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Being Choosy with Chicken

You get to decide what food you want to eat to support your wellness. So be choosy when it comes to choosing your food – and you can start by being choosy with chicken!

By: Kelly Atyeo-Fick, B.A.Sc., M.H.Sc., P.H.Ec.

Whether or not you consider yourself a foodie, the best thing about food is making it taste good, all while knowing that it’s providing you with the nutrients you need.  You get to decide what food you want to eat to support your wellness.  So be choosy when it comes to choosing your food – and you can start by being choosy with chicken!

Chicken as a Superfood

Often times you hear the word superfood to describe fruits, vegetables and wholesome grains…but what about chicken?  Chicken is absolutely a superfood!  It is an excellent source of protein: a macronutrient important for growth, development, muscle building and cellular function.  Furthermore, chicken is packed with micronutrients – vitamins and minerals – that support crucial bodily processes.  

Some of the key vitamins and minerals found in chicken (especially the dark meat) include iron, zinc and B-vitamins.1

Choosing healthy options to pair with chicken 


Since chicken is such a star when it comes to nutrition – be choosy when pairing it with other ingredients.  Some healthy options to pair with chicken include:

Whole Grains

The benefits of eating whole grains include reducing the risk of heart and stroke disease, diabetes and promoting better weight management.2 Nowadays, whole grain breads, pastas, quinoa and flour can be easily found in your grocery store. 

Here’s a great Roast Chicken recipe with a side of nutritious whole grain couscous to try! 

Vegetables and Fruit

It wouldn’t be nutrition month without talking about veggies and fruit. They provide antioxidants that improve overall health.  Eating plant-based foods are important for disease prevention and reduce the risk of certain cancers.3

Veggies and fruit are both an amazing complement to chicken.  A side of grilled or roasted vegetables are always a nice match.  And yes, fruit too! 

Check out this recipe for a Chicken Salad with Fruit.

How to make a meal cheer Nutrition Month!

There are some simple ways to make your meals nutrition month worthy all year round.

  • Grill or bake your chicken; don’t deep fry!
  • Make easy substitutions; milk or low fat yogurt instead of heavy cream is a good substitution when making sauces
  • Add vegetables and fruit where you can to bulk up fibre!  Chicken salad recipes are a big hit. 
  • Cook chicken with the skin on and then remove it to cut back on the fat – but not the moisture of the meat
  • Include chicken as part of a balanced diet!

References:

  1. Atyeo, K. & Cook, D. (2014). Nutrient Analysis Report: Chicken Farmers of Canada. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https://www.chicken.ca/assets/Health/Nutrient-Analysis-Report-Chicken-Farmers-of-Canada-ENG.pdf
  2. Oldways Whole Grains Council. (n.d.). What are the health benefits? Retrieved February 22, 2017, from http://wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/health-studies-health-benefits/what-are-health-benefits
  3. Helpguide.com. (2016). Cancer Prevention Diet. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/diet-weight-loss/anti-cancer-diet.htm

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