Protein is found in foods from both plants and animals. Protein is made up of hundreds or thousands of smaller units, called amino acids, which are linked to one another in long chains. The sequence of amino acids determines each protein’s unique structure and its specific function.
There are 20 different amino acids that that can be combined to make every type of protein in the body. These amino acids fall into two categories:
- Essential amino acids are required for normal body functioning, but they cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained from food we eat. Of the 20 amino acids, 9 are considered essential.
- Nonessential amino acids can be synthesized by the body from essential amino acids consumed in food or in the normal breakdown of body proteins. Of the 20 amino acids, 11 are considered nonessential.
Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein.
- Protein is a component of every cell in the human body and is necessary for proper growth and development, especially during childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.
- Protein helps your body build and repair cells and body tissue.
- Protein is a major part of your skin, hair, nails, muscle, bone, and internal organs. Protein is also found in almost all body fluids.
- Protein is important for many body processes, such as blood clotting, fluid balance, immune response, vision, and production of hormones, antibodies, and enzymes.
Where It Is Found?
Protein is found in a variety of foods, including:
- Poultry and Meat
- Beans and peas
- Dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and yogurt)
- Nuts and seeds
- Seafood (fish and shellfish)
- Soy products
- Whole grains and vegetables (these generally provide less protein than is found in other sources)
A person’s daily value may be higher or lower depending on their calorie intake.
The following are the safe level of protein intake by FAO/WHO.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is a modest 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The RDA is the amount of a nutrient you need to meet your basic nutritional requirements. In a sense, it’s the minimum amount you need to keep from getting sick and not the specific amount you are supposed to eat every day.
Therefore, Protein requirements, or more specifically amino acid and nitrogen needs, vary depending on age, body size, gender, physiological states (including pregnancy, illness and fitness) and possibly environment.
Chicken protein is a rich source of all the essential amino acids and it also provides vitamins B6 and B12, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.
ARE AMINO ACIDS PRESENT IN POULTRY MEAT? WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS AND CAN OUR BODY PRODUCE ALL AMINO ACIDS?
Yes. Poultry meat provides all the essential amino acids, which makes them complete proteins. They also contain all the conditional amino acids.
Amino acids are organic compounds composed of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, along with a variable side chain group.
Your body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Though all 20 of these are important for your health, only nine amino acids are classified as essential. These are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.
Unlike nonessential amino acids, essential amino acids can’t be synthesized by your body and must be obtained through your diet.
The best sources of essential amino acids are animal proteins like poultry, eggs and meat. When you eat protein, it’s broken down into amino acids, which are then used to help your body with various processes such as building muscle and regulating immune function.
Amino acid profile of chicken meat:
Feeding constitutes the fundamental and major management concern in poultry production. Functional ingredients are supplemented to chicken feed to improve the nutritional value of chicken meat, thus making chicken meat a foodstuff with added value. The essential amino acids for poultry are: arginine, glycine, histidine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, cystine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Out of these, the ones critical in practical diets are arginine, lysine, methionine, cystine and tryptophan.
A high-quality protein is also referred to as a complete protein. To understand the aspect of high-quality protein let us focus on PDCAAS
Protein digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS) is a method of evaluating the quality of a protein based on both the amino acid requirements of humans and their ability to digest it.
The PDCAAS rating was adopted by the US FDA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization (FAO/WHO) in 1993 as “the preferred ‘best'” method to determine protein quality.
A PDCAAS value of 1 is the highest, and 0 the lowest. The table shows the ratings of selected foods.
Yes. Poultry is a great source of protein. It’s a good idea to eat poultry 1 – 3 serves every day as part of your balanced diet to meet the daily protein requirement.
The fact is 100 grams of chicken has around 27 grams of protein, but does this suffice your body’s need. Interestingly, in India our diet is a perfect mix of carbs and fats, but at the same time, the protein levels in our intake are insufficient. The experts have observed protein deficiency in about 70% of India’s population, which is due to not having a balanced diet.
Below is a list of protein content of fresh and cooked broiler chicken meat per 100g.
Nearly 54% of our daily value is meet by just taking 100g of chicken per day.
How chicken helps in building a strong immunity?
The immune system is our body’s great defender. Our immune system has several components like antibodies and immune cells that depend on protein. Hence, protein is a quint essential requirement for our immune system. Chicken being a source of high-quality protein can, therefore, help in boosting one’s immunity. Also chicken is a good source of vitamin B6, B9, B12, vitamin E, iron, zinc, selenium etc., which plays an important role in immune functioning.
Some of the benefits of chicken are listed below.
- Chicken continues to be a rich source of protein as it helps in optimizing bone health and increases immunity. The other nutrients like Vitamin B, B3, B6, B9, and retinol plays a key role in immune functioning of the system. Particularly vitamin B6 in chicken is important in the formation of new and healthy red blood cells.
- Chicken helps in increasing the blood cells that get reduce when body falls short of immunity.
- The vitamins found in chicken is essential for the metabolism of fats and sugars in the body and helps in the efficient functioning of cells.
No. When it comes to non-vegetarian food, people often think that eating meat on a daily basis is not good. This belief is partially wrong. Eating chicken every day is not bad, but you need to be cautious while choosing the cooking method. If you are going to eat chicken daily, then it is best to either boil, grill or roast it. When prepared in a healthy way, it is okay to have chicken on a daily basis.
According to ICMR – NIN ‘my plate for the day’, Eggs/fish/meat (poultry & lean meat) can substitute a portion of pulses and they are recommending around 100 grams of lean poultry per day. Also, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the average person eat 100 g of chicken per day.
A 100g boneless, skinless, roasted chicken breast contains:
- 31 g protein
- 3.6 g fat
- 85 mg cholesterol
Yes, the myths and misconceptions came first when it comes to chicken.
To help clear up the confusion and get the facts straight, here are the top myths about chickens that need to be debunked:
Myth 1: Chickens are given hormones and steroids to make them grow faster and bigger.
Fact: No chicken sold or raised is given hormone and steroids. The truth is no hormones have been allowed in poultry production for more than 50 years. Chickens are bigger and grow faster these days because of good breeding, proper nutrition, care by a veterinarian and better living conditions.
Main reasons that chickens do not receive hormones and steroids.
- Growth hormones are proteins and it cannot be given orally and also no oral forms exists.
- There is no way to catch each chicken in every broiler house numerous time a day and give a hormone injection.
- High cost – The cost would be far in excess of the value of the chicken itself. This makes no sense from a business standpoint.
Myth 2: Chickens are genetically modified
Fact: There are no GMO chickens commercially available. Through highly technical and closely monitored traditional breeding process, we ensure today’s birds are stronger and healthier than ever before.
Reasons behind larger healthier birds:
- Selection of chicken with the healthiest growth and size for breeding
- Well balanced nutritious feed with added amino acids
- Modern advances in farming including
- Advanced housing (aerated, ventilated facilities available)
- Climate controls (modern climate control systems measure the environment in which the animals kept and can alert the workers in cases of too low or too high temperature in the houses)
- Biosecurity (to prevent the exposure of birds to disease causing organisms by reducing introduction and spread of pathogens into and between the farms thereby reducing the risk of diseases)
- Coupled with good animal husbandry and cooperation between farmers and veterinarians
Myth 3: If a chicken is given antibiotics, then the chicken meat will have antibiotic residue in it.
Fact: The Union health ministry has for the first time set a timeframe for keeping food-producing animals treated with antibiotics out of human food chain. The amendment in rule 97 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, also suggests that the antibiotics, which are used for therapeutic purposes in animals, should be labelled with the withdrawal period.
The FSSAI has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, toxins and Residues) Amendment Regulations, 2018 specifying ‘Tolerance Limits’ of antibiotics and other veterinary drugs in meat/meat products and poultry to ensure that any animal products they produce are drug-free before they can be used as food.
Myth 4: Chickens raised for meat (broilers) are raised in cages
Fact: No chicken meat you buy is raised in a cage. The majority of chickens raised for meat live in large, open structures called houses, where they are free to roam, munch on food, drink water and socialize with other birds.
Myth 5: Chicken Generates Heats in the Body
Fact: It’s a myth. Heat increment in the body is related to the calorific value of the food. Any food source containing higher amount of carbs and fat is the highest source of calories. When compared to other meats and foods (such as chocolates, fries, cheese etc.) chicken have less heat increment during the digestion and metabolism due to its zero carb and minimum fat percentage. Chickens have the best biological value and they are perfectly absorbed by the body. What you need to do is drink enough water daily! Thermic Effect of food refers to the number of calories you burn just to digest the food you already eat, even that depends on the person body fat percentage. Chicken being high in protein means the higher thermic effect of food does not mean in any way that it will produce heat in the body.
Therefore it is always advisable to do thorough research and get the facts checked from the experts before believing the rumours and relying on the grapevine discussions. Teaming with many health benefits and being one of the primary sources of protein, poultry meat is advised for regular consumption. The intent here is to nourish our bodies with nutritionally healthy food without baseless fears and misconceptions.
Yes, it is 100% safe to eat broiler chicken. Chicken has well-documented health benefits; Chicken makes a fantastic substitute for red meats. Chicken is filled with high-quality proteins and doesn’t contain much fat — especially if you eat lean cuts.
According to a guideline issued by WHO, consumption of properly cleaned and cooked chicken and eggs at a minimum temperature 70 degrees Celsius was deemed safe for consumption. However, there were several other things that often confuse you about the consumption of poultry.
Even according to the FSSAI guidelines, the virus can be destroyed by cooking the food at 70°C for at least 3 seconds. Also, the guidelines from AIIMS suggested proper cleaning and washing of hands after washing chicken or eggs to avoid any chances of infection.
Beyond its rich protein content, chicken also contains:
- Vitamin B12
Nutrients per Serving
A raw, boneless skinless chicken breast fillet contains:
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 26 grams
- Fat: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Fibre: 0 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
The strong reason behind choosing chicken is taste, nutritional value, affordability, sustainability and versatility. Chicken is a table – pleaser for eaters of all ages. It delivers vital, under – consumed nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, choline, vitamin B12 and iron. Chicken contains tryptophan, an amino acid linked with increasing levels of serotonin – the feel good neurochemical. It contains Vitamin B12 and Choline, which together may promote brain development in children, help the nervous system function properly and aid cognitive performance in older adults.
In addition, chicken meat is known by its nutritional quality, as it contains significant amount of high – quality and easily digestible protein and a low portion of saturated fat. Therefore, chicken meat is recommend for consumption by all age groups.
Also composition of chicken meat can be influenced through modification of chicken feed composition (addition of different types of oils, vitamins, microelements and amino acids), to produce meat enriched with functional ingredients (n- 3 PUFA, carnosine, selenium and vitamin E). By this way, chicken meat becomes a foodstuff with added value, which, in addition to high-quality nutritional composition, also contains ingredients that are beneficial to human health.
Broiler chickens are grown through farmers through unique contract farming with the integrators. A contract farmer is an independent farmer working under contract with a chicken production and processing company to raise chickens. The company with which the farmer contracts provide the chickens, the feed, veterinarian care and technical advice, while the poultry farmer provides the day-to-day care of the birds, land and housing on which they’re raised, and utilities/maintenance of the housing. This partnership supports the economic viability and independence of the family farm while ensuring efficiency and consistency in modern poultry production.
On the whole the chickens are being scientifically grown based on the laid down standards and they are strictly following the SOP’s in raising the chicken and the total system is going on growing healthy chicken.
The domestic poultry industry is the fastest growing segment with a compound growth rate of 18%. Poultry meat being the most popular meat in India, it has been receiving significant boost through investments. Latest techniques of breeding, hatching, rearing and processing have transformed the poultry sector tremendously. India is considered as the fifth largest producer of broiler meat in the world and is estimated to produce around 3 million metric tonnes annually. More broiler growers and improved efficiencies have changed the shape of the industry. The following are the major driving forces behind the huge broiler production and supply in India:
- The rapid expansion of poultry production has been associated with technological change and increasing scale of production units
- The constant efforts in up gradation, modification and application of new technologies paved the way for the multi-fold and multifaceted growth in poultry and allied sectors
- Shift from traditional small-scale production using dual-purpose indigenous breeds to intensive commercial production systems using hybrid birds
- Bio security levels are defined as high, as birds are continuously housed, strictly preventing contact with other flocks or with wildlife
- Inputs are generally supplied and products marketed through formal market agencies
Yes. The broiler chicken industries adhere to the ethical handling of animals.
PFRC – Poultry Farmers Regulatory Committee (is a self – regulatory body, representing Poultry Farmers, Breeders, Feed Manufacturers, Distributors, Retailers and other stakeholders who are associated with the Poultry Industry in India) has laid down norms based on the animal welfare board of India) has laid down norms based on the animal welfare board of India to ensure better welfare of egg-laying hens and broiler chicken.
The World Organisation for Animal Health considers that good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling and humane slaughter/killing.
Chicken meat need is not only in a particular area where it is produced, its need is all over the world. So during transportation and storage, the challenge is to maintain proper refrigeration temperatures. Chicken comes under perishable commodity and it must be refrigerated or frozen to prevent and to reduce the deterioration process, particularly microorganism development. Chilling and frozen has to be carried out quickly after carcass dousing at the end of the slaughter process before shipment to inhibit spoilage and growth of pathogens.
Chilled chicken: chickens are chilled to a temperature below 4 °C (40 °F) for 2 days.
Frozen chicken: we can keep whole raw chicken in the freezer up to one year; parts, 9 months; and giblets or ground chicken, 3 to 4 months.
Chilled chicken should be kept in the refrigerator for no more than 2 days while frozen chicken can last for many months in your freezer inhibit bacterial growth and ensure food safety.
The same nutritional rules hold true for meat and poultry, according to the Agriculture Department. “Freezing meat and poultry do not affect the nutritional value and when it’s frozen and packaged, the loss in nutrition is extremely negligible”, says CiCi Williamson, a food safety expert with the USDA meat and poultry hotline. “It should be fine for a month or longer,” she says.
There are so many ways to prepare chicken. Let’s look at these techniques more closely.
- Boiling: To boil chicken, breasts are the most ideal cuts to use. Boiling chicken is the perfect way to get to tender, juicy chicken. If they are skin on chicken breast halves, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. If they are boneless, skinless chicken breasts, they can cook for 15–20 minutes.
- Stir frying: To stir-fry chicken, breasts or thigh fillets are the most ideal cuts to use. With stir-frying, we add the chicken in batches as adding too much meat at once reduces the temperature of the wok, the chicken meat will stew in its own juices and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Pan-frying: To pan-fry chicken, the ideal cuts for this are chicken breast, tenderloins or chicken thigh fillets. To pan-fry chicken breasts, heat a frying pan on medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and allow to heat through. Place the chicken breast in the pan and allow cooking for 7 or 8 minutes or until brown and golden.
- Grilling/ Barbeque: To char-grill or barbeque chicken, the ideal cuts for this are chicken breasts, tenderloins or thigh fillets. You can char-grill both sides for colour and flavour and then place in the oven to cook through thoroughly with moderate heat.
- Baking/roasting: To baking or roasting, the ideal cuts for this are Wings, drumsticks, chicken thigh cutlets and whole chickens. As these cuts have a bone in the centre, it takes these cuts longer to cook all the way through.
Good quality protein also strengthens the hair and increases the bioavailability of iron, which promotes healthy hair growth. Without adequate protein, or with low quality protein, one can experience weak brittle hair. Hair and nails are composed of protein. Consuming chicken and eggs encourage hair growth as well as curbs hair fall, breakage and helps strengthen fragile hair.
An Annals study discovered that one type of polyunsaturated fatty acids—an omega-6 fatty acid known as arachidonic acid (AA)—can stimulate hair growth, making it thick and healthy. According to the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), chicken is the top source of AA intake in America. A 1-cup serving of a roasted chicken contains 154 milligrams of arachidonic acid.
Very few foods are versatile, nutritious, & delicious and chicken is one that which is easily available, suitable for all age groups, all health classes of people, easily digestible, significantly leaner than red meats and has less saturated fats. It’s the perfect protein to add to your muscle building diet. Chicken is a good option to consider if one wishes to gain more muscle without extra fat. In other words, strenuous workout alone cannot help you achieve muscle mass. You also need to intake protein-rich foods, and the best protein-rich ingredient in the market is surely chicken.
Reasons behind why we have to choose chicken
It is easily synthesized to repair muscle tissue and other cells damaged during hard training. But there is more than just protein.
- Niacin is essential for the conversion of protein, fat and carbohydrate into usable energy, and one chicken breast contains more than the recommended daily allowance of niacin.
- Vitamin B6 allows you to use carbs (glycogen) stored in your muscles during exercise.
- Iron is needed to deliver oxygen to those same muscles when you’re training in overdrive.
- Selenium repairs damaged cells and aids in proper thyroid function, which in turn helps keep your metabolism revving.
- Zinc is an immune-boosting mineral that can ward off cold bugs and support the production of anabolic hormones.
- Leucine is the most important of the 20 amino acids which create muscle and studies show that eating around 2-3 grams will give you the maximum anabolic effect from a meal. Chicken is probably the most common source of protein that people eat in order to build muscle. 100g of cooked chicken breast contains over 2 grams of Leucine.
Cholesterol is a necessary substance and the human body requires a minimum of 1gm of cholesterol every day. All of the cholesterol we need is produced by our bodies. But we also get cholesterol from our foods, namely animal products. Chicken, of course, is one of these animal products.
When it comes to food, the worst culprits for a spike in cholesterol are saturated fats found in meat and meat products. The truth is, chicken by nature has lower cholesterol than any other cut, and lower fat than most cuts. The breast of a chicken has the least cholesterol, followed by the thighs, wings, and legs. “Chicken can be exceptionally great food as long as it served in the right way. It is a great source of natural protein and has less saturated fat as compared to red meat like pork, beef and lamb. Therefore, chicken is a safe and delicious dish that you can enjoy without worrying about your cholesterol levels.
Broiler chicken meat is known to have a significant amount of protein and specific vitamins which not only help fulfil our body requirements but also tend to shield it, providing us with a safe cover while bolstering our immunity. However, there are lot of misconceptions and myths about poultry. The following are the common myths around consumption of broiler chicken.
Chicken contains antibiotic residues-cause resistance against antibiotics used in humans.
Just like people, animals sometimes get sick, and treating illness is a responsible part of animal care. When this happens, farmers work with animal health experts and veterinarians to determine if an antibiotic is needed. All chicken you buy is technically “antibiotic free” – if any antibiotics are used on a farm, they must have cleared the animals’ systems before they can leave the farm.
Eating eggs raise cholesterol levels.
Eggs are naturally high in cholesterol. But the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t seem to raise cholesterol levels the way other cholesterol-containing foods do, such as trans fats and saturated fats. The amount of cholesterol in your diet and the amount of cholesterol in your blood are very different things. The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling its production of cholesterol. When the dietary intake of cholesterol goes down, your body makes more. When you eat greater amounts of cholesterol, your body makes less. Because of this, foods high in dietary cholesterol have very little impact on blood cholesterol levels.
Chickens are genetically modified
Chickens are not genetically engineered or modified i.e no artificial changes are made to the genetic make-up of an organism in order to optimise a trait.They are selectively bred for positive traits, in a similar way like other animals have been for thousands of years. This is a natural method of optimising a breed’s traits. Through highly technical and closely monitored traditional breeding process, we ensure today’s larger and healthier than ever before.
Poultry must not be consumed in summers because it will increase the heat in the body.
Heat increment in the body is related to the calorific value of the food. Any food source containing higher amount of carbs and fat is the highest source of calories. When compared to other meats and foods (such as chocolates, fries, cheese etc.) chicken have less heat increment during the digestion and metabolism due to its zero carb and minimum fat percentage. When you eat meat, or any other food, your body expends extra energy breaking down that food. This energy causes heat. Scientists call this heat diet-induced thermogenesis, or the thermic effect of food. Body’s thermoregulatory centre located in brain stably maintain the body temperature irrespective of the calorie density of foods.
Organic chicken is far more nutritious than Regular chicken.
Nutritional value in eggs and chicken remains high irrespective of them being produced organically or conventionally. Thus, there is no significant difference that exists between conventional and organic crops and livestock or one being higher in protein content than the other. Consumers can now take heart in knowing that regular and organic cuts are equally nutritious and healthy.
Consumption of poultry meat can lead to COVID-19 infection in humans.
There is no evidence of consumption of poultry leading to the spread of Corona virus as quoted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
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