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Chicken Breast Vs Chicken Legs: Which To Consume For More Protein?

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I distinctly remember relishing chicken legs more than any other part of the bird while consuming it. And, that's what most Indians have grown up eating. 

Chicken breast? Where the hell did this come into the picture?  

I started deciphering the puzzle about the whole chicken breast issue when I started doing my research in the field of the historical development of bodybuilding and strength training. 

Never had it happened anywhere in the world, in its entire history, that people threw away certain parts of an animal before consuming it (except for the parts to be discarded like the hair, feathers, or in some cases feet etc.)?

Chicken Breast Vs Chicken Legs: Which To Consume For More Protein?© Pinterest

The High Cholesterol Myth

Please keep in mind that the ultimate aim of human species is not to have six packs abs and have fat-free and gluten-free meals, but simply one thing: survive & reproduce. Anything which interfered in this natural process was unacceptable to the body. 

For a very long time, when mankind hunted down a rather big animal, every part of it was used. Even the skin was used for clothing (and is still being used for leather). 

Throwing away parts of the animal because it had a little too much fat on it and consuming other parts because they were leaner, was something their mental faculties could never even comprehend, until recently, when the false hoax of 'high cholesterol causing heart disease' and 'high saturated fat leading to a rise in cholesterol' hypothesis, started taking hold. 

Due to this myth from the West, the entire world took a nosedive into the world of stupidity. 

Chicken Breast Vs Chicken Legs: Which To Consume For More Protein?© Pixabay

The Consumption Of Chicken Breast

Eating chicken breasts out of the entire chicken, because its low in fat, is the most stupid thing one can do when consuming animal meat. 

Most Indians have always loved their chicken legs. But, somehow, the youngsters and now. even the people who loved chicken legs have shifted on to consuming chicken breasts.

Chicken Breast Vs Chicken Legs: Which To Consume For More Protein?

SOURCE: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

Chicken is a rich source of dietary protein. Many people believe that when it comes to calorie calculation and weight loss, then the leanest part of the chicken vs the other parts will make a difference. 

No, it won't do anything. You don't get fat because you are eating 5-10cal extra. It's due to a big calorie surplus for a very long time, combined with multiple other reasons like sedentarism and lifestyle stresses. 

The Chicken Legs

Chicken Breast Vs Chicken Legs: Which To Consume For More Protein?© Pixabay

A chicken leg has two parts — the thigh and the drumstick. The drumstick is the lower part of the chicken leg, also known as the calf, which we Indians call as the 'leg piece'. 

If we actually compare the amount of fat in the chicken breast and leg, don't be alarmed by the numbers, because the quality of fat in the chicken is a very good quality of fat. Though saturated fat is absolutely healthy, even if you consider it unhealthy, the difference is a meagre 0.5grams. 

Also, the total fat percentage just differs by 2grams. Whereas, the protein content also differs by just 2-3grams.  

But what people don't consider is the overall micronutrient content of the thighs and the breasts. 

A serving of chicken thigh meat provides you with 30 per cent of the daily value for niacin, 15 per cent of the DV for phosphorus, vitamin B-6 and zinc and 10 per cent of the DV for riboflavin. 

The chicken breast meat contains less of some micronutrients, providing only 6 per cent of the DV for zinc and riboflavin, but more of others, providing 60 per cent of the DV for niacin, 25 per cent of the DV for vitamin B-6 and 20 per cent of the DV for phosphorus.

Now, you would not like to give up the tastier and mineral-rich chicken legs because you are getting 2grams of less fat and the same amount of more protein.

Suddenly, we are seeing youngsters shouting chicken breasts even in their dreams. One thing is true, if the west sells you packaged poop, and tell you it helps to lose weight, believe me, most people will eat it.

When you speak to guys, it sounds as if the only part of the chicken worth eating is the breast and rest of everything are to be discarded. But if you ask them why, almost everyone has a single reply, 'it has less fat'. But, not one person knows how much is the difference.

The final take: just relish the entire chicken. Every part of the chicken has its own flavour. The super calorie conscious are better off eating chicken without the skin. But in terms of parts, you can have any.

Akshay Chopra, is a graduate of the National Defence Academy & the Air Force Academy, and a former IAF pilot. He is one of the most qualified health, fitness & nutrition consultants in the country, and an author of multiple books & ebooks. He is among the few in the country to have a background of competitive athletics, military training and bodybuilding. He is the co-founder of the Body Mechanics chain of gyms, and India's first research based channel We R Stupid. You can check out his Youtube here.

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