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Is chicken rich in cholesterol? Let’s find out

Written by hana

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is made by the liver in our bodies. One can get cholesterol from foods too. There is an ongoing concern about diet increasing cholesterol levels in the body. There are many myths about foods that are high in cholesterol as well.

One can also get cholesterol from certain foods, such as dairy products and animals. With regards to chicken, which is the most popular type of poultry in the world, the portions you consume and how you cook them will determine how chicken affects cholesterol levels in the body and overall health.

Cholesterol is often discussed negatively, and its importance is highly criticized by many. Of course, everyone needs a certain amount of cholesterol to help cells produce hormones and digest fats, but eating too much is not a good idea.

As a result, regulating the level of cholesterol in the blood and preventing it from getting too high requires a careful and balanced diet. For example, carefully selected and cooked chicken can play a role in it.

This article can explain the cholesterol levels in chicken and how to consume it to maintain a healthy cholesterol level for your overall health.

Cholesterol and your health

Your liver and intestines produce cholesterol because your body needs it to perform various critical tasks. Cholesterol is important because it can help with the following:-

  • Cell construction.
  • Produce Vitamin D
  • Production of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.
  • It produces fat-dissolving bile acids that are essential for digestion.

The liver and intestines make about 80% of the cholesterol in the body. The remaining 20% ​​is derived from animal products such as eggs, meat (including chicken), seafood, cheese and other high-fat dairy products.

Cholesterol, a fat, cannot pass through your body on its own. To do this, it binds to lipoproteins, which is why cholesterol is often referred to as LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein). Your LDL and HDL levels determine whether you have cholesterol or health problems.

The healthy cholesterol is HDL, which helps transport cholesterol back to the liver for elimination. LDL is referred to as bad cholesterol because it leads to fat deposits in the arteries.

Too much LDL cholesterol or too little HDL cholesterol can be bad for your health. According to a study, both of these conditions can lead to a buildup of cholesterol in your body, which can damage your heart and brain.

Cholesterol and chicken: cutting is everything

Chicken skin can contain up to 80% of total calories from fat. Hence, skinless chicken is called lean meat.

The amount of fat and cholesterol in chicken when used with or without the skin is determined, as is the cut of chicken one uses. In general, skinless poultry and white meat are lower in cholesterol and saturated fat.

This means that if you choose the wing, thigh, leg or breast, the same 100g (3.5oz) serving size contains different amounts of cholesterol.

Let’s take a look at each of these different reductions in cholesterol levels.

Chicken breast

The breast is the way to go if you’re looking for the leanest cut of meat. It’s an excellent source of lean protein (without a lot of the accompanying fat). This means that protein accounts for the majority of calories in chicken breast.

People who eat enough protein are more likely to maintain muscle mass and a healthy metabolism. In addition, chicken breasts are flexible and inexpensive, so it makes sense to include them in a balanced and healthy diet.

According to the USDA, 100 grams of chicken breast contains

  • Calories – 165 kcal
  • Protein – 31 g
  • Fat – 3.6 g
  • Cholesterol – 86 mg

The most adaptable meat should be chicken breast. It is a white meat ideal for stir-frying, marinating and grilling, pan frying, or oven roasting with your favorite stuffing. Baked or boiled chicken breasts can also be used in salads or sandwiches, or shredded and added to soups.

Chicken thighs

The meat of chicken thighs is darker, softer, and tastier than chicken breasts due to its higher fat content. You can buy thigh fillets with skin and bones or thigh fillets with skin and bones.

Thigh fillets are delicious in stir-fries or casseroles, sliced ​​or minced. Additionally, you can use thigh cutlets in soups, salads, casseroles, or baked goods.

According to the USDA, a 100-gram serving of chicken thigh contains

  • Calories – 179 kcal
  • Protein – 24.8 g
  • Fat – 8.2 g
  • Cholesterol – 133 mg

As a result, protein contributes 55% of calories, while fat makes up 45%.

chicken wing

When you think of healthy chicken nuggets, chicken wings probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, they can easily fit into a healthy diet as long as they are not covered in bread or sauce and are not fried.

According to the USDA, 100 grams of chicken wings contain

  • Calories – 203 kcal
  • Protein – 30.5 g
  • Fat – 8.1 g
  • Cholesterol – 85 mg

Protein accounts for 64% of calories, and fat 36%, which is very high and should be eaten in moderation.

Chicken thighs

Chicken legs consist of two parts: the thigh and the stick. The drum is the lower part of the leg. They taste delicious when roasted with a sticky sauce or marinade. One enjoys it as a lip-smacking finger food.

According to the USDA, 100 grams of chicken thigh contains

  • Calories – 155 kcal
  • Protein – 24.2 g
  • Fat – 5.7 g
  • Cholesterol – 130 mg

In terms of calories, protein accounts for about 65% of the total, while fat accounts for the remaining 35%. Therefore, chicken breast has the lowest cholesterol, followed by the thighs, wings and legs, and has less cholesterol than any other cut and less fat than most cuts.

Different types of chicken preparation can affect cholesterol levels

You already know that a piece of chicken breast contains less cholesterol than any other cut. Also, please note that the part of the chicken used for cooking and the method of preparation affects the levels of cholesterol in the blood.

The ingredients you add to your chicken meal can boost its nutritional value, but some of them can also raise your cholesterol. Vegetables do not contain cholesterol and can help you lower your total cholesterol levels. One can make healthy dishes out of chicken breast and vegetables, such as stir-fried chicken with vegetables, chicken soup with vegetables or stews.

Sprinkle chopped nuts on cooked chicken, such as pistachios, cashews, or macadamia nuts. Eating an ounce or so of nuts each day can help lower your cholesterol levels; The nuts themselves are cholesterol-free. Avoid creamy sauces, butter and lard as they will greatly increase the cholesterol level in the chicken.

How you cook the chicken also affects how much cholesterol it contains. You won’t add more cholesterol to your meal if you bake or roast chicken with simple herbs, spices, and seasonings. However, when fried in butter, each tablespoon adds an additional 31 milligrams of cholesterol. If you replace the butter with olive oil and air fry it the same way, it will be cholesterol-free, but the amount of oil used can affect your overall fat levels.

According to one study, olive oil may help reduce cholesterol. Grilled chicken drizzled with olive oil instead of butter is another low-cholesterol option. Eating chicken in the recommended serving sizes can help keep cholesterol levels in check. One should limit the serving of chicken to 3 ounces or 80-100 grams at a time.

HealthifyMe note

Knowing how to appreciate your favorite foods, like chicken, is just one way to lower your cholesterol. While chicken is low in fat, it does contain cholesterol. The amount of cholesterol in a person’s diet depends on what part of the chicken they eat and how it is prepared. Chicken breast has the lowest level of cholesterol of any part of the bird, but consider preparation and cooking methods to get the most out of it.

Additional ways to lower cholesterol

There are many ways to lower cholesterol levels, including making lifestyle changes and adapting to a healthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle factors to consider include:

diet

Reduce cholesterol by limiting saturated and trans fats in your diet. Eating a diet rich in a range of nutritional foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, can also be beneficial.

Read more: Cholesterol diet plan – types, symptoms and foods to eat

Maintain a healthy weight

Obesity causes high levels of cholesterol in the body. As a result, it is essential to maintain a healthy body weight. However, research shows that losing a few kilograms of your body weight can help you lower your cholesterol levels.

Playing sports

Incorporating a few minutes of exercise into one’s daily routine can greatly affect metabolism and cholesterol levels. Try to get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity physical activity.

stress management

Regular or chronic stress can raise levels of “bad” cholesterol in the cardiovascular system while lowering levels of “good” cholesterol.

Quit Smoking

Smoking has many negative health effects, including increasing HDL, or bad cholesterol, and lowering LDL, or good cholesterol.

Manage your cholesterol levels like a pro

To be healthy, you must make small adjustments to your lifestyle. Reducing saturated fat consumption is one such change. In addition to lifestyle changes, some people need medication to maintain good cholesterol levels.

Enrolling in the HealthifyMe app is the simplest way to improve your overall health and fitness. Speaking with one of the experienced coaches at HealthifyMe will help you fully understand the dietary and lifestyle changes you need to make.

Moreover, the latest version of this app, HealthifyPro 2.0, provides real-time information about your health given more than 60 parameters in a metabolic panel test. A qualified nutritionist will help create highly customized, tried-and-true meal regimens based on your blood sugar levels, health metrics, and general health status.

The effects of food and activity vary from person to person. In fact, you can use HealthifyPro to help you make food-related decisions. HealthifyMe also provides information to users and encourages them to make informed decisions. As a result, it allows you to live a healthy lifestyle.

A one-on-one appointment with a HealthifyMe health coach can help you design a food and activity plan that’s perfect for your individual health needs. Moreover, you can use HealthifyPRO 2.0 to track your nutrition, activity, and other health-related items. It helps you identify what you are doing right and wrong to regulate your cholesterol levels and live a healthy life.

conclusion

The body needs cholesterol. Since the liver produces all the cholesterol your body needs, maintaining a healthy diet is crucial to avoiding high cholesterol levels.

Over time, excess cholesterol levels in the blood can lead to various health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Moreover, high cholesterol is associated with weight gain.

It is possible to enjoy meat while trying to regulate or lower cholesterol levels. Chicken has more to offer than just flavor and adaptability; It may also be a low-fat, low-calorie component of any meal. When you choose the right chicken cuts, you get plenty of protein without consuming too much cholesterol.

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hana

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