Chicken is a staple of nearly every athlete’s diet. It’s high in protein, affordable and simple to prepare. The preparation, cooking method and serving style can all have a big impact on how healthy your chicken really is. To help you see if your fowl is fair, we compiled three of the healthiest ways to eat chicken.
Grilled chicken is great. It’s simple, it’s easy, it’s nutritious and it’s versatile. With grilling, you aren’t drowning the chicken in oil or fat like you do in some other preparation methods. Whether you go skinless or not is up to you. For a long time, chicken skin was thought to have no nutritional value. It was believed to be nothing more than an empty source of fat and calories. But recent research has shown that most
of the fat in chicken skin is good fat—meaning it’s unsaturated, so it has benefits such as lowering your risk of heart disease. Still, not all of the fat in chicken skin is good fat, and it does add calories, so if you’re trying to go for a super-lean meal, skinless chicken is better. Grill some vegetables alongside your chicken for a very healthy meal.
If grilled chicken is too dry and flavorless for you, poaching your chicken could be a good alternative. Poaching involves submerging the food in a liquid and cooking it at relatively low heat. Like grilling, poaching chicken is good because it doesn’t require added oil or fat. Chicken stock is often used in poaching, but it can be high in sodium. The best option is to use water and add vegetables and seasonings—such as celery, carrots, thyme, peppercorns and parsley. The chicken will soak up these flavors, and you’ll be left with a tasty, tender and healthy piece of meat.
If you want an awesome, quick and easy way to make a flavorful chicken meal, stir-frying is the way to go. Stir-frying involves frying multiple thinly sliced ingredients in a small amount of oil. Yes, unlike poaching or grilling, stir-frying requires oil. But it’s a very small amount (usually just a tablespoon or less), and healthier oils such as canola oil or extra-light olive oil can be used. Stir-fry calls for super-lean, skinless, boneless chicken breasts, and a healthy stir-fry dish is packed with vegetables such as broccoli, peppers, snap peas, carrots, mushrooms and bok choy. Pair it with some brown rice or quinoa, and stir-fried chicken is a great meal option. via Eat Healthy