The Other White Meat Should Be Dark

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The other white meat, chicken. For so many people it's the better meat choice, but not for me. When a nutritionist looks at food, they know color is power.

The uninformed prefer to scare us into thinking that dark meat chicken and red meat are unhealthy. We know better. The more color there is in any food, the healthier it is. That means that the darker thighs and red meats are healthier than white breasts.

Here's a good comparison between buying flour meat and breast meat of chicken in raw calories: breast meat contains twice the calories of thighs per pound, even though thigh meat has twice the fat. Thigh meat has more than four times the vitamins and minerals of breast meat, which has little to no vitamins or minerals.

Even the higher amount of fat in the thigh meat is a better kind of fat than what is found in the breast. You'll find 38g of healthy omega-3 fatty acid in thigh meat.

So how is it that breast meat contains so many more calories, yet has so little nutritional value? Two reasons. The first one is there's often sugar added in order to enhance the flavor. Chicken breasts are not very flavorful. Chicken breasts are often put through a saline bath, which raises the sodium level. Also, if you place a chicken breasts next to the same weight of chicken thigh, you will notice the chicken breast is so much bigger. That's because the chicken breast has about twice the amount of water in it as the thigh.

When it comes to nutrition, you want to go for the chicken thigh. You get a good dose of potassium, healthy fats and great flavor. But this is not a license to go out and eat tons of chicken. Like everything else, you should eat this in moderation. Have chicken no more than two or three times a week and limit your portions to no more than 3 to 4 ounces. When you combine a chicken thigh with lots of vegetables, in a healthy meal, the fat from the chicken thigh will help you absorb the vitamins from the vegetables.

You also want to get your chicken from a local responsible farmer. Factory farms raise unhealthy chickens because those chickens are fed unhealthy foods of genetically modified corn and soy and are raised in cramped conditions. Local farmers are better because they allow their chickens to run around and eat natural foods. It's actually cheaper for the farmer to let them run around. You'll not only improve your health, but to improve the economy and the whole industry by making a responsible choice.

I have two favorite chicken dishes. I like to take a chicken thigh and marinate it in a little bit of olive oil and Italian seasonings and then grill it. I also make a chicken soup or a chicken stew several times during the winter. Chicken soup is still the number one remedy for colds. Just make sure your using the chicken thigh so you get as much nutrition as possible.

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