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30 June, 2013

Chicken Science And The Verdict

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We have all been told that to avoid the fat in chicken, we should eat the breast only. We have been told that eating fats are going to make us fat and raise our Triglycerides and become prone to cardiovascular disease. Now, bewared that here I only unveil the untold, and that if you have trouble accepting new information contrary at your believes, you should skip this article.

All chickens have different levels of fat composition. It depends on how the chicken was taken care of by farmers. Chicken contains different levels of dietary polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and other Fatty Acids.
Breasts only contain about 15% less Saturated fat than the thighs. So is not a big deal if you eat the thigh or the breast, it doesn’t make much difference when reducing dietary fat. Take into account that the way one prepares the chicken, also affects the fat composition of the cooked chicken.
If the chickens are not free=ranged, these are usually fatter thanks to the hormones added and the lack of exercise these get. This means that the chickens carries more fat in their tissues, muscle and organs.

Former head nutritionists are always worried for the increasing level of polyunsaturation
in chicken meat. First, human nutritionists recommend
reducing the intake of saturated fatty acids
(SFA) because of its relationship with the development
of cardiovascular diseases (Krauss et al., 2001). OMG! What am I saying here, it sounds like if I agree…
Secondly, the use of animal fats has been reduced in Europe, in
favor of vegetable oils that are more polyunsaturated. It can’t get any worst.

Many authors have studied how the inclusion of different
fat sources in chickens diet affect the proportion
of fatty acids (FA), mainly polyunsaturated fatty acids
(PUFA), in meat (Scaife et al., 1994; Hrdinka et al., 1996;
Lo´pez-Ferrer et al., 1999a,b), so in their quest for a “better” human nutrition, the call was to feed the chickens with different oils like linseed oil, herring oil, etc. to increase the Monounsaturated Fatty Acid (MUFA) in the meat of the chicken. Have you ever wonder why those Omega-3 eggs that you buy in the store taste kind of fishy?… It’s because of the way the chickens are feed.

The degree of polyunsaturation found in some meats, is thought to enhance the development of health problems in humans. Polyunsaturated fats are, after all inflammatory. But like I said many times before, it is all about cooking with balance. So an inflammatory ingredient on your dish should always be accompanied by an anti-inflammatory. Every single thing we eat from nature should be preserved in its natural form, cause mother nature has a reason for it, and it’s not to kill us, I’m sure, if you know your foods.

On the other hand, Free-range chicken has a better smell, taste and texture. Free-range chicken has a favorable fatty acid composition, which results in healthier chickens and thus, healthier predators (that is us).
Free range chickens contain significantly higher share of linoleic and linolenic acids, this
also influences the decrease of monounsaturated fatty acids( oleic, palmitoleic) (check it out at this study site: http://www.pfos.hr/~poljo/sites/default/data/2000_1/12_ZLENDER.pdf ). The percentage of Omega-3 and 6 are significantly higher in free-range chickens, and have a balanced ration of the omegas.

In my opinion, a diet rich in foods that contains alterations by humans, is a dangerous diet. Take a look at how our health has been changing since the 1950’s and is getting worst and worst.
I believe that if we mess with nature, nature will mess with us.
Keep foods simple and enjoy life.

Wishing all of you readers the best in health,
Georgina Armand
You & I Cook Interactive

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