It’s a sad fact that chicken wings are one of the most delicious kinds of food that we are always told can’t be the healthiest option for us, especially with many being deep fried and having a whole range of added sauces and seasonings that can turn them into a bit of a guilty pleasure.
There is also however the fact that not only are chicken wings rich in some nutrients that are extremely healthy for the body, such as possessing high levels of protein, but they are also an extremely small part of the chicken which can indicate that they may not contain as many calories as we originally thought.
To get to the bottom of this and to uncover exactly how many calories are in chicken wings and if this should be worried about when trying to lose weight, we have taken a look at exactly how healthy these delicious appetizers are and how many calories you may be putting on when enjoying a few at a time.
How Many Calories Are In A Chicken Wing?
The amount of calories in a single chicken wing can vary widely depending on how the wing was prepared and what additions have been added to it during the preparation phase.
Roasted, broiled and baked wings have the lowest calorie count with an average of 50 – 60 calories each wing with stewed and fried wings being a bit higher ranging from 80 – 100 calories each wing with skin serving.
Majority of the time however we are not only having a single wing on its own and are usually either having a handful of them as an appetizing side dish or a bowl of them all together to make for a delicious main meal.
8 ounces of chicken wings contains 345 calories and 23 grams of fat.
While they are therefore quite a bit higher in calorie content than healthy alternatives such as an entire chicken breast or thighs, depending on your calorie count they can still be incorporated as a one off meal or a treat if you can fit them in at the end of a day.
Are Chicken Wings Actually Healthy?
There is a widespread misconception that chicken wings are an incredibly unhealthy treat that possess no nutritional benefits to speak of, but this could not be further from the truth.
While they do contain high levels of fat, this is primarily in the oily outer skin that is usually deep fried, however when peeling the skin off the wings themselves contain essentially no fat.
Chicken wings also contain large amounts of Vitamins A and B which can help our immune systems tremendously and assist our body in resisting colds while lowering the chances of developing heart disease.
Properly cooked chicken wings have also been shown to have a therapeutic effect on metabolic disorders including arthritis and diabetes as well as being a positive source of therapeutic nutrition for hypertension and strokes.
Chicken wings are not only extremely high in protein, as long as they are not doused in sticky sauces they are also free of carbohydrates and just like many other forms of chicken, they are extremely rich in B vitamins including zinc, iron, calcium and potassium.
While chicken wings are therefore not the healthiest option, they are certainly by far not the worst containing a moderate amount of calories and some incredible nutritional benefits, as long as they are prepared in a healthy way.
What Can Make Chicken Wings Unhealthy?
When purchasing some chicken wings either from a store or from one of our favorite takeouts, more often than not they will be covered in a batter coating which immediately causes them to contain much more salt and carbohydrates than if they didn’t and adding on around 40 more calories.
The deep fry oil is also very unhealthy and can lead to digestive problems and changes to our microbiome.
Thick sauces such as sticky barbeque sauce also ramp up the sugar level which can lead to chronic diseases such as diabetes while adding no nutritional value at all.
Another added ingredient that people can often forget about but can add a tremendous amount of calories onto some wings is the dipping sauce.
For example, creamy blue cheese, which is a staple sauce when it comes to chicken wings, contains around 200 calories per 1.5 ounces which can dramatically impact the calorie count.
Can Chicken Wings Be Good For Losing Weight?
Therefore despite popular belief, chicken wings are more often than not only made to be unhealthy because of what we decide to add to them including the fried outer coating and sauces.
The wings themselves are actually a great food source that are high in nutritional value and fairly low in calories when not overconsumed.
The healthiest way to eat chicken wings without diluting their taste so that they are still as enjoyable as possible is either oven baking them yourself, or eating plain boneless wings that have not been deep fried.
When cutting down weight, a good tactic is to enjoy a bowl of healthy chicken wings with no batter or extra sauces 1 to 2 times a week on average to receive all the nutrients they provide without eating so much that you pick up too many calories.
Additionally, if you enjoy having wings as a main meat based meal, try substituting it for a healthier chicken option such as breast or thighs that contain much less calories and allow more leeway for you to spice them up with ingredients the way you want.
While they are surprisingly fairly low in calories, it is always advised to enjoy a good batch of wings no more than 2 times a week to ensure the calorie intake does not build up and when you do eat them, make sure they don’t contain any of the unhealthier additions such as the deep fried coating and thick sauces so that the sugar and calorie levels don’t spike too high.
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