Chicken is one of the healthiest animal proteins and one of the most consumed white meats: it’s delicious, versatile, incredibly nutritious, and affordable. In addition, chicken has the great advantage of being able to be used for all kinds of recipes depending on the piece that is chosen; although for many the chicken breast takes all the love and recognition when it comes to recipes and healthy diets. In principle, because it is a lean source of high quality protein, it is low in calories and a white meat full of flavor. However, for those who are a little tired of the typical grilled brisket we have good news: chicken thighs are an equally good, inexpensive and ideal option for creating all kinds of recipes. Finally nothing like biting into a piece of tender and juicy thigh. Today we invite you to explore more about this rich alternative, which is also a nutritional treasure.
Chicken thighs are a fantastic addition to dishes like casseroles, stews, and pasta dishes. However, for whatever reason, chicken thighs have gotten a bad rap over the years. Yes well it is true that the thigh contains more fat than its white meat counterparts, this cut of meat has somehow been labeled a minor option if you follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. Fortunately, today we know that chicken thighs contain a host of essential health nutrients and can absolutely be a healthy addition to your diet.
A little about the nutritional information for chicken thighs:
According to the FDA, this is the nutritional information for a 3-ounce serving of skinless chicken thigh:
– 164 calories
– 9 grams of fat
– 2.4 g of saturated fat
– 0 g of carbohydrates
– 20 g of protein
– 20 micrograms of selenium
– 183 milligrams of potassium
– 1.7 mg of zinc
– 0.4 mcg of vitamin B12
– 0.8 mg of iron
It is worth mentioning that many people tend to eat chicken thighs with skin, since it provides a great flavor when it is browned and for obvious reasons increases the fat content of the chicken piece. Remember that when consumed with skin, for a 3-ounce potion: you’re adding an additional 53 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 1.7 grams of saturated fat.
Another great genius about the composition of chicken is that it is considered a complete protein, which means that it contains the nine amino acids that our body cannot produce on its own. In addition, all cuts of chicken, including thighs, contain tryptophan, an amino acid responsible for increasing serotonin; known to be the neurochemical to “feel good” and that is why can help maintain a healthy mood.
Also, chicken thighs are a magnificent ingredient in the preparation of chicken broth and medicinal soups, to combat any cold or digestive condition. It is well known that chicken soup is incredibly healing and is associated with increasing hydration and provides essential nutrients for the immune system such as zinc.
Are chicken thighs healthy?
Finding cost-effective ways to consume nutrient-dense foods can be challenging for many people. And while it is true that chicken thighs tend to contain more fat and cholesterol than breast meat (which has 3 grams of total fat and 0.7 grams of saturated fat per 3-ounce serving), both can easily fit into the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations for fat intake. Usually on chicken thighs, this ranges from 20% to 35% of total calories from fat, and 10% or less of total calories from saturated fat.
In addition, chicken thighs are usually a much more affordable alternative compared to other meat or fish products. What makes them a great source of high biological value protein for those on unlimited budgets or they cook for large families. Consuming foods that contain protein can contribute to weight control goals, as they provide a lot of satiety that makes it much easier to control caloric intake and help control anxiety to eat. Another genius is that it is a protein that is related to the maintenance and increase of muscle mass. Also, they are a food that benefits bone and joint health.
According to nutrition experts, the secret to making chicken thighs a healthy addition to your diet is: how they are prepared. We all know that to take care of weight and health it is important to limit the consumption of fats, therefore it is recommended not to use unhealthy added oils, bet on a touch of olive or avocado oil. Choose cooking methods that are not fried or weathered, bet on vbroiled, baked, boiled, or steamed chicken versions. It is also vitally important to take into account the sodium we add during cooking, choose to season it with herbs and spices that are an extraordinary way to omit the use of health and enhance the flavor of the dish.
Another good tip is to watch the type of combinations with which chicken thighs are enjoyed, bet on combining them with abundant vegetables, legumes, seeds and whole grains. They are the perfect complement to balance nutrition and create attractive, colorful and very healthy recipes.
The truth is that chicken is the ideal food to integrate into a healthy eating scheme and with a good management of daily calories, since its caloric value is not very high: in 200 grams we will obtain approximately 234 calories of the highest quality .
According to the Spanish Nutrition Federation (FEN) on its official website, the caloric value of chicken is not very high: for a serving of 200 g there are approximately 234 kilocalories. Virtually all the fat in the chicken is visible and can be easily removed, therefore its caloric value will be even lower. It is worth mentioning that consuming it with fat occasionally does not symbolize a major problem, since its fat is mostly monounsaturated, It consists mainly of oleic fatty acid and provides 20% proteins of high biological value ”.
According to the nutritional recommendations, the consumption of lean meat is recommended a maximum of three times a week. And complementary to this, people are encouraged to stop consuming red meat much more occasionally, not in vain the guidelines promoted by the Mediterranean diet are considered the healthiest long-term diet. Therefore, integrating the consumption of lean or white meats is a great strategy not only to take care of our health, It is related to great benefits to take care of the planet and live longer and better.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.