Nutrition for Dark Meat Chicken vs. Light Meat Chicken

Nutrition for Dark Meat Chicken vs. Light Meat Chicken
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By: Mario 7-12:11:51 (223)
 
 

Nutrition for Dark Meat Chicken vs. Light Meat Chicken

Food and Diets > Nutrition for Dark Meat Chicken vs. Light Meat Chicken (Lose the Weight )

People who love light meat from chicken often avoid the dark meat, while others favor the dark meat from legs and thighs. There are some nutritional differences between the two, but no matter what type you prefer, you can count on getting great protein, minerals and B vitamins.

Basic Nutrition

Nutritional values for a 3 oz. serving size, or 85.05 g, show that light and dark meat have nearly the same calories and protein. However, with 130 calories and 23 g of protein, light meat has 21 fewer calories and 3 g more protein than dark meat, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database. Based upon dietary intake recommendations for protein determined by the Institute of Medicine, you’ll get at least 36 percent of the daily value of protein from one serving of both types of chicken.

Fat

Dark meat has 7.4 g of total fat and 2.1 g of saturated fat, which is twice the amount you’ll get from light meat. Both light and dark meat have 64 mg of cholesterol. The Institute of Medicine recommends limiting fat to 20 to 35 percent of total daily calories and eating as little saturated fat and cholesterol as possible.

Vitamins

Dark and light meats provide B-vitamins and a small amount of vitamin A. They both have 4 percent of the recommended daily intake of thiamin. Dark meat has 0.16 mg, or 12 percent of the daily value of riboflavin, which is double the amount in light meat. Even though light meat has more niacin and vitamin B-6, both types of meat are good sources of these vitamins. Light meat provides 35 percent of the daily value of B-6 and 56 percent of niacin, compared to dark meat having 20 percent of B-6 and 30 percent of niacin. The B-vitamins are needed for energy and vitamin B-6 helps reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering levels of homocysteine, according to Harvard Health Publications. Dark meat offers more of the antioxidant vitamin A, with 46 IU compared to 21 IU in light meat.

Minerals

Both types of chicken meat deliver nearly the same amount of five important minerals. They have about 1 percent of the recommended daily value of calcium, 5 percent of iron and 4 percent of magnesium and potassium. They’re especially good sources of phosphorus, providing 21 percent of the daily value. Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus are all essential for strong bones. Calcium and magnesium also maintain a regular heart beat, while phosphorus has an extra role transporting lipids in the blood. Iron carries oxygen throughout the body and is needed for the production of collagen. You need potassium for normal muscle contraction and nerve communication. Dark meat has 1.8 mg, or 16 percent of the daily value of zinc, which is more than double the amount in light meat. Both types are excellent sources of the trace mineral selenium, providing 30 to 40 percent of this antioxidant.

 


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