Chicken is a common meat that people often eat for dinner or lunch. But if you’re trying to be healthy, should you be eating it?
Chicken is often touted as one of the healthiest meats out there, because it contains high levels of protein and many essential vitamins and minerals.
But there are also people who claim that there are too many health risks associated with eating chicken.
So which side is right?
In this blog post, that’s exactly what we’re going to explore.
Let’s dig in and get to the bottom of it.
Eating Chicken – The Good
First things first, let’s focus on the positive.
Chicken is pretty easy to prepare in a wide variety of healthy ways. It can be roasted, poached, grilled, sauteed, baked, and stir-fried.
Chicken has long been hailed as a healthier alternative to fatty red meat.
It’s low in saturated fat, it contains more omega-6 fatty acids than most other animal meats, it’s high in protein, and it’s also packed with vitamins (especially B6 and B12) and minerals (especially zinc and copper).
It’s also generally a much more affordable option than meats like lamb or beef.
As a general rule, the healthiest ways to enjoy chicken are to either bake, grill, or stir-fry it.
Eating Chicken – The Bad
There are also a few health downsides to eating chicken.
For one, most conventionally-raised chicken are treated with antibiotics on a regular basis.
Since antibiotics are used so frequently, there’s an increased risk of bacteria within the meat developing a resistance to the antibiotics.
A solution to this problem could be found in truly free-range chickens. But such chicken meat is a lot more expensive to buy.
Salmonella is another potential danger.
While this can largely be prevented by preparing chicken properly, cooking it thoroughly, and not risking cross-contamination between raw chicken and other foods, it’s still something to consider.
It’s also true that not all types of chicken are created equal.
For example, deep fried chicken that’s breaded can be high in unhealthy carbs, fats, and calories.
Research also suggests that you may increase your risk of several diseases by eating processed chicken meat, such as lunch meat. Some of these diseases include type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.
As a general rule, some of the unhealthiest ways to eat chicken include eating fried chicken, eating store-bought rotisserie chicken, and eating processed chicken, such as lunch meat.
Both rotisserie chicken and processed lunch meat tend to be high in sodium. Lunch meats are also pumped full of unhealthy preservatives, to extend their shelf life.
Chicken is a fairly neutral food, when you consider all of the pros and cons.
And to be quite honest, how you prepare it makes all the difference.
If you prepare it safely, it tends to be a food that can definitely contribute to your health and wellness.
But when prepared unsafely, when it’s fried, or when it’s processed, it tends to be a poor dietary choice.