Chicken is one of the most popular sources of lean protein around the world because it offers high protein with low calories and fat per serving.
Part of chicken’s appeal is its versatility. Nearly every cuisine from around the world offers a variety of chicken dishes. Chicken also has a relatively neutral taste, which makes it easy to pair with different flavorings.
The following is a breakdown of the nutritional value of different parts of a chicken, looking at 3.5-ounce (oz) servings in each case.
It is unlikely that any of the cuts that people find in a grocery store are cut precisely to 3.5 oz, so they need to take this into account when calculating nutritional values per portion.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommend 5.5 oz of protein per day for people consuming 2,000 calories. Again, as chicken cuts vary in size, people may want to weigh the chicken to establish its nutritional content.
The totals below are for cooked chicken without added fat or seasonings. Cooking methods and seasonings can add to calorie, fat, sodium, and sugar counts. A person who is trying to keep a healthful diet may want to consider the best ways to cook their chicken.
A person should be able to find boneless, skinless chicken breasts easily at their local grocery store. The USDA itemize a typical chicken breast as about 3 oz.
In a 3.5-oz serving of cooked boneless and skinless chicken breast, a person is consuming about 165 calories.
Grocery stores often package chicken breasts with the bones and skin still in place. Some recipes, such as soups, may call for breasts prepared this way. However, the fat content nearly doubles in comparison to skinless and boneless, while the amount of protein decreases slightly.
In a 3.5-oz serving of cooked breast with skin and bones still in place, a person is consuming 197 calories.
The drumstick is often a popular option for people. The drumstick is the lower portion of the chicken’s leg. Along with the thighs, people consider them a part of the “dark” meat on the chicken.
In a 3.5-oz serving of a cooked drumstick with skin on, a person is consuming 216 calories.
However, if a person removes the skin, the calories they are eating fall to about 175, and the amount of fat to 5.7 g.
Thighs are the upper portions of the legs. Along with the drumsticks, people also refer to the thighs as the “dark” meat on the chicken.
In a 3.5-oz serving of cooked thighs with skin on, a person is consuming 229 calories.
Chicken wings are some of the most popular foods for appetizers and parties. They are also the least protein-rich and highest in calories of any of the cuts of chicken.
In a 3.5-oz serving of cooked wings with skin on, a person is consuming 290 calories.
If a person removes the skin, they will be consuming 203 calories and 8.1 g of fat. Removing the skin increases the protein content to 30 g.
Certain parts of the chicken, such as the breasts, often come with or without the skin. Typically, shops sell the thighs, wings, and drumsticks with the skin still on.
People who want to reduce their weight can choose to remove the skin either before or after cooking. They need to bear in mind that it is important to always include healthful amounts of fat and calories in their diet, even when trying to lose weight.
The best option is to eat skinless chicken breast, taking into account the calories, fat, and protein values of the different parts of the chicken.
The healthiest way to cook chicken is to cook without added fats. Some popular ways to do this include:
Chicken is a lean protein, which means that it offers few calories relative to the quantity a person eats.
The best option for people looking to reduce their calories and avoid fat is skinless chicken breasts.
Both skinless chicken breasts and other cuts of chicken are a rich source of protein. However, the skin and cut of the chicken can add extra calories and fat.
When people add chicken to a balanced diet, it can be a healthful source of protein. Protein helps a person’s body rebuild muscle and supports many other functions.
Chicken is the most healthful when people prepare it with minimal fats and without the skin.
A person should choose cooking methods such as baking, steaming, or pressure cooking to help them avoid consuming more fat and calories than they need.
When seasoning the chicken, a person can choose to use spices that do not contain extra salt and avoid marinades that may add extra sugar, salt, or fat.
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Nutrient values and weights are for edible portion. Non-edible portion: 32% (Bone and cartilage 17%, skin and separable fat 15%)
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Chicken is a popular meat, and most cuts are low in calories and fat while providing ample protein.
Though breast, thighs, wings and drumsticks are the most popular cuts of chicken, there are several others to choose from.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of chicken breast provides 165 calories, 31 grams of protein and 3.6 grams of fat (1).
For example, a skinless, boneless, cooked chicken thigh (52 grams) contains 109 calories and 5.7 grams of fat (2).
Therefore, cooking methods that add little fat, such as poaching, roasting, grilling and steaming, are your best bet for keeping the calorie count low.
Baked, or roasted, chicken thighs contain 150 to 200 calories per 3-ounce serving, depending on whether or not you include the skin.
Consumption of any type of chicken meat adds to a balanced diet, explains the paper in Food and Nutrition Research. Adequate consumption of chicken helps control body weight, and has potentially positive effects on the risk of developing many chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
Chicken thigh meat is darker and richer-tasting because it contains more myoglobin. This is a protein that binds to and transports oxygen to working muscles. Since the thigh is a lot more active than the breast, it has more of this protein.
Also check the nutrient label of the chicken you purchase. Some manufacturers inject chicken (and other poultry) with salt to help it stay moist. This, however, could be an issue if youre trying to manage your sodium intake.
Food and Nutrition Research published a paper in June 2015, stating that chicken fat has a favorable composition, masking it a desirable fat for consumption. Fed mainly a vegetable-derived diet, chickens produce a meat rich in alpha linolenic acid â a precursor to essential omega 3 fats. Consumption of some fat is essential to nutrient absorption, brain health, and supple hair and skin.
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