Since a major downside of meat is its fat content, people often ask me is chicken healthy?
Chicken does have some nutritional advantages over other animal foods, but it also has some serious downsides that you should be aware of.
Chicken is a fairly lean animal food, meaning it has a lower fat and higher protein ratio than other meats. That makes it popular for athletes, people looking for weight loss, and people in general on a healthy eating plan.
There are so many other options for lean protein though - beans, lentils, oats, quinoa, or vegan protein powders are all really easy ways to get protein without resorting to chicken.
If you're concerned about your protein intake, you should also look at what your actual needs are. Most people don't need more protein than what they get on a healthy vegan diet plan. You can check out your requirements with my free protein calculator.
About a third of the fats in chicken are saturated fats and long-chain triglycerides, which are the fatty acids that have been shown to accumulate in the blood stream and contribute to heart disease.
Meats have a natural component (arachidonic acid) that stimulates inflammation in our bodies, aggravating conditions like arthritis and heart disease.
Feedlot animals are fed, among other things, hormones to make them grow faster, antibiotics to keep them from getting sick while packed in with hundreds or thousands of other animals, and chemical fertilizers and pesticides on their feed. When these chemicals pass through the digestive system of an animal, they concentrate in the fat cells that make up part of the meat we eat. They are much more heavily concentrated in animal cells than in plant cells, and since animals are higher up the food chain they're getting chemicals from both the plants they eat and those given directly.
If you do choose to eat meat or poultry, these factors make it crucial that you choose a proper source for buying. This is one food group that should always be bought organic, since there are requirements that should result in less chemicals fed to or injected in the meats you eat. The organic label isn't a guarantee though.