Is boneless chicken breast healthy for you? Here’s all the information you need on this high-protein food, including recipes!
I’m a pretty simple person and use a lot of chicken for my family’s meals. Chicken is just a simple way to get in the protein we need. It’s easy to cook and you can use it in so many different recipes.
Chicken is SUPER popular and there are so many types of chicken products. Chicken breasts seem to be pretty popular, too. Are they a good choice for you?
Boneless chicken breasts are definitely part of a healthy diet! They’re a great source of protein and have fewer calories than other parts of the chicken.
Here’s a breakdown I came up with. Scroll to the bottom to get some delicious recipes, too!
Difference between chicken breasts and chicken thighs
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t very knowledgeable at first when it came to different cuts of chicken. You just kind of learn along the way, and that’s fine!
The main difference is that chicken breasts contain white meat, while chicken thighs have dark meat.
The dark meat contains more grams of fat, which makes the chicken much more flavorful. With the extra fat comes more calories, too. It’s not a huge difference, but it is something to consider.
I often go back and forth between breasts and thighs, depending on what’s on sale at the grocery store. Both are pretty much interchangeable in recipes.
I should also say that boneless chicken usually has the skin taken off, too. Skinless chicken thighs and breasts will have less fat than the skin-on versions.
Here’s the breakdown of a 4-ounce serving of raw chicken breast (About the size of a deck of cards):
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 26 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbs: 0 grams
In addition, chicken also has a good amount of nutrients:
- Vitamin B12
An excellent source of lean protein
Like I said above, a serving of chicken has 26 grams of protein. As a reference, the recommended daily value is between 50 and 100 grams. And that can vary greatly depending on your age, weight, and activity level.
Protein is HUGELY important for our bodies:
- It can help with weight loss by keeping us full longer
- Protein helps with muscle growth and maintain muscle mass, which is important as we get older
- It can help curb late-night cravings
- It helps with energy production in the body
Chicken is a great source of protein. And eating some kind of protein for each main meal is a great way to help you get to your goal every day!
Chicken can be a cheaper option
Chicken can certainly be cheaper than other meats, like red meat and pork. But unfortunately, the boneless cuts are the most expensive of all the parts of the chicken.
Buying the bone-in chicken is a lot cheaper, as well as just buying a whole chicken, but it requires you to de-bone the meat yourself. You can certainly do that, but a lot of times I like to pay for the convenience of boneless breasts.
How to cook chicken in a healthy way
Typically, grilling, roasting, and baking are good ways to cook chicken. Frying usually involves some kind of breading. And that’s not a bad thing, but it does up the fat and calories. So that’s just something to watch out for.
Here are some different cooking methods I use for chicken breasts:
- Grilling, either on the outside grill or the George Foreman
- Slow cooking with salt and pepper, and chicken broth
- Baking in the oven with potatoes and fresh vegetables
No matter how you cook it, make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Chicken breast recipes
Chicken can be a GREAT addition and part of a balanced diet. These recipes use skinless breasts and cooked in different ways, and are my tried-and-true favorites!
- One Pan Honey Garlic Chicken and Veggies
- Chicken Broccoli Potato Casserole
- Baked Salsa Chicken Casserole
- 5-Ingredient Baked Chicken Parmesan
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.