The Protein Content in Chicken

by Paula Martinac

A chicken breast rests on top of a baby spinach salad.

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Your body needs protein to build and maintain muscles, organs, skin and other tissues. An added advantage of consuming this macronutrient is that it keeps you feeling full longer, supporting weight loss and maintenance. MedlinePlus reports that two to three daily servings of protein-containing foods, like chicken, will be sufficient to meet most people’s protein requirements.

Chicken Breast

You don’t need to eat a lot of chicken to get a substantial serving of protein. Half a boneless roasted chicken breast supplies almost 27 grams of lean protein, with only 142 calories and 3 grams of fat. That’s 58 percent of a woman’s daily needs and 48 percent of a man’s, according to the Institute of Medicine. Enjoy your chicken with steamed broccoli and a baked sweet potato, or shred it and use it to top your main-course salad.

Other Types of Chicken

A roasted chicken drumstick is also a good source of protein, with 23 grams of protein, 149 calories and almost 5.5 grams of fat in one drumstick without the skin. If you’re using oven-roasted chicken lunch meat for a sandwich, you’ll be getting less protein in a serving. Two ounces of this type of chicken contains 8 grams of protein, with 75 calories and a little more than 4 grams of fat. Because processed luncheon meats are also high in sodium, slicing roasted chicken for your sandwich is a healthier option.

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About the Author

Paula Martinac holds a Master of Science in health and nutrition education from Hawthorn University, with an emphasis on healthy aging, cancer prevention, weight control and stress management. She is Board Certified in holistic nutrition and a Certified Food and Spirit Practitioner, and has written extensively on nutrition for various websites.