Food Picks: White vs. Dark Chicken Meat
Are you a breast man or a leg man when it comes to chicken meat? Here’s why it matters!
By Steven Stiefel
Chicken Breast (8 oz.)
43 g protein
5 g fat
0 g carbs
1.5 g saturated fats
A very low-calorie source of protein
Can be a little dry, a little boring
Dark Chicken Meat (8 oz.) (leg and thigh)
38 g protein
14 g fats
0 g carbs
3.7 g saturated fats
Some find the moist texture more palatable than breast meat.
About 45% of the calories come from dietary fats.
Chicken breast is likely the #1 food in most bodybuilders’ nutrition plan, but is it the best food option? How does it compare to “fatty” dark meat, which many bodybuilders shun? MMI compared 8 ounces of roasted, skinless versions of white and dark chicken meat. Here are some of the facts we considered before reaching our conclusion:
• White and dark meat contain nearly equal ratios of saturated to healthy fat. Both have good ratios, deriving about 70 percent from healthy fats.
• Dark meat has more than double the fats (both healthy and saturated) of breast meat. However, saturated fats provide raw materials to help increase crucial hormones such as testosterone.
• Dark meat derives about 50% of its calories from protein; white meat derives about 75%.
When you want more protein on a restricted-calorie diet, breast meat is the clear winner; when you want more calories from a food that’s more than 50% protein (and almost 50% fats), opt for dark meat. When you want to strike a balance, mix breast and dark meat.
Chicken breast (by a beak … er, nose)