When you’re on the hunt for the perfect dinner, you may be tempted to reach for the first thing that comes to mind: chicken! Roasting, frying, or baking a chicken meal are probably the most common ways that people eat this protein-rich bird. However, did you know that certain cuts of chicken can actually help you lose weight? Thanks to science and a bit of common sense, we can break down the perfect chicken meal so you can eat confidently, knowing that you’re doing your body some favor. Let’s take a look.
Does Roasting Make Chicken Lighter?
If you’ve ever eaten a chicken leg, you may have noticed that the meat is much lighter when roasted. This is because most of the fat that is stored in the body is stored in the liver and thighs, which are the mostly likely to be eaten by animals and humans. When these particular parts of the chicken are cooked in an oven, the heat breaks down the triglycerides in the fat cells, making them accessible for consumption. While this is a great way to prepare chicken, it also means that the food is already partly digested when it reaches your digestive system. The healthier option would be to eat raw chicken or opt for chicken broth in lieu of regular water when cooking. This way, you’re not giving your digestive system any extra work and the nutrients are still available for your body to use.
Low-Carb, High-Protein Breakdown
Although chicken is rich in both protein and carbs, it’s the protein that you need to focus on when you’re trying to lose weight. One study from the United Kingdom compared the nutritional value of a traditional cooked chicken meal with a high-protein, low-carb meal, revealing that the high-protein meal contained over 10% more protein than the regular chicken meal. When you eat less carbohydrates, your body has more energy to burn, which in turn helps you lose weight. This is why, when you’re trying to shed those extra pounds, it’s a good idea to eat more protein-rich food like chicken and fish, which are both high in the amino acid cysteine.
Health Benefits Of Baking
Not only does roasting make chicken more nutritious, it also has some health advantages of its own. Baking, specifically low-temperature baking, promotes better digestion and prevents food poisoning. When food is cooked at high temperatures, the amino acids that make up the protein are destroyed, resulting in a loss of their health benefits. For example, eating fried chicken will increase your LDL (bad cholesterol), triglycerides, and sugar levels while decreasing your HDL (good cholesterol) levels. However, if you bake the same chicken at a lower temperature, these effects are greatly reduced. Instead, you’ll experience a boost in energy levels and clearer thinking, as well as an overall feeling of wellness.
Understand Food Composition
When you’re on the hunt for the perfect weight loss recipe, knowing the macronutrient percentages of specific foods is essential. Since many people still aren’t that familiar with the macronutrient breakdown of their food, they may not realize that the food they’re eating is contributing to their weight gain. That’s why it’s important to learn about the ingredients in food and how they affect your body. For example, did you know that the carbohydrate content of an Apple strongly influences its digestibility rate? While you may not consciously think about the effect that food components have on your body when you’re chewing, you’re ingesting them, and the enzymes that are created during digestion play a role in the biochemical processes of your cells. A lot of research goes into comparing the composition of traditional cooked chicken meals to pinpoint the specific nutrients that make up each bite, so you can have better control over what you put into your body. When you know the breakdown of a certain food, you know exactly what you’re getting and don’t need to worry about any surprises once you’ve eaten it.
While the chicken dietitian hasn’t declared any specific foods to be forbidden, you shouldn’t overdo it with the protein-rich food, otherwise, you may experience negative effects such as gas, bloating, and fatigue. When you’re eating for health, you need to make sure that you’re not causing yourself any unnecessary harm. To enjoy chicken without worrying about your weight, stick to the white meat and avoid any foods with the words “fried” or “greasy” next to them on the menu. If you feel that your body needs more nutrients than what is provided by just the four food groups (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and fiber), you may want to consider taking a multivitamin supplement.