The delicious truth about white meat, dark meat, and which is better for your heath.
By: Jodie Shield, RDN
What’s better for you: chicken breasts or thighs? If you have skin “on” the game, neither one’s a nutritional winner. Chicken skin is pure fat (the unhealthy saturated kind) and if you eat it, it doubles the calories. Keep in mind, both chicken breasts and thighs come in boneless, skinless options and both are healthy lean sources of protein. Let me help you bone-up on the facts. If you dare to compare: a 3-ounce roasted chicken breast (without skin or bone) has about 140 calories, 26 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fat; a 3- ounce roasted chicken thigh (without skin or bone) has about 152 calories, 21 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fat. And no bone means less time in the kitchen. Boneless chicken cooks faster than its bone-in counterpart.
I prefer to use chicken thighs in many of my recipes, because the little bit of extra fat helps keep the chicken moist and juicy – even if you over cook it. Plus, pound for pound, chicken thighs cost about half as much as breasts. But a good marinade, like those recommended by the American Institute for Cancer Research, can help tenderize chicken breasts and prevent them from drying out. Here are two of my family’s favorite chicken recipes: Grilled Pineapple Chicken Skewers, made with chicken breast tenders, and Lemon Chicken made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Both are super easy to make and they’re on my iTunes app Time To Eat Healthy – Homemade Meals In Minutes!