If there ever were a survey of the most loved food by people across the world, it would be dominated by chicken. The animal takes numerous forms to serve meat lovers across different cultures. Some like it with spicy gravy, others like it bland, so on and so forth. But there is a certain narrative often attached to it, falsely accusing the poor animal of being unhealthy for consumption, that it is junk food. This is a common misconception, far away from the truth.
What determines whether a food is junk or not is its nutritional value, or the lack of it and the method of its preparation. Chicken can be prepared in a variety of ways, including roasting, baking, grilling, barbecuing, frying, and boiling. A chicken salad recipe is certainly a healthy dish and so are boiled chicken, stew, and grilled chicken tacos.
It’s when the chicken is prepared by frying for fast foods such as fried chicken or nuggets, which most restaurants and fast food joints readily serve, it becomes unhealthy. It’s the oil, salt, and other additives that make it so, it has nothing to do with the chicken. A green vegetable prepared in that way would also lose its quality for that matter.
In fact, chicken is one of the healthiest choices when it comes to meats. Unlike red meat, which is found in cattle and pigs and contains too much fat, chicken has much lower concentrations of cholesterol and saturated fat. The fat is highly concentrated on the skin, which can be easily removed.
In comparison with red meat, chicken meat contains about two or three times more polyunsaturated fat, which is generally healthier than saturated ones. This kind of fat is also found in nuts, seeds, fish, seed oils, and oysters. Have we ever considered nuts to be unhealthy?
What’s more, chicken dishes are rich in protein. A 100g serving of baked chicken breast contains only 4 grams of fat and 31 grams of protein. Many studies have found that chicken consumption is good for heart patients, cancer patients, and also helps build growth tissues.
So, don’t fall for the anti-chicken narrative. Go for it, it is as healthy as they come.