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Is Chicken Good for Diabetes?

Published on: Jul 02, 2024
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Have you heard the song “Ek kitchen se awaaz chicken kuckdukoo”? People who love non-veg food, especially chicken, know there’s nothing more satisfying than a chicken dish!

But here’s the twist!

Plant-based diets have lower fat and higher fibre content as compared to meat-based diets therefore there is shift in preference for plant-based diets.

This shift raises important questions for those managing health conditions, specifically for people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, you may often wonder about the best foods to include in your diet.

Chicken is a common protein source, but is, it good for diabetes? Let’s explore the details to understand better.

What is Chicken?

Chicken is a type of poultry that is widely consumed around the world, including India. It is known for its versatility in cooking and is a staple in many cuisines.

Chicken can be prepared in numerous ways, such as grilling, baking, frying, or boiling, making it a popular choice for many people.

What is the Nutritional Value of Chicken?

nutritional value of chicken

Chicken is rich in essential nutrients. A 100-gram serving of chicken contains approximately:

Chicken is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, iron, and zinc, which are crucial for maintaining overall health.

What is the Glycemic Index of Chicken?

glycemic index of chicken

The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels. Chicken has a glycemic index of zero since it contains no carbohydrates.

This makes it a good choice for people with diabetes as it does not cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Is Chicken Good for Diabetes?

Yes, chicken is good for diabetes. It is a low-carbohydrate, high-protein food that can help manage blood sugar levels. Including chicken in a balanced diet can provide essential nutrients without causing blood sugar fluctuations.

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Are There Any Benefits of Eating Chicken in Diabetes?

Eating chicken can offer several benefits for people with diabetes:

1. Blood Sugar Control: Chicken doesn’t contain carbohydrates, so it won’t spike blood sugar levels. This makes it a safe choice for maintaining stable blood glucose.

2. Weight Management: Chicken is high in protein, which helps you feel full for longer. This can help you manage weight, which is important for diabetes management.

3. Muscle Health: Protein in chicken supports muscle building and repair, contributing to better overall health and physical strength. This is especially important as strong muscles can improve metabolism and helps in weight management.

What are the Other Health Benefits of Eating Chicken?

Chicken is not just beneficial for diabetes; it also offers other health benefits:

1. Heart Health

Lean chicken breast is a heart-healthy choice among non-vegetarian foods. It’s low in saturated fat, helping to maintain good cardiovascular health.

2. Immune System

The vitamins and minerals in chicken, such as B vitamins and zinc, support a healthy immune system.

3. Bone Health

Chicken provides essential nutrients like phosphorus and calcium, which are vital for maintaining healthy bones.

Are There Any Risks of Eating Chicken in Diabetes?

While chicken is generally safe for people with diabetes, there are some risks to consider:

1. Processed Chicken

Avoid processed chicken products like nuggets or sausages, which can contain added salt, unhealthy fats, and sodium.

2. Cooking Methods

Frying chicken can add unhealthy fats and calories. Opt for healthier cooking methods like grilling, baking, or boiling.

Some Practical Tips for Including Chicken in a Diabetes Diet

Adding chicken to your diet can be both healthy and flavorful. Here are some tips to help you include chicken in your meals, keeping diabetes management in mind:

1. Choose Lean Cuts

Opt for skinless chicken breast, which has less fat than other parts like thighs or wings. This helps keep your fat intake low, which is important for controlling diabetes.

2. Healthy Cooking Methods

Grill, bake, or boil the chicken instead of frying. Avoid making chicken with heavy, high-fat gravies like those in butter chicken or chicken korma. Instead, try lighter tomato-based or dahi-based gravies.

3. Balance Your Plate

Pair chicken with a variety of vegetables and whole grains. For example, serve tandoori chicken with a side of mixed vegetable sabzi and a small portion of whole wheat or mixed-grain roti or brown rice.

This combination ensures you get plenty of fiber and nutrients, helping to keep your blood sugar levels stable.

What are the Chicken Recipes for People with Diabetes?

Who doesn’t love a good Chicken Tikka with Rumali Roti? It’s a classic favorite and fits well within a diabetes-friendly diet.

But there’s more to explore beyond this beloved dish. If you’re managing diabetes and looking for some variety, we’ve got a range of tasty and nutritious chicken recipes that you can easily whip up at home.

Here are some great options to keep your meals exciting and healthy!

1. Chicken Tikka

Marinate chicken pieces in a mix of low-fat dahi (yogurt), garlic, adrak (ginger), and traditional masalas like haldi (turmeric), jeera (cumin), and dhania (coriander).

Grill these tikkas until they are perfectly cooked. This dish is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates, ideal for managing diabetes.

2. Tandoori Chicken

Much like chicken tikka, tandoori chicken is marinated in a spiced dahi mixture but typically cooked at high temperatures in a tandoor.

If you’re cooking at home, a conventional oven can also do the job. This technique maintains the delicious flavors while keeping the dish low in fat and carbs.

3. Homestyle Chicken Curry

Whip up a mild curry using lean chicken pieces, tomatoes, pyaaz (onions), and a mixture of spices like haldi and methi (fenugreek).

Use minimal oil and swap out cream with low-fat dahi to make the sauce thicker. Enjoy this curry with a small serving of brown rice or whole-wheat chapatis.

4. Palak Chicken (Spinach Chicken)

Prepare chicken pieces in a gravy based on palak (spinach), seasoned with mild spices and just a hint of garlic. Palak is loaded with fiber and iron, making this dish both nutritious and beneficial for those with diabetes.

5. Methi Chicken (Fenugreek Chicken)

Methi, known for its ability to help lower blood sugar levels, stars in this dish, making it especially good for people with diabetes.

Sauté chicken with fresh methi leaves, onions, and spices. Though methi is slightly bitter in taste but it adds a unique flavor that complements the chicken beautifully.

6. Grilled Chicken Salad

Combine grilled chicken breast with fresh salad leaves, cherry tomatoes, kheera (cucumbers), and a light vinaigrette. This refreshing salad is low in calories and offers a healthy mix of protein and vegetables.

7. Chicken Stir-Fry

Quickly stir-fry chicken strips with colorful vegetables like shimla mirch (bell peppers), broccoli, and gajar (carrots) in a small amount of olive oil. This meal is vibrant, tasty, and packed with essential nutrients.

8. Chicken Clear Soup

Prepare a comforting chicken soup with lean chicken, various vegetables, and whole-grain pasta or quinoa. This warm soup is perfect for managing hunger and maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

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What is the Best Time to Eat Chicken for People with Diabetes?

You can include chicken in any meal, but it’s best to pair it with vegetables and whole grains to ensure a balanced nutrient intake.

For example, you could enjoy tandoori chicken with a side of sautéed spinach and brown rice for lunch or a chicken salad with mixed green leafy vegetables like methi, sarso, and mixed grain roti for dinner.

How Much Chicken Can a Person with Diabetes Eat Per Day?

The amount of chicken you can eat depends on your overall dietary needs and goals. Generally, a serving size of 80-100 gm (one small breast piece) of cooked chicken per meal is good to have it.

Always consult a nutritionist or dietitian to determine the appropriate portion size for your needs.

What are the Disadvantages of Having Non-Veg Food like Chicken?

While non-vegetarian food is a popular choice worldwide and in India due to its rich flavors and high protein content, there are several disadvantages associated with consuming meat and other animal products, which is true irrespective of having diabetes.

Here are some key points to consider:

1. Health Risks

Eating a lot of non-vegetarian food is linked to serious health issues like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers such as colorectal cancer. These meats also have saturated fats and cholesterol that can raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, increasing cardiovascular risks.

2. High in Saturated Fats and Cholesterol

Like we said earlier, non veg food has higher amount of fat, cholesterol than plant-based food, which are rich in saturated fats and cholesterol. Regular consumption can boost cholesterol levels, heightening the risk of heart disease, especially if not balanced with enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

3. Digestive Issues

Some people find chicken or meat hard to digest, particularly in large amounts. This can cause bloating, indigestion, and constipation, especially if the diet lacks sufficient fiber from plant-based foods.

4. Heavy Metal Accumulation

Non-veg food contains heavy metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium from the animals’ diets or environment. Regular consumption of contaminated meat can cause severe health issues, including nerve damage and kidney failure.

How We At Fitterfly Can Help You?

Whenever we, as non-vegetarians, think of eating something that fills us up, tastes great, and is loved by all, chicken dishes immediately come to mind. Whether it’s Chicken Tikka, Grilled Chicken, or seasonal favorites like Palak Chicken or Methi Chicken during the winter, chicken complements any meal beautifully.

It leaves us feeling full and satisfied. However, when you have diabetes, it’s important to be mindful about preparing and consuming chicken. Opting for healthy chicken preparations and maintaining portion control is crucial.

At Fitterfly, our nutrition coaches guide our members on making their chicken recipes diabetes-friendly with small tweaks without compromising on taste. These adjustments ensure that you can enjoy your favorite chicken dishes in a way that fits within your health goals.

We also map your meals and monitor how different foods affect your blood sugar levels throughout the day using our in-house technology called Personalized Glycemic Response (PGR). This technology utilizes a Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) sensor, which we provide at no cost with our Fitterfly Diabetes Prime Program.

But our support doesn’t end with nutrition. You will also have access to a fitness coach (physiotherapist) and a mental wellness coach to take care of your physical and mental health.

If you wish to learn more about our Fitterfly Diabetes Prime Program and how it can help manage your diabetes effectively, please give us a missed call at 08069450746. One of our program advisors will reach out to you to discuss how we can support your health journey.

Disclaimer

This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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- By Fitterfly Health-Team

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