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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Calories >>  Chicken Calories

Chicken calories

As the world gets more health conscious, animal proteins are coming into close scrutiny from the health food and diet industry. Studies show that consumption of red meat in the form of beef, lamb, and venison may contribute to health diseases such as heart attack, cholesterol, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and so on. Over consumption of red meat may also increase the risk of cancer, kidney disease, hypertension, and the trigger for most diseases, obesity. No doubt, red meat is an excellent source for proteins and vitamins such as B12. However, given the ill-effects of over consuming red meat, it is time for focus on dietary substitutes for your daily protein requirement.
Experts suggest that a vegetarian diet rich in dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt may provide us with required protein. Additionally, soy products such as tofu may also contribute to our overall need for proteins. However, if vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is not a choice, it is time to look at healthier options.

One alternative is including more poultry products such as chicken and eggs into our daily diet. Meat lovers can enjoy chicken calories without worrying about excess fat. A four-ounce serving of chicken provides almost sixty-seven percent of your protein requirement. Apart from low chicken calories, cooking with chicken is quick and easy. Available in a wide variety of cuts, the meat is versatile and adapts well to various dishes. However, chicken calories do differ based on factors such as cooking method, grilled versus fried. Chicken calories may also differ based on the part of chicken consumed, legs, thighs, and breast, and how you like to consume it, with or without skin. If you love the crispy texture of skin on chicken, here is something to ponder. Over 30 percent of fat in chicken comes from the skin. That amounts to 80 percent of the calories in chicken skin. Forgo the skin, and you are eating a lot healthier already.

Many people believe that consuming a chicken dish is a conscious diet choice. However, if your favorite dish is chicken fried rice, the chicken calories and carbs in the dish may result in a not so healthy choice. Confused about how to eat chicken and keep the calories under check. Let us break down the chicken calories to enable your weight watch and healthy eating. Luckily, you can purchase pre-cut meats or packaged chicken from your local store.

You may have to choose from chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks or legs, chicken wings, and giblets.

• Chicken calories in breast may vary depending on if you purchase chicken breast with or without skin. Options such as skinless, boneless chicken breast help you reduce chicken calories significantly. With skin, chicken calories in breast may total up to 170 calories. Take out the skin and knock back that number to 110 calories for chicken breast without skin.
• Chicken calories in thigh may average up to 119 calories without skin. Skin on, chicken calories in thigh may go up to 211 calories. Many individuals avoid chicken thighs because of its high calorie and fat content. Chicken breasts are considered the healthy white meat, while chicken thighs are considered dark meat. However, the difference between a 4 ounce piece of chicken breast and thigh may average a mere 10 calories. Skinless, boneless options for chicken thighs lower the calories and cholesterol significantly. Moreover, buying chicken thighs is more economical.
• Chicken drumsticks barbequed in hot sauce are irresistible. Chicken leg calories increase if you consume them with skin on. Try chicken legs without skin at 120 calories. With skin, you encounter 187 calories in chicken legs.
• Chicken skin may have received flak for fat and calorie content. However, despite its lack of nutritional value, you may make use chicken skin to make stock. De-skin the meat and store it in freezer bags for future use. You may add onions, celery, carrots, herbs and spices to make chicken stock, which maybe used in soups and stews.
• Chicken wings are a favorite on game nights and tailgating parties. However, at 126 calories without skin and 237 calories with skin, they are not a weight watcher’s delight.

All the above numbers for calorie content are based on a 3.5-ounce serving of chicken. Depending on the amount of meat you eat, the calories will add up. So, although chicken maybe a healthier option to red meat, moderation is still key when it comes to consumption. Plus, all of these numbers add up when you consider cooking or eating methods. Sauces with sugar and high sodium levels add extra calories, as do cheesy dips and cream-based gravies. Deep-fried or batter-fried dishes steal the wholesome nutrition from chicken while adding calories from oil and refined flour.
Grilled vs. fried. If you want to consume fewer calories, fewer fat grams, and lower sodium, opt for grilled chicken instead of the deep-fried or batter fried variety. Breast, thighs, legs, wings or nuggets, grilled chicken calories will be lower when you minus the calories and fat from oil. Fried chicken usually requires the skin on variety to add crispness. This means more fat and calories. If you are worried that oven-baked or grilled chicken maybe less tasty than fried chicken, rest assured that there are plenty of rubs and marinades to add flavor. Dressing your chicken with herbs and spices allows you to eat a flavorful meal without worrying about adding on the pounds. Another point to remember when grilling chicken is that the meat contains its own fat. Therefore, any cooking method that allows the chicken to swim in its own fat rather than allowing it to drip away will contribute to added calories. Another advantage with grilled chicken is that since the meat cooks in its own fat, you can save additional calories by avoiding oil or butter. Just allow the fat to drip away or control the amount of fat by trimming it before grilling the meat.

Also, try Asian cuisines with chicken stews or soup to lower chicken calories. You can enjoy succulent chicken along with the health benefits of vegetables in a salad or sandwich. Lower your chicken calories by opting for zesty vinaigrettes and ditch the creamy dressing. Opt for multigrain or whole wheat bread to lower your carb content. Rotisserie chicken may cut your mealtimes by half, but beware of the calories in skin. Then, there are the ready-to-eat chicken varieties. Once again, convenience wins over health. Ready-to-go products contain added preservatives, sugars, and sodium. Besides, pre-cooked meat may not retain the nutritional content in chicken meat. Breaded ready to go chicken products also contain additional calories and starch.

To sum up, parts of the chicken, methods of cooking, and meat with or without skin all contribute to the amount of chicken calories you may consume.
Submitted on January 16, 2014