Chicken Breast (Boneless)
Chicken breast is a great source of lean protein (protein without a lot of accompanying fat). People who eat enough protein are more likely to maintain muscle mass and preserve a healthy metabolism.
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Chicken breast is a great source of lean protein (protein without a lot of accompanying fat). People who eat enough protein are more likely to maintain muscle mass and preserve a healthy metabolism. Since chicken breasts are versatile and relatively inexpensive, they are a useful food to include in a balanced, healthy eating plan.
Chicken Breast Nutrition Facts
The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA for one 3-ounce (85g) serving of boneless, skinless grilled chicken breast.1 Note that many commercially packaged chicken breasts are much larger than 3 ounces. So if you eat a single breast, you’re probably eating more than a single serving.
- Calories: 128
- Fat: 2.7g
- Sodium: 44mg
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Fiber: 0g
- Sugars: 0g
- Protein: 26g
Chicken breasts contain no sugar or starch (unless they are prepared with breading or seasonings), so they have no carbohydrates. The estimated glycemic load of chicken breast is zero.
Skinless chicken breast contains a small amount of fat, less than 3 grams. It is mostly unsaturated fat (there is less than 1 gram of saturated fat in a 3-ounce portion of skinless chicken breast).
If you keep the skin on your chicken breast, the fat, calorie, and protein counts will all be higher. A 3-ounce (85g) serving of roasted, broiled, or baked chicken breast with skin on provides 166 calories, 6.6 grams fat, and 25 grams protein.2
Chicken breasts are a good source of lean protein. For people who eat meat, consuming chicken is a simple way to meet some of your body’s protein needs without also consuming a lot of fat. Depending on the cooking method you choose, chicken breasts are also naturally low in sodium.
Chicken breast is a very good source of selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin.
The low-fat protein found in chicken breast can offer many important advantages, making this food a helpful addition to many eating plans.
Builds and Maintains Muscle Mass
Protein helps your body maintain muscle mass and also helps build muscle in conjunction with a strength training program.3 Research, such as this 2016 review study, shows that losses in muscle mass and strength are directly associated with mortality rates in older people.4
Scientists and doctors once believed that a diet high in animal protein could reduce bone density and increase the risk of broken bones. However, more recent research shows that protein works with calcium to help protect bones.5 It’s important to consume enough protein to keep bones strong and healthy.
Consuming protein helps you feel full, which can help reduce food cravings and prevent overeating. One small study of overweight men on reduced-calorie diets, for example, found that those who ate more protein showed “improved appetite control and satiety.”
People with kidney disease need to be cautious about consuming too much protein, especially in large portions. If you have kidney disease, talk to your doctor about the best protein sources and amounts for you.8
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Few foods are as versatile and rich as chicken breast. It can be cooked in an infinite number of ways and is appealing at any time of the year