9 Side Effects Of Eating Chicken Every Day, According To A Dietitian
Chicken is a staple in many people's homes, and for good reason! It is a high-quality source of protein that is relatively inexpensive and extremely versatile. Whether it is smothered with breadcrumbs, cheese, and sauce for a classic parmesan or grilled with some fresh lime juice and garlic to enjoy in a fajita, chicken can work in just about any dish.
But if you are eating chicken more times than you would like to admit, you may be wondering what is happening to your body.
As a registered dietitian, I am a fan of chicken for many reasons – as long as it is prepared in a certain way. While baked, grilled, or sauteed chicken can be an excellent choice, eating heavily fried, salted, or breaded chicken can result in some unsavory health outcomes if that is a frequent indulgence. I would never tell somebody to give up their fried chicken, but I would also encourage chicken-lovers to limit the fried option for only special occasions.
If you are preparing your chicken in a way that does not include a large amount of added fat, salt, or sugar, here are 9 health effects you may experience if you are enjoying chicken frequently. Read on, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
You May Experience Strong Bones
Calcium and Vitamin D seem to get the spotlight when bone health is discussed. But protein is a key nutrient in preventing osteoporosis and keeping your skeleton healthy and strong too. Since chicken is a source of high-quality protein, enjoying it frequently will fuel your bones with at least one of the many important nutrients that it needs.
You May Feel More Satisfied At Mealtime
Including protein sources, like chicken, at mealtime can help you feel more satisfied, which in turn may help you resist the after-dinner munchies. For more ways to rein in your appetite, don't miss these 17 Reasons You're Overeating (And How to Stop!)
You May Have Improved Memory Performance
Chicken contains choline, a nutrient that plays a role in memory and other brain functions.
Data suggests that those who consume more choline perform better on memory tests vs. those who did not consume a lot of this nutrient.
And since chicken also contains vitamin B12, a nutrient that has been linked to memory function as well, consuming chicken can be a brain-boosting food thanks to the B12/choline combo.
You May Experience A Better Feeling Of Well-Being
Chicken contains tryptophan, an amino acid that plays a role in increasing levels of serotonin (the "feel-good" hormone). Low levels of serotonin are linked to depression, so supporting healthy levels by eating chicken or otherwise may help you feel your best.
You May Feel Less Fatigue
If you suffer from iron deficiency anemia, you may feel tired frequently – even after you get restful sleep. If you are consuming dark-meat chicken, you are getting a boost of iron, which can help replenish your levels and help you overcome your deficiency. If you do want to cut back on your chicken intake, you can substitute it for any of these Best Iron-Rich Foods to meet your daily recommended intake of the nutrient.
You May Have Improved Heart Health
As long you are choosing lean cuts of chicken and you are preparing isn't fried, loaded with butter, and doused in unhealthy seasonings, eating it may help improve your heart health. Specifically, eating it as part of an overall healthy eating pattern can result in a reduction in "bad" LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol.
You May Have Improved Fertility
Regardless of whether you are male or female, if you are trying to conceive, you may want to include chicken onto your plate. Experts suggest that adherence to healthy diets that includes poultry are related to better fertility in women and better semen quality in men.
You May Have Reduced Incidence of Colorectal Cancer
In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. And while many factors play a role in its development, including poultry in your diet (like chicken) may help reduce the incidence of this disease.
You May Experience Nutrient Deficiencies
Too much of any food is not a great thing. When you focus on one food, you run the risk of limiting other varieties and missing out on some super-important nutrients. If you are eating chicken every single day, you may not be eating other protein sources like seafood, beans, legumes, and other options that offer unique benefits that chicken doesn't have. Eating chicken isn't a bad thing, as long as you are eating a variety of other healthy foods to prevent nutrient gaps over the long run. For that, look to these 8 Healthy Superfoods You Should Eat Every Day.