Many Americans think of boneless, skinless chicken breast as a heart-healthy recipe ingredient. But are there dangers lurking in this popular protein?
With the recent emphasis on monitoring cholesterol intake for heart health, an increasing number of consumers are examining the amount of cholesterol in the foods that they eat.
Many are surprised and disappointed to find that boneless, skinless chicken breast has a high amount of cholesterol – 65 mg in each 4 ounce serving.
Dr. Mitchell Hecht, Medical Columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, reports that 300 mg or less of cholesterol should be consumed each day to maintain a healthy heart.
So, why have consumers been told that boneless, skinless chicken breast is healthy?
The amount of cholesterol in food is not what raises blood cholesterol. According to Dr. Hecht, the real culprits are trans fat and saturated fat.
Even though boneless, skinless chicken breast contains a relatively high amount of cholesterol, it is low in fat. As such, it is still a healthy source of protein.
In an article for shareguide.com, Dr. Ed Bauman and Marsha McLaughlin, N.C. report that chicken is an excellent choice for heart-health compared to red meat. Eaten without the skin, chicken contains 5% fat whereas red meat contains 30-40% fat.
According to Bauman and McLaughlin, free-range chicken is an even better choice because it contains less fat and more essential fatty acids than caged chicken.
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are still an excellent protein for a heart-healthy menu.
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