How Much Protein In Chicken?

by Vivian M Knapp

When it comes to a healthy diet you need protein – there’s just no getting around it. With that in mind, chicken is one of the healthiest, and most delicious, ways to get part of your protein in daily. But exactly how much protein in chicken, you might wonder. Let’s find out.

Why The Concern For Protein?

If you’ve ever heard even one tip about a healthy diet it was probably that protein is ultimately king. Getting too little or no protein in a daily diet can cause severe health risks and your body will ultimately suffer for it, so at least a reasonable to modest protein intake is recommended for almost every body type.

Why? To put it simply, protein is one of the building blocks of life itself and quality sources of protein provide essential amino acids that help with building muscles, skin and organs. It is vital towards helping maintain a healthy body, mind and overall diet.

A lack of protein can lead to a condition called kwashiorkor aka protein malnutrition or deficiency. Symptoms include tiredness and irritability in the person suffering from the deficiency but those are the less frightening symptoms. In truth, a lack of protein can cause a total breakdown in muscle and tissue that can be deadly.

How Much Protein Do I Need?

Checking the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), it shows that 0.36 grams of protein per pound should be consumed. This can equal out to between forty-six to fifty-six grams of protein per day for the average person who is mostly inactive or has a sitting job and little exercise opportunities.

While it sounds like a lot, chicken and other white meats are high in protein and can help you reach that recommended intake quite easily in either one or two servings.

It’s All About The Grams

Protein is almost universally measured out in grams and is more than likely how you will want to be measuring out your own portions. That is, unless, you are on a specialized diet like the keto diet or the paleo diet in which net carbs are more of a factor. Let’s focus on grams first.

According to the USDA, one cup of chopped or diced chicken (140 g) has thirty-eight grams of protein in it and weighs in at three hundred and thirty-five calories. This equals out to seventy-six percent of a recommended daily value of protein for a two thousand calorie diet.

For comparison:

  • 100 grams of chicken equals out to two hundred and thirty-nine calories and twenty-seven grams of protein, which equals fifty-four percent of the daily value of a two thousand calorie diet.
  • For a single unit, or a one pound ready-to-cook chicken, it has forty-nine grams of protein which is ninety-eight percent of the daily value based on a two thousand calorie diet.
  • A 0.5 chicken with the bone removed is eighty-two grams of protein and seven hundred and fifteen calories. This equals out to one hundred and sixty-four percent of your daily recommended value per a two thousand calorie diet.
  • Chicken thighs – one thigh without skin has twenty-eight grams of protein, equals two hundred and six calories and equals fifty-six percent of the daily recommended value of a two thousand calorie diet.
  • Chicken wings – One wing with the bone and skin removed is six grams of protein, has forty-three calories and equals twelve percent of the daily value of a two thousand calorie diet.
  • Chicken breast – One cup, chopped or diced (140 g) is forty-three grams, is two hundred and thirty-one calories and equals out to eighty-six percent of the daily value based on a two thousand calorie diet.
  • Chicken drumstick – one drumstick with skin (133 g) is twenty-three grams of protein, two hundred and eleven calories and is forty-six percent of the daily value of a two thousand calorie diet.

What About Snacks Or Other Sources Of Chicken?

The truth is that every single source of chicken is going to vary in both protein sources and calories. If it comes in a box then you can typically look at the back and get the information that you need. With the information you have now, after reading this article, then you will have the right tools in order to get the right protein from chicken.

Now You Know

So now you know what kind of protein count to expect in chicken. It will vary per size, weight and whether it has skin or not. Regardless, chicken is an excellent source of protein and an excellent white meat to have in your diet.

Be sure to check out how much protein you are getting in every meal or snack. Protein is, without question, an important dietary compound and element of a healthy diet.

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