Always a debate on whether fish or chicken? We bring you the view of nutrition expert Kavita Rastogi on what to choose for maximum health benefits
Following a healthy lifestyle is the only way out to keep diseases at bay or to manage them to be less dependent on medications and live a longer life. However, there are special dietary additions which accelerate healthy weight management and also help prevent non-communicable diseases. Two such examples are fish and chicken. This is the reason we see people following beneficial cooking methods like grilling/roasting/steaming to prepare chicken/fish. Since both these sources contain significantly less cholesterol and saturated fat, they are considered to be ‘leaner meats’ as compared to other heavier animal products like mutton, beef, pork, etc..
Chicken vs fish: What’s better?
Most experts suggest that including fish or poultry in your diet if you are non-vegetarian provide a lot of health benefits, necessary for a balanced diet. However, both these options have a few advantages over each other in various health/disease conditions.
Eating fish can serve a lot of benefits other than adding just protein value to your diet. One of the most significant benefits being omega-3 fatty acids, which our body cannot produce naturally. It reduces inflammation and stress levels in the body, which is the root cause of many diseases, including heart diseases. Fatty fish keeps your triglycerides under check and elevates the vitamin D levels too.
While protein helps promote satiety, researches also claim that eating fish can help people stay fuller for a longer duration, as compared to other forms of protein. It is the right kind of lean meat which helps boost athletic performance, build muscles and keeps the energy levels up.
There’s also the danger of contamination and safety of eating seafood. Mercury content of the fish may be harmful to those who have gut issues and should also be avoided in raw form by pregnant women. In such a case, chicken seems to be a safer option.
Chicken is one of the best options for weight watchers. It’s also affordable and more comfortable to include in your diet. Chicken, as a food source, contains a lot of healthy nutrients which promote weight loss and building a healthier, fitter body. Regular consumption of chicken can strengthen your bones, reduce appetite and build muscle mass. Nowadays, the market is flooded with chicken which contains traces of chemicals and other added ingredients used to increase shelf life. Make sure what you eat is purely organic and natural.
Nutritional value of chicken and fish commonly consumed in various parts of India:
Source: Nutritive value of Indian foods, NIN/ICMR
Benefits of fish tend to be slightly higher than chicken, especially when it comes to the omega-3 fatty acids content in it. Studies show that fish might be a healthier option than eating chicken if we look at improving general health and wellness. However, it is suggested that both the items can be incorporated into the diet for a healthy lifestyle. At the same time, a balanced diet is essential which fulfils the daily requirements in the form of complex carbohydrates, lean protein (plant + animal), vitamins and minerals (fruits and vegetables) and healthy fats (olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, fatty fish, etc).
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