is required to grill chicken, keeping fat content low.
- Baked chicken: Baking chicken requires very little oil, making it a good method of preparation for weight loss.
- Stir-fried chicken: Sautéeing chicken with vegetables is also a good way to get both taste and nutrition.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Marangoni F, Corsello G, Cricelli C, et al. Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: An Italian consensus document. Food Nutr Res. 2015;59:27606. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4462824/
Charlton KE, Probst Y, Tapsell LC, Blackall PJ. Food, health and nutrition: where does chicken fit? 2008; 5-17. https://ro.uow.edu.au/hbspapers/1450
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