7 Habits of Weight Loss

Chicken Nutrition

It is a good idea to study chicken nutrition facts carefully, especially for precooked chicken. Chicken is good for you, everyone knows that. It supplies the body with lean protein and has none of the bad fat that red meat has to clog up your arteries.

But unless you buy actual lean, raw chicken in the supermarket and cook it yourself, you might be amazed if you study the nutrition facts of many pre-cooked chicken dishes. For example, most fast food places offer chicken salad as an alternative to hamburgers, but you can often end up eating more calories in the salad, and more fat, than if you were to eat an actual hamburger. There are two reasons for this, first they tend to fry the chicken, and second, the salad dressing servings are very large and consequently very high in calories.

When you evaluate chicken nutrition facts, remember that it is often hard to tell how many calories you are eating. For example, the calories in one portion of chicken are dramatically reduced if you remove the skin. But just how do you tell? A chicken wing is almost all skin. There is also plenty of skin on a drumstick, but a breast portion has relatively little skin to meat.  100 grams of fried chicken skin, cooked in oil without breading, has 470 calories. 100 grams is about 3.5 ounces. That’s quite a lot of skin, but it’s also quite a lot of calories. Contrast that to 100 grams of lean, skinless breast meat cooked without oil (roasted or boiled) which has about 80 calories.

Rotisserie chicken is perhaps the most dangerous of all. The perception is that you are getting roasted chicken, which is generally lean. But rotisserie chicken is cooked using oil, and the fat from the chicken itself continuously bastes the lean chicken meat as it turns on the spit. Rotisserie chicken nutrition facts vary depending on the recipe, but rest assured the calorie count is more than roast chicken. Boston market half sweet garlic chicken with skin is 590 calories, with 297 from fat. On the other hand, a quarter chicken with no skin and no wing is 176 with 36 from fat.

If you cook chicken yourself, you are in control of what goes into the recipe. For example, you can choose to sautée it lightly in some olive oil, thus controlling not only the amount of oil you use, but the quality of the oil as well.

If you order chicken in a restaurant, ask how it is cooked. Marinated chicken, for example, can absorb oil, depending on what is used for the marinade. Some places use butter to baste roast chicken so that it has more flavor.

Another trap you might want to watch out for when it comes to tricky chicken nutrition is the buffalo wing trap. 2 (very small) Tyson frozen buffalo wings have 160 calories. 90 of those are from fat. 6 wings makes a small portion in terms of how much actual meat you get from the wings, yet that adds up 480 calories. The calorie count in buffalo wings varies a lot because of different recipe ingredients used to make them. But in general you can rest assured they are high in calories. Weight Watchers assigns a high number of points to buffalo wings. 3 wings have 9 points. Compare that to a skinned chicken breast, which only has 3 points.

Philip Kustner

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Information found here should NOT be construed as definitive or binding medical advice and is NOT intended to diagnose, prescribe, nor endorse any brand of products or services. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new weight loss or exercise regimen or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.