Make No Bones About It!
Years of shopping for “diet food” got me in the habit of
buying lean chicken breast (the “good chicken”) instead of “fatty” dark meat
(the “bad chicken”). Then laziness set in and I began buying only lean chicken
breast that was also skinless AND boneless. It was more expensive but my
conscience was eased since I was eating the “good chicken”.
Now, this is fine when a person is on the Very Low Calorie Diet phase of Pounds and Inches Away Program since Dr. Simeons specified this type of meat when he said, “all
visible fat must be carefully removed before cooking” (skinless), and “the
chicken breast must be removed from the bird” (boneless) but what about
maintenance and beyond?
Yes, skinless boneless chicken breast is low fat, easy to prepare and cooks
very quickly, but…from what I’ve recently learned, bones and fat play a major
role when cooking chicken and I very well may be missing out!
The chicken skin acts like a glove, holding in the fat and
juices of the meat while cooking. You may want to remove the skin before eating
the meat since it is high in fat and has twice as many calories as the meat
alone, but cooking chicken with the skin on makes for great flavor.
As far as white meat vs. dark meat, it is a fact that chicken thighs have
double the amount of fat as chicken breast, but let’s put that into
perspective. While there are 11 grams of fat in a 4 ounce chicken thigh, that
is still the same or less than the amount of fat found in 4 ounces of beef,
pork or lamb! Who would’ve guessed?
Now, for the best part of all, the bones! Bones are actually
living tissue, an organ equal in nutrition to the liver, heart, pancreas,
thymus, etc. Bones are filled with minerals, mainly calcium and phosphorus, but
also sodium, magnesium and other trace minerals. If the connective tissue is
still attached, the bones also contain glucosamine and chondroitin, favored
joint supplements. When you cook chicken that is on the
bone, all of these wonderful minerals and nutrients leech out into the broth making
it some pretty healthy stuff. Use it to sauté vegetables, cook items that mimic
flavor like tofu or shirataki noodles, or simply have a cup for a nourishing snack. Click here for a great chicken broth recipe.