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How Much Protein in a chicken Breast?

Updated on March 11, 2015
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How Much Protein in a chicken Breast

Healthy eating is so important, but sometimes it’s hard to know what to choose. Many foods that are pre-packaged or sold in delis and cafeterias are chock full of simple carbohydrates, preservatives, fats and salts. Unless you want to do a serious study in nutrition, it’s hard to know what is a good, healthy option to pick up for dinner or for lunch.

One item that can’t steer you wrong is lean, natural chicken breast. Chicken’s breast is one of the best protein foods that is not only low in calories, but rich in potassium, magnesium and Vitamin A, B3, B6 and K. It is not only nutritious but also easily digested. It is perfect to have as a hot meal, to chop up and put over salads, to put into cold sandwiches—there are so many different ways to prepare it.

Why Chicken Breast is Best

Protein in the chicken breast is said to be the easiest and the cheapest way of consuming high quality proteins. These are highly recommended for those who are protein deficient. It is also suggested that usage of protein through chicken is the better choice than protein powder.

As compared to other foods that are consumed in our meals, the chicken protein is the best and highest quality protein you can ever find. The main reason is that the protein in chicken has all the important amino acids that are required for excellent growth of the whole body. It is very helpful for the calorie burning tissue that is effective during the burning fat.

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How much protein is there in chicken breast?

The answer is mostly dependent upon the weight of the chicken— that is, the mass present in the chicken breast is a factor in the protein content. If the quality is good then approximately 30% protein is present in the breast. The average protein content found in chicken breast is:

  • There are about 8 grams of protein 1 oz of cooked chicken breast
  • There are about 26 grams to 28 grams of proteins in 4 oz of uncooked boneless chicken breast
  • There are about 25 grams to 30 grams of proteins in 4 oz of grilled chicken breasts

Let's compare that to some other sources of protein:

  • There are 7 grams of protein in a 1 oz piece of cooked steak
  • There are 7 grams of protein in a 1 oz piece of cooked tilapia fish
  • There are 3 grams of protein in a 1 oz serving of red cooked beans
  • There are 6 grams of protein in a 1 oz serving of cooked firm tofu

As you can see, chicken breast is superior in protein content to many other common sources of protein.

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When Chicken Breast is Not Healthy

Those who are fried chicken lovers may think that it is healthy to consume chicken but that’s absolutely wrong concept that needs to be corrected. These fried chickens may seem to be tasty but they are rich in fats. The healthiest way of cooking chicken is to bake, grill, steam or bake them. In this way, you can get the most out of the chicken that is protein not fat.

Also stay away from processed chicken breast, as this is counter-productive to a healthy lifestyle. These types of chicken breasts are often injected with salty brine, contain preservatives, fillers, nitrates and other unhealthy ingredients.

Many children eat chicken nuggets, yet most of these products are not real chicken breast—they are ground leftover bits of chicken (pieces you'd never normally eat!) mixed with starches and preservatives and flavorings until it is like a paste; these are then pressed into a nugget-shaped mold and breaded with an even more unhealthy coating.

So be sure when you’re looking for protein—especially if you’re trying to avoid starches and salts—to get pure, natural chicken products.

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What About the Rest of the Chicken?

Thighs and legs -- or the 'dark meat' portions of the chicken-- come it at about 7 grams of protein in an ounce-sized serving.

This may seem insignificant if you like dark meat better, but the difference that really counts is that the dark meat portions have much more fat than the breast. This is mainly due to the energy that is required in the legs to perform activities. So from nutrition and protein point of view both these categories of chicken are considered to be the best source of protein than can be consumed in the diet, but the breast is a leaner option for those watching their fat intake and cholesterol. If you are on a special nutritious diet then try to avoid the chicken skin as it has larger amount of fat content in it and has lesser nutritional value.

The dark meat of chicken does consists of greater amounts of vitamin B and pure iron as compared to the white meat. If these are nutrients that you need, then you might do well to include more dark meat in your diet. Once again, removing the skin will significantly cut down on fat intake.

High Protein Chicken Breast Sandwich-Ideal for Muscle Gain & Fat Loss

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