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The Nutrition of Chicken Breasts Vs. Thighs

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chicken is a good source of protein. Photo Credit chicken lean meat image by Maria Brzostowska from
Chicken is a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet because it is lower in fat and calories than other types of meat and contains nutrients that are important for overall health. The breast of a chicken is most often used in low-fat and low-calorie recipes, but thighs make a good alternative. Whichever cut you choose, removing the skin will reduce the amount of fat in your meal.
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Fat and Calories

If you are trying to keep your fat intake down, chicken breast is the better choice because it contains less than the thigh. One cup of cooked chicken breast contains 5 g of fat compared to the 15 g in the chicken thigh. A diet that limits fat is one that reduces your risk of developing heart disease. In addition, a lower fat content results in less calories; 231 for chicken breast versus 293 for the thigh. Keeping your calorie intake moderate allows you to lose weight or maintain your current number.


Including good sources of protein in your daily diet is important for your skin, nails, hair, muscles and cells. Ten percent to thirty-five percent of your calorie intake should consist of protein, which equates to 50 g to 175 g per day for a 2,000-calorie diet. One cup of roasted chicken breast contains about 43 g of protein while the same amount of roasted chicken thigh has 36 g, making both a good option for helping you reach these goals.


Meat, including both chicken breasts and thighs, is a good source of iron. Iron is a nutrient that your body needs to efficiently move oxygen through your blood and to your organs. A deficiency in iron could result in anemia, which is characterized by fatigue and weakness. A cup of cooked chicken breast has about 1.5 mg of iron and a cup of cooked chicken thigh has nearly 2 mg of iron. Iron is absorbed better by your body when eaten in combination with vitamin C. Try marinating your chicken in orange juice to add vitamin C to your meal.


One cup of roasted chicken breast contains close to 1.5 mg of zinc, but the same amount of roasted thigh meat contains about 3.5 mg. Getting adequate amounts of zinc in your daily diet allows your body to fight the viruses and bacteria that cause illness, aids in the development of DNA and cells, heals wounds and contributes to your sense of taste and smell.


Niacin is one of the B vitamins and it helps your body use the energy from the foods you eat. It also plays a role in building new cells and tissue throughout your body. One cup of roasted chicken breast contains about 19 mg of niacin while one cup of roasted chicken thigh contains only 9 mg.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
FIFIFRIZZLE 10/16/2013 4:16AM

    That explains why I prefer the thighs!

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1BEACHWALKER 9/4/2013 2:53PM

    My Dr. told me that, said eating too much of the thighs or other parts can keep your cholesterol high! Go figure!! emoticon emoticon

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CATLADY52 8/30/2013 1:18PM

    Good info. We eat chicken breasts in many different ways. I have collected a binder full of chicken recipies and have it divided into two parts. Whole breasts and chopped up. Makes life much easier. emoticon

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ARTJAC 8/29/2013 11:58PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MOTLEM 8/29/2013 8:22PM

    Great info. thanks SS. emoticon

I used to always buy the thighs because they are a lot cheaper than breast fillets. But these days I buy skinless breast fillets all the time and the only time I divert from them, is when the drummies are on special for $1.99 kilo.

A good thing too about buying the skinless breast fillets, is I am not tempted to eat the skin, lol, as still think it's one of the best bits.

emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 8/29/2013 11:23AM


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FISHINGLADY66 8/29/2013 10:34AM

    Thanks for the info.

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GOSPELCLOWN 8/29/2013 9:35AM

    Well written and helpful! I choose the tighs because of portion control. I may have to adjust my thinking.

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RDEE22 8/29/2013 8:35AM

    Thanks for the info. Keep it coming. emoticon

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RASPBERRY56 8/29/2013 7:27AM

    I've always prefered the taste of chicken breasts - good to know that there are strong benefits to them (I'm sure I can deal with getting iron and zinc from other sources - the good news in those other areas are impressive enough for me)!

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WENDYJM4 8/29/2013 6:51AM


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SUSIEPH1 8/29/2013 6:50AM

    Great info Sandra .. I actually thought the breast of Chicken was fattier that the thigh ... We re learning every day .. Hugs and Love Susie emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TATTER3 8/29/2013 6:39AM

    Great info! Thanks! Keep Sparkin'!!

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FATTYBOY230 8/29/2013 5:44AM

    its always the things that taste the best that are the worst for health

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GOANNA2 8/29/2013 5:32AM

    Thank you for the great information. I always knew
the breasts were less fatty and that the thighs are
actiually tastier. emoticon Have a great weekend.

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