How to eat a whole chicken for a healthier and more nutritious meal
Food manufacturers are now offering whole chicken meals at supermarkets and fast-food restaurants for about $8.50 per 100g, compared to the current $12 per 100gm standard.
That’s a big change in how Americans eat and it means the chicken you’re eating now will be a whole lot more nutritious.
In a recent study, the University of California, Berkeley researchers fed about 2,000 people a standard chicken dinner of chicken breast and broccoli for one week, and found the meal was more nutritious for those who ate it whole.
(The meal was made with chicken breast, and broccoli was not.)
But while chicken breast is generally a good source of vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, and potassium, the new study also found the whole chicken meal was a better source of vitamins C, E, B6, and riboflavin.
(Vitamin C is an antioxidant and is linked to heart health and is found in foods like green tea and dark chocolate.)
The new study is one of the first to suggest whole chicken has the potential to be a better food for older people, and may help lower cholesterol.
“It’s a very important study,” said Richard Heitman, an epidemiologist at the University’s Institute for Nutrition and Food Research.
“We need to be very cautious about how long this trend lasts and what the health effects will be.”
The study found that people who ate a whole-chicken meal had more energy and better health outcomes compared to those who got the standard meal.
But it wasn’t the whole-grain version of chicken that was most nutritious.
“The other factor that we were interested in was what was happening with the proteins and how they’re metabolized,” said Heitmans co-author, Jody Lee, an associate professor of nutrition at the university.
“There’s a lot of evidence that whole grains are very beneficial in terms of reducing your risk of heart disease.”
But the new research also found that the whole grains also had less of a negative effect on blood pressure than other foods.
“You’re looking at a big benefit to be had,” Heitmen said.
In fact, the study didn’t say how much people were actually eating, but it’s expected that the majority of people eating the whole meal would be consuming a whole grain.
That means the study might show that eating a whole meal will increase the intake of whole grains, but only if people don’t have any issues with other foods or other health problems.
The study, published in the journal Nutrition, is the first large-scale study to examine the impact of whole-meal versus whole-food versus other meal types on the consumption of the major nutrients in human diets.
Heitmann and his colleagues analyzed the food records of about 1,500 people, aged 18 and older, who had either consumed a whole or a standard meal at least once in the previous 12 months.
The researchers found that, while people who were eating a full meal were more likely to consume all nutrients than those who were partaking of a standard, the full meal was associated with better health than the standard.
But people who had a standard lunch or dinner also were more than twice as likely to eat more than one meal per day than people who did not eat a meal at all, even after controlling for age, weight, and BMI.
He said the study shows people can eat a complete meal without worrying about a higher risk of eating more than they’re allowed to, and it’s a good way to start.
“These are the types of things we know that we can do,” Heitsman said.
“But you have to figure out how to eat that full meal in a healthy way.”
The researchers also looked at the effects of a variety of other factors on people’s health.
They found that there was no difference in the risk of cardiovascular disease between people who went whole and those who went with a meal of chicken or other whole foods.
And those who had been consuming a meal that was full also tended to have lower blood pressure.
And people who regularly ate a healthy diet were less likely to suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
This is a trend that can be observed even in those who have never been overweight or obese.
“This is an important finding,” said David Ludwig, a professor of epidemiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“What we’ve seen is that when people eat a full-calorie, high-protein meal, they don’t feel full, and this may be one of those factors that is associated with health outcomes.”