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Chicken... A Healthy Choice

Raw Chicken Breasts and VeggiesChicken breast without the skin has less fat content than sirloin steak, pot roast, hamburger (even 90 percent lean), beef tenderloin, pork chops, and ham. Chicken is lower in saturated fats than even salmon, making it a sensible choice for lean eaters.

We do need some fat in our diet. Fat plays a role in the development of shiny hair, healthy skin, cells, and tissue, our cushioned internal organs, and the layer of insulation under our skin that keeps us warm.

Fats contain both saturated and unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fatty acids. Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol more than other forms of fat. Reducing saturated fat to less than ten percent of calories will help you lower your blood cholesterol level. A person on a diet of 2,000 calories per day should consume fewer than 22 grams of saturated fat per day. A skinless chicken breast has only one gram of saturated fat, so it is an ideal choice for anyone limiting his or her intake of saturated fat.

Unsaturated fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kinds. Both kinds of unsaturated fats reduce blood cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet, so they are called the "good" fats. Polyunsaturated fat are found in from vegetable and fish oils and monounsaturated fats are found in olive, canola, or peanut oils. Using a tablespoon of "good" olive oil to saute naturally lean chicken is a "good" idea!