People talk a lot about chicken’s nutritional value, but few people know the secret to healthy chicken recipes.
Chicken is the most loved source of protein fitness enthusiasts always include in their diet. Whether you may be looking for gains or weight loss, it is a staple in many types of food worldwide. People love chicken since you could cook it with almost anything, and it’s readily available in nearly every market.
If people were to pick which part of chicken they like best, it is the most versatile to cook, the Chicken leg. Fry them, stew them or grill them; the chicken leg is arguably the best and valuable option to add to your home cook meals.
There has been some scrutiny from fitness experts on the calories in chicken legs; most people trying to lose weight would prefer leaner because the chicken breast has less fat and calories than the chicken leg.
But is it true that the chicken leg can also be considered a healthy meal option to include in your diet regimen?
Would the calories in a grilled chicken leg be any lesser than fried chicken legs due to the way it was cooked?
Okay, let us discuss it in this article:
- The exact benefits of protein for weight loss
- How many calories in a chicken leg
- How chicken can be applied in a 500 calorie diet
So keep on reading!
The Importance of Protein in Our Diet
Protein is an essential factor for the cells in our body. Aside from being the building blocks of muscle and tissue, it also helps create and regulate our body’s hormones and enzymes.
Being considered a significant macronutrient in our body, this technically means that our body can’t function properly without it. And unlike fats and carbohydrates, the protein in our body is almost always in a constant state of turnover. In general, the body breaks down more protein than it can create; hence, we have to maintain a reasonable amount of protein in our diet.
How Chicken is Considered Healthy; and a Crucial Part of Our Diet
Chicken is considered to be one of if not -the best sources of protein out there among any food group. It is continuously a part of every bodybuilders’ or people aiming for weight loss’ everyday meal. It is easy to cook and can be added to a wide array of dishes.
The exact level of nutrition in the chicken depends entirely on how it is prepared and cooked. If it is deep-fried in oil, of course, it would be considered very unhealthy. But other methods of cooking such as braising or baking can be regarded as significantly way healthier.
When it comes to actual Chicken legs, they are also packed with essential nutrients for a robust immune system. Iron and ZincZinc are practically more apparent in dark meat than white meat, which is a bonus.
Nutritional Facts about Chicken
Chicken is shallow in carbs and saturated or unhealthy fats. The meat itself provides vitamins such as vitamin B complex and vitamin B3.
It’s also rich in potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium.
These important fundamental components make the chicken a very healthy dish that could improve your body’s well-being in more ways than one.
Chicken and Muscle Gain: The best part of chicken for muscle gain and tone
The Chicken breast contains the most protein by weight; it also provides the necessary vitamins to help you build muscle and keep your body energized.
It will give your body the energy it needs to accomplish you on your day to day activities; including your workout sessions.
That’s why it’s the best contender for weight loss and muscle gain.
Moreover, sources indicated that higher-protein diets containing chicken might aid fat loss and boost your body’s metabolism as well.
However, chicken legs are the next best choice if you aim for significant muscle build or mass gains. The calories in chicken leg and thigh are higher in content.
Counting Calories Per Chicken Part
- Chicken Breast Calories – 鸡胸肉卡路里-A regular skinless chicken breast calories is about 165cal per 100 grams. 一块去皮的鸡胸肉每100克约含165卡路里的热量
- Chicken Wing Calories – Chicken wings calories are 43cal per 21 grams.
- Chicken Thigh Calories – A boneless and skinless chicken thigh calories are 109cal per 52 grams.
- Chicken Leg Calories – A whole chicken leg calories is around 76cal per 44 grams apiece.
Eating Chicken during the 500 Calorie Diet
If you’re looking into doing a daily 500 calorie diet, the chicken may be an excellent option for your meal plan. Chicken is incredibly rich in protein and satiating components that will fuel your energy and keep you from getting hunger pangs.
Healthy Ways to Cook Chicken for Dieting
Poaching takes the number one spot of chicken’s best cooking method due to the absence of oil and grease. It’s quite simple, bring the water in a pot to boil and then slowly place the chicken in the water. You can add any herbs and spices you’d like, including some nutritious vegetables too into the mix.
The next best way to cook chicken is through grilling. That’s because you’re adding a minimal amount of fat to the meat, such as canola oil or olive oil would be a perfect match to brush on your chicken.
You can make them tender and get them sizzling on the grill; what’s more, you can eat guilt-free since grilled-chicken leg calories are relatively lower.
Roasting or baking your chicken is another sure way to achieve a tasty and healthy meal with not much grease. You can add enough vegetables and spices to your dish, enough to make them delicious and exciting. Another perk of this cooking method is that you can leave your dishes cooking in the oven while doing other chores. Multitasking at its finest!
Stir-Frying is the most traditional way to make a quick, easy, and tasty dish. You can chop up a piece of chicken breast into bite-size pieces and throw them into a piping hot pan, swiped with low-fat butter or olive oil. Add some vegetables or Quinoa into the mix, and you’ll get a very delicious dish within minutes.
3 Best Healthy Chicken Recipes for Diet
#01 – Mango-Ginger BBQ Chicken
Serving Size: 8 Oz. Chicken Drumsticks
Per Serving: 244 calories; 6.2 g total fat; 1.6 g saturated fat; 134 mg cholesterol; 486 mg sodium. 425 mg potassium; 20.6 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 18 g sugar; 26.1 g protein; 707 IU vitamin a iu; 21 mg vitamin c; 30 mcg folate; 27 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 32 mg magnesium; 10 g added sugar;
- 1 medium Mango (peeled & chopped) 1个中等大小的芒果(去皮切碎)
- ½ cup Ketchup 1/2杯番茄酱
- ¼ cup Cider Vinegar 1/4杯苹果醋
- 2 tbsp. Brown Sugar 2汤匙红糖
- 1 tbsp. Tamari (reduced-sodium) or Soy Sauce (low-sodium) 1汤匙日本酱油(低钠)或酱油(低钠)
- 1 tbsp. Fresh Ginger (grated) 1汤匙新鲜生姜(磨碎)
- ½ tsp. Chinese five-spice powder 1勺五香粉
- ½ tsp. Turmeric (ground) 1茶匙姜黄粉
- 3 pounds Chicken Drumsticks 3磅鸡腿
- 1 tbsp. Honey 1汤匙蜂蜜
- ¼ tsp. Salt 1茶匙盐
- Scallions for garnish (thinly sliced) 用来装饰的大葱(切成薄片)
How to Cook
Eatingwell had a great tutorial about how to cook the chicken legs .
STEP 1 – Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
STEP 2 – Combine mango, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, tamari (or soy sauce), ginger, five-spice and turmeric in a blender. Blend on high until smooth—Reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce for serving.
STEP 3 – Place the chicken and 1/2 cup sauce in a large bowl. Take the rest of the sauce to the grill.
STEP 4 – Oil the grill rack. Turn one burner to low. Place the chicken on the grill and cook’s hot side, occasionally flipping, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the low-heat side and continue to cook, occasionally flipping, until registers 160 degrees F, 15 to 20 minutes more.
STEP 5 – Return the chicken to the hot side of the grill. Brush generously with the basting sauce and cook, turning occasionally and brushing with more sauce, until slightly charred when the internal temperature rises 165 degrees F, about 5 minutes.
STEP 6 – Drizzle the Chicken with honey and sprinkle with salt. Serve with the reserved sauce and garnish with scallions, if desired.
#02 – Greek Braised Chicken Legs
Serving Size: 2 Chicken Legs And 1/2 Cup Brown Rice Each: 404 calories; 9.4 g fat totally; 2.2 g saturated fat; 157 mg cholesterol; 338 mg sodium. 902 mg potassium; 31.9 g carbohydrates; 4.4 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 46.4 g protein; 1620 IU vitamin a iu; 35 mg vitamin c; 56 mcg folate; 68 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 110 mg magnesium;
Exchanges: 5 1/2 Lean Protein, 1 1/2 Starch, 1 Vegetable
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 8 chicken drumsticks (about 2 3/4 pounds total), skinned
- 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
- 3 cups halved grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
- 2 cups hot cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup snipped fresh parsley or parsley sprigs
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
How to Cook
STEP 1 – Place onion in a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Sprinkle drumsticks with Greek seasoning. Place drumsticks on top of onion in the oven. Top drumsticks with tomatoes, olives, and garlic.
STEP 2 – Cover and cook on low-heat settings for 6 to 8 hours or high-heat for 3 to 4 hours.
STEP 3 – With a slotted spoon, sprinkle the chicken mixture over the cooked brown rice.
Use a spoon to scoop some of the cooking liquid on top if necessary. Sprinkle with parsley and lemon peel.
#03 – Sheet-Pan Orange-Apricot Drumsticks
Serving Size: 1 Chicken leg + 1 1/2 Cups Vegetables Each
Per Serving: 328 calories; 10 g total fat; 2 g saturated fat; 60 mg cholesterol; 432 mg sodium. 41 g carbohydrates; 7 g fiber; 14 g sugar; 20 g protein;
Exchanges: 2 1/2 Vegetable, 2 Lean Proteins, 1 Fat, 1 Other Carbohydrate, 1 Starch
- 1 pound multicolor fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
- 4 large chicken drumsticks (1 1/2-2 lbs. total), skin removed
- 1 orange
- 3 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
How to Cook
STEP 1 – Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
STEP 2 – Place the potatoes, green beans, and Onions on a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon. Salt and 1/4 teaspoon.Pepper.
Put the chicken in the vegetables.
STEP 3 – 1/2 teaspoon grate. Remove the orange peel and squeeze into 2 tablespoons. Mix the peels with the juice, preserves, soy sauce, garlic, and the remaining 1/4 tsp—Put salt and pepper in a small bowl. Brush the chicken with half the glaze.
STEP 4 – Marinate the roast chicken and vegetables for 15 minutes.
Stir the vegetables;
Turn the chicken over first, and brush with the rest glaze.
Continue roasting until the chicken reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer.
The potatoes have softened in about 20 minutes.
The Final Verdict: Which Part of Chicken is The Healthiest?
So out of all the parts of a chicken, is chicken breast still the contender for taking the number 1 spot as the healthiest chicken part? You could say it was having lesser cholesterol since it is white meat, compared to the legs and chicken wings’ dark heart. But suppose we haven’t stressed it over enough. In that case, the exact nutritional value you can get from a chicken depends almost entirely on how you prepare and cook it. And Chicken legs do have its merit when it comes to being utilized as a valuable addition to your meal plan.
Keep in mind that a good diet should also be accompanied by proper exercise. Make a healthy workout program that would fit with your daily meal plans to power you through the day.