If you are a chicken lover who eats chicken nonchalantly, you might be curious about how many calories are in a chicken thigh.
Well, if that’s the case then you’ve come to the right place!
Chicken thighs are a cut of chicken known for their juicy and flavorful meat and, in this article, we’ll be looking at how many calories chicken thighs have and explore the nutritional benefits they offer.
We’ll cover everything from how to count calories in chicken thighs to the different ways you can cook them for a healthy meal, so if that sounds interesting, keep reading below to learn more!
What Makes Chicken Thighs A Nutritious Choice?
Chicken thighs are a great source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
They also contain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, which play important roles in maintaining a healthy immune system and producing energy.
One of the benefits of chicken thighs is that they contain a higher fat content than other cuts of chicken, such as the breast.
While this may seem counterintuitive to a healthy diet, the fat in chicken thighs is mostly unsaturated, which can actually help lower cholesterol levels and minimize the cardiovascular disease risk.
In addition, chicken thighs are an affordable and easy-to-prepare option for meal planning. They can be cooked in bulk and used in a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to stir-fries and salads.
So, if you’re looking for a nutritious and delicious ingredient to add to your meal plan, consider chicken thighs. But, how many calories are in a chicken thigh? Let’s find out.
How Many Calories Are In A Chicken Thigh?
When it comes to calories in chicken thighs, the amount can vary depending on factors such as the cooking method, seasoning, and serving size.
However, on average, a 3-ounce chicken thigh with skin contains around 140 calories, with approximately 70% of those calories coming from protein and 30% from fat.
If you’re watching your calorie intake, it’s important to pay attention to the serving size and cooking method.
Moreover, removing the skin from the chicken thigh can reduce the calorie count by about 40 calories, whereas grilling or baking chicken thighs instead of frying them can also significantly reduce the calorie content while still maintaining their juicy flavor.
It’s also worth noting that while chicken thighs are a nutritious and delicious option for meals, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, which can be said for any food to be honest!
So, whether you prefer your chicken thighs grilled, baked, or fried, be mindful of the portion size and cooking method to ensure that you’re getting the most nutritional benefit without overindulging in calories.
Exploring The Different Ways To Cook Chicken Thighs For A Healthy Meal
Now that we know how many calories are in chicken thighs, let’s explore the different ways you can cook them to make a healthy and delicious meal.
Chicken thighs are a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in many different ways, from grilling and baking to roasting and sautéing.
One of the healthiest ways to cook chicken thighs is to grill them as this process locks in the moisture and flavor of the chicken, while also reducing the fat content.
To grill some perfect chicken thighs, simply season the chicken with your favorite herbs and spices, grill it over medium-high heat for about 6-7 minutes per side, and voila; you have a juicy and flavorful chicken thigh that’s perfect for a summer barbecue or a quick weeknight dinner.
Another healthy option for cooking chicken thighs is to bake them, which is a simple and easy way to cook them in bulk for meal prepping.
To bake chicken thighs, simply season them with your favorite spices and place them in a baking dish.
Bake them in a preheated oven at 375°F for about 35-40 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, and then serve them with a side of roasted vegetables for a complete and healthy meal.
If you’re looking for a more savory option, consider roasting chicken thighs with your favorite vegetables.
Indeed, roasting chicken thighs with vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli creates a well-rounded and nutritious meal that’s both filling and delicious!
Lastly, sautéing chicken thighs is another great option for a quick and easy meal.
Sauté the chicken in a non-stick skillet with a small amount of oil and add in your favorite vegetables and seasonings. This method is perfect for a stir-fry or adding protein to a salad!
Chicken Thighs Vs. Other Cuts Of Chicken: Which One Is Best For Your Calorie Intake?
When it comes to calorie intake and choosing the healthiest cut of chicken, it’s important to compare chicken thighs to other cuts such as chicken breast, wings, and drumsticks.
Chicken thighs contain more fat than chicken breasts, but the fat in chicken thighs is primarily unsaturated, which is a healthy form of fat.
Chicken breasts, on the other hand, are leaner and contain less fat and calories than chicken thighs. However, this also means that they may not be as juicy or flavorful as chicken thighs.
Chicken wings and drumsticks, while delicious, are higher in calories and fat than chicken thighs and breasts.
They are often breaded and fried, which significantly increases their calorie content. If you’re watching your calorie intake, it’s best to avoid chicken wings and drumsticks or opt for grilled or baked versions instead.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, chicken thighs might have a bit more fat and calories than chicken breast, but if you cook them the healthy way you will end up with a juicier and more flavorful option.
So, go ahead and enjoy your chicken thighs in moderation as part of a balanced diet!
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