A healthy diet plays a vital role in achieving and maintaining good health and nutrition. It can protect you against several chronic non-communicable diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. For a healthy diet, you should include different kinds of foods and restrict your salt intake, sugars, and saturated and industrially produced trans-fats.
Image Source: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-plate/
You can choose a combination of different foods for your diet. It can include:
- Staples like cereals (wheat, barley, rye, maize, or rice), starchy tubers, or roots (potato, yam, taro, or cassava)
- Legumes (lentils and beans)
- Different kinds of fruit and vegetables
- Foods from animal sources like meat, fish, eggs, and milk
Include Chicken in Your Diet the Right Way
Heart disease is considered the number one leading cause of death in the U.S. It is responsible for the death of nearly 700,000 people each year. The American Heart Association has claimed that nearly half of U.S. adults live with some form of cardiovascular disease. Medical conditions like high blood pressure are increasingly becoming a big concern. That is why you should be careful of what you include in your diet.
Chicken is one such food item that most Americans love. It is full of nutrients like protein, zinc, iron, vitamins, essential fatty acids, and iodine. So, it should be a part of your daily diet. However, when you deep fry this meat, it can’t be considered as healthy. If you are really a fan of the chicken, you don’t have to give up on it as long as you eat it the right way.
For instance, you can easily make a low-carb chicken sandwich. Pick a higher-carb vegetable like onions in smaller amounts and mix it with chicken, pepper, and salt, and form patties. Next, you can grill the chicken and add cheddar cheese. You can then microwave it for a few seconds and finally add lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, and avocados as toppings. You now have a chicken dish that is as healthy and delicious as you can imagine. Enjoy every bite!
Chicken is Highly Nutritious
Studies show that chicken has several health benefits. However, you need to consider what parts of the chicken you are using and the preparation methods if you want a healthy chicken-based meal. You can lose darker cuts like the thigh and drumstick as they contain higher caloric content and pick lighter cuts like the breast. Remember that if you keep the skin or fry it, you are adding a lot of saturated fat.
If you want the healthiest part of the meat, you should stick with chicken breast. One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of chicken breast contains:
- Calories: 122
- Protein: 24 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbs: 0 grams
- Niacin: 51% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Selenium: 36% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 17% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 16% of the DV
- Vitamin B12: 10% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 9% of the DV
- Zinc: 7% of the DV
- Thiamine: 6% of the DV
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
- Copper: 4% of the DV
Some Health Benefits of Eating Chicken
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Chicken can serve as a fantastic substitute for red meats. It has been linked to a variety of health benefits, such as:
1. Stronger Bones and Muscles
Chicken is an excellent source of lean proteins. If you increase the protein intake in your diet, it can contribute to greater strength and muscle mass gains, especially if combined with resistance exercise. It also allows for greater muscle mass preservation, restricts age-related muscle loss, and provides a greater muscle protein synthetic response (to some extent) when evenly distributed across meals.
2. Promotes Weight Management
Research indicates that 25-30 grams of protein per meal can help you feel fuller and satiated for longer. So, even if you eat less but include chicken in your diet, it will help you better manage your weight.
3. Improves Mood
Chicken is said to contain the amino acid tryptophan. It has been linked to higher levels of serotonin in our brains that can stave off depression and provide a feeling of euphoria.
Thus, chicken has a variety of important nutrients that can be extremely beneficial for your health. But, you need to be careful about choosing healthy types of chicken. And, when it comes to cooking methods, go for baking, grilling, steaming, or stir-frying rather than deep-frying it. If you eat it right, you can enjoy chicken as part of a balanced and healthy diet.