Chicken is a great option when it comes to lean protein, as it packs a good amount into a single serving without a lot of fat. Chicken breast is a staple in the diets of many healthy eaters and exercisers.
Healthy people who eat enough protein are more likely to maintain muscle mass and preserve a healthy metabolism. They prefer fat free type of chicken to eat because boneless skinless chicken breast nutrition contains less fat and a lot of health benefits. Plus, it is easy to cook at home and available in most restaurants.
The size of the chicken breast will affect the calorie count and chicken calories can be a tricky thing. One serving of chicken breast is about the size of the palm of your hand. But many packaged chicken breasts are much bigger than that. So if you eat a single breast, you are probably eating more than a single serving.
And if you keep the skin on your chicken breast, the fat and calorie count will be much higher. A chicken breast with the skin gives 55 grams of protein, 366 calories, 14 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat and zero grams of carbohydrate.
The cooking method and flavorings that you add can create a big difference as well. One chicken breast has 284 calories, or 165 calories per 100 grams, one medium fried chicken breast provides 364 calories, and chicken tenders calories are 263 per 100 grams. About 80% of the calories come from the chicken protein while 20% come from the chicken fat.
Chicken Breast Nutrition
Chicken breasts are a great source of protein and they are low in fat and sodium. Boneless chicken breast provides zero grams of carbohydrate, so they are a low-carb food. The estimated glycemic load of chicken breast is zero.
Since chicken breasts are so versatile they are easy to incorporate into a healthy diet like skinless chicken breast nutrition includes 34 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrate, 18 grams of fat, and 697 milligrams of sodium.
Ways to Cook Chicken Breast
The way you prepare the chicken breast can add a great number of calories to the final result of your meat. Cooking methods, such as frying and covering the meat in sauces, can add more than a few calories to your healthy chicken. Here are some of the healthy ways to follow:
Grill the Chicken
Grilling is a healthy way to cook chicken because of its capability to infuse flavors naturally into the meat without using unhealthy sauces and oils. You can grill the whole breast, cut it into little chunks or strips, add vegetables and grill it.
Use any healthy oil like olive oil to make marinades to add more flavor to the chicken before grilling. Some oil is required to prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill, especially if it is skinless. Also, use charcoals or scented wood chips which gives an extra flavor to the chicken.
Bake the Chicken
Baking seasoned chicken is a quick, easy and healthy way to prepare it for you and your whole family. You can cook it easily by seasoning it lightly with salt and pepper or you can create with a marinade. No oil is needed to bake chicken because it cooks with its own juices.
Once the chicken is soft and done throughout, you should remove it from the oven and drain off any excessive amount of oil. Make some brown rice or vegetables as a side or chunk up the chicken and put it on top of a salad.
Roast the Chicken
Roasting chicken can take a little longer but gives a healthy and delicious pleasure. The skin is cooked till it gets crispy but the meat inside stays tender. You can brush the chicken softly with oil or butter to help in the crisping process. Because roasting the chicken is a slightly longer process, oil has a chance to evaporate.
Chicken Breast Recipes
Here are some of the best healthy and delicious chicken recipes:
Chicken with pepper and bacon
Boneless chicken breasts are browned in the skillet and then baked with a barbecue sauce, bacon, and cheese topping. This easy and delicious chicken recipe is great with baked beans or a potato salad.
A healthy chicken recipe with that irresistible fried look and taste, this popcorn chicken is described as a super addicting food. Dredging the chicken bits in little crushed cornflakes add a nice crunch, plus they brown better in the air fryer than if you were to use flour. Don’t forget the powdered sugar, as it also helps brown the popcorn chicken pieces and also maintains the taste of the dried spices.
It is flavorful and easy to prepare and cook in the skillet. Flattening the chicken will help to cook the chicken quickly and evenly. As an alternative, sliced chicken breast cutlets are easy and cut down on the cooking time. Serve this chicken dish with some rice or hot pasta, along with a green salad or side vegetables.
Grilled Chicken Breast with Satay Sauce
Make this appetizer into a main dish by grilling the chicken breasts whole instead of skewering and spooning the sauce right on top instead of dipping. If you do not have a grill pan, sear the chicken in a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done. Combine with mayo for a burger spread, or combine with canola oil and fresh lime juice for a fantastic shrimp marinade.
Chicken Chili Mac and Cheese
This classic mac and cheese recipe gets better when made with delicious chicken chili. The flavor of spice from chili powder, diced green chilies, and fire-roasted tomatoes will game up your way of classic mac and cheese. It is a great chance for healthy cooks looking for a bit of comfort food maintaining their calorie budget. It is a simple mixture of flour, milk, and cheese that is creamy without being heavy on the fat and calories.
Sweet and Sour Chicken Breast
Consider it one of the most delicious boneless chicken breast recipes. A tasty and different sauce creates this simple yet great tasting sweet and sour chicken dish. This chicken recipe is made in just a few minutes in the skillet, and you probably have most of the ingredients already available.
Crispy Buttermilk Chicken
Marinating the chicken breasts for a few hours in a classic batter of buttermilk, onion powder, egg, and a hint of red pepper gives the tender and flavorful results. Sauté the chicken just before baking to give it a nice crispy crust. This classic chicken recipe creates a very delicious chicken dish. The ground red pepper gives a bit of spice to the chicken, but if you want something different, smoked paprika would be a nice choice. We really like ground chipotle peppers, too.
Lemon Chicken Skillet
There is nothing better than getting a delicious chicken breast recipe that can cover up the whole dinner. Lemon brightens this cozy meal, but the classic flavors are just irresistible. This single pan chicken dish is a whole dinner meal in one skillet, serve with a simple bowl of salad to get some good serving of veggies. Traditional green beans can be a nice option with that but they won’t be tender enough after short cooking time. But to make things quick, steam them first, and then add them to the pan for the finale.
Chicken with Mushroom Sauce
Once chicken breasts are done the cooking, the browned bits on the bottom of your skillet are flavor gold. For this dish, a simple pan sauce of sliced mushrooms, shallots, dry white wine, and fresh thyme makes basic sautéed chicken breasts. This is a comfort food where the can soak up all the delicious flavors. Fresh thyme adds woodsy flavor to the sauce. Oregano or rosemary would be a good substitute if you have either of those available. Serve the chicken breasts with mashed potatoes and spoon the pan sauce over the chicken to complete the meal.
Be careful when handling chicken. Bacteria rapidly multiply when the chicken is not stored at the proper temperature. Freezing doesn’t kill bacteria either. If you want to kill bacteria on chicken, cooking the chicken thoroughly is recommended. Most foodborne illnesses are a result of improper food handling. Restaurant Inspections make sure cross-contamination is not possible. Cross-contamination can occur if raw poultry or juices of the chicken contact with other foods in the kitchen. Health Inspectors make sure this type of contamination does not happen. Remember to cook your chicken and other meats thoroughly!