Chicken is one of the most popular meats when it comes to a low fat, high protein diet. It is frequently recommended in diet plans by fitness and weight loss professionals and a favourite of elite athletes.
So, why is chicken THE number one choice when it comes to health and well-being?
Chicken – A Great Source of Protein
Essentially, chicken is a great source of protein, which is essential for the muscle regeneration after exercise. 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 (ie good fats), which studies suggest protects against heart disease.
Protein slows the emptying of food from your stomach and helps maintain more stable blood sugar levels, so you don’t feel hungry as quickly after eating it. In other words, chicken can be really filling and takes longer than average to digest, which means you’re less likely to need snacks to fill the gap before your next meal.
Chicken – A Good Source of Vitamin B3 and B6
Chicken is also a good source of vitamin B3, which is important when it comes to the effective functioning of your nervous and digestive systems. What’s more, it also contains vitamin B6 which contributes to the formation of red blood cells as well as metabolising the amino acids in your body.
Which Chicken Cuts are the Healthiest?
When it comes to a healthy diet, skinless chicken breast fillets tend to be the most popular because this is the part of the bird with the lowest fat content.
Darker meat from a chicken, like legs, wings and 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.
That’s why chicken thighs and wings taste so good when they’re slow cooked on the barbecue, because the fat melts keeps the meat tender and juicy during the cooking process.
Chicken skin contains the most fat which is why it tastes so good when cooked to a crispy finish. But if you’re counting the calories, then take the skin-off after cooking to keep within your target calorie intake.
Every individual is different, and we must stress that just eating chicken will not make you lose weight. For effective weight loss or to generally improve your diet, you need to follow food plan which suits you and your lifestyle, and usually for a substantial length of time.
Chicken from Hugh Phillips Gower Butcher
You should also try and get hold of the best quality chicken available. Unfortunately, the market is full of cheap chicken, much of it imported and a lot of it pumped full of water and protein to bulk it out.
For example, at Hugh Phillips Gower Butcher, we only supply farm assured chicken fillets with guaranteed no added water, just juicy cuts of chicken. Supporting local farmers and the welfare of the animals is also of paramount importance to use.
Importantly, though a little more expensive than the general supermarket bulk-buy offering you will find our chicken has a superior flavour and nutritional value. What’s more, if your diet is tasteless, then you’re more likely to give up and switch to less healthy foods! On the other hand, an interesting and tasty diet, that also boosts the local economy, will help to keep you motivated to achieve those weight loss goals.