Chicken tends to be the go-to choice for anyone watching their calorie intake, as the calories in chicken can be low. Chicken can be the leanest source of protein with a single serving offering a whopping 26 grams of protein for the miniscule price of 1 gram of saturated fat. However, the calories in chicken vary according to chicken part, though the greatest difference will be whether or not you eat the chicken skin.
The skin of chicken is high in fat, unlike the rest of the chicken. Up to 75% of the fat in chicken comes from the skin. Therefore, eating the chicken skin will substantially increase the calories in chicken. To reduce cost, your best bet is to buy the chicken with the skin still on, as it is usually costs less. Then remove the skin yourself.
Reducing Chicken Calories: Cooking with or without Skin?
It is often debated whether the calorie content of chicken is higher when cooked with the skin on and removed after cooking, compared to cooking the chicken skinless. However, this issue has been analyzed and it is thought that there is no significant difference.
Nonetheless, there is a huge difference in the moisture content of the chicken cooked with the skin on – it is higher in moisture and therefore more succulent than chicken cooked skinless. In short, you can cook your chicken with the skin and remove it later for a better taste and very little difference in calories.
Skinless chicken breast fillets have the least chicken calories at only 116 calories per 100 grams. Protein is high at 22 grams and fat low at 3 grams. All-in-all this makes it the most popular type of lean protein. To keep the chicken calories down either bake, grill or stew the chicken.