According to Calorie Lab, the traditional Chinese dish known as Hunan chicken is sautéed chicken with green peppers and onions in a black bean sauce. While sautéed chicken tends to be healthier than fried chicken, Hunan chicken is still high in sodium and cholesterol, making it a dish best enjoyed only occasionally.
General Nutrition Data
A one-cup serving of Hunan chicken provides 385 calories, about 120 of which come from fat. The peppers and onions contain some carbohydrates, so one cup contains a total of 13 g of carbs, with 3 g of dietary fiber.
Protein and Fat
Due to the chicken and black beans in Hunan chicken, the dish is a good source of protein. One cup of Hunan chicken contains 51 g of protein, but it also contains a high level of fat and cholesterol. One cup contains 14 g of total fat, with 3 g of saturated fat, which is considered one of the unhealthiest fats. It also contains 135 mg of cholesterol in just one serving, almost half the recommended daily limit of 300 mg.
One of the biggest negatives about Hunan chicken is its sodium content -- 1,040 mg in a one-cup serving. According to the American Heart Association, your daily limit should be under 1,500 mg of salt. A diet high in sodium can contribute to health problems, from high blood pressure to heart disease, and an increased risk of stroke. Because just one serving of Hunan chicken causes you almost to reach your daily recommended limit, it should not be a food you eat regularly.
Vitamins and Minerals
Hunan chicken does contribute a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. For example, according to the USDA Nutrient Database, the onions and green peppers are a good source of potassium, while the chicken is high in phosphorus and B vitamins. The dish is also a good source of choline and vitamin K, with traces of iron, zinc, copper, manganese and vitamin E.
- CalorieLab: Hunan Chicken Strips
- American Heart Association; "Shaking the Salt Habit"; August 2011
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Onions, Yellow, Sautéed -- 100 g
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Chicken, Broilers or Fryers, Breast, Meat Only, Raw, 0.5 Breast, Bone and Skin Removed
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Peppers, Sweet, Green, Sautéed -- 100 g