Chicken is often presented as a healthy alternative to other meats such as pork or beef. Yet there is often a warning about the health risks of chicken; for example, there is often talk of residues of antibiotics that are still in the chicken, or diseases such as salmonella or campylobacter. However, with good chicken preparation there is little risk and the health effects dominate the unhealthy.
Is chicken healthy?
Of the different types of common meat, chicken is one of the healthiest. Beef or pork contains more calories, more fat and also causes unhealthy cholesterol. However, chicken is not only leaner than other meats, but also contains a number of good nutrients, such as minerals and vitamins. In addition, chicken is also less harmful to the environment than, for example, pork or beef. First, however, it is important to know what types of chicken there are and how our meat comes into being.
Which broilers are there?
Chicken is bred in often large facilities, where one generally uses three types of chicken:
However, a further distinction is possible, the main types can again be subdivided into further types that have been developed to give meat even better or faster. In some cases, these are indicated by a number, such as the Ross 708 or Cobb 500 species.
The broiler chicken and antibiotics
The chickens are raised to the desired weight within 6 weeks and are then slaughtered. In fact, we are talking about chicken incorrectly; they are broilers that we eat under the heading of chicken. During these 6 weeks, the chicks are treated with antibiotics to ensure that no diseases break out among the densely living chicks. These antibiotics are often cited as harmful to human consumption, but treatment with antibiotics is stopped well before the slaughter of the chicken. As a result, there are hardly any residues of the antibiotics present in the chicken before it is further processed into the pieces of meat that we buy in the supermarket.
Little is wasted from the chicken at the time of slaughter. The parts that we do not eat, such as the claws, are shipped abroad or used for animal feed. The most important components of the chicken, for processing into high-quality meat products, are:
- chicken fillet (breast)
- chicken legs (the legs)
- drumsticks (the lower legs)
- chicken wings (the wings)
- chicken liver (the liver)
You can also order online chicken legs, chicken fillet, chicken wings Romania etc. easily at your door step.
Healthy properties of chicken
Chicken meat is lean, protein-rich and contains less cholesterol than other meat. Note that the skin of the chicken contains more fat and cholesterol; it is therefore also healthier to consume skinless chicken. Healthy substances found in chicken meat are:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1 (less than other meat)
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12 (less than other meat)
These minerals and vitamins provide a contribution to health. For example, iron works against fatigue, protein ensures the build-up of muscles (which also relieves joints) and vitamin A ensures that we can see well in the dark and vitamin A ensures healthy skin. Due to the amount of protein in the meat, chicken is often used by athletes; it is low in fat and ensures that the muscles can find enough protein to recover and grow after training.
Unhealthy properties of chicken
Salmonella, antibiotics and campylobacter are often mentioned as unhealthy factors of chicken. Antibiotics have already been discussed, the influence of which is negligible. However, salmonella and campylobacter are serious risks. These pathogens can occur both in raw chicken meat and in the moisture that comes from raw chicken meat. To prevent contamination, it is important to cook chicken well and to use a separate cutting board and knife when preparing chicken. These must then also be washed or put away immediately; otherwise there is a risk that the moisture will overflow and contaminate other products.
Is chicken healthy or unhealthy?
Chicken may be healthy, but if chicken is prepared with breadcrumbs in the fryer, this is of course no longer healthy either. When chicken is prepared properly, chicken is one of the healthiest cuts of meat and eating chicken can contribute to good health. Note that chicken is not eaten raw, but is also not burned.