Chicken gizzards are a part of a bird's digestive tract. The gizzards grind food with assistance from small stones the bird has swallowed. In the United States, cooks often use gizzards as a soup ingredient or in gumbo. You also can grill, fry, barbecue or even pickle them. In some parts of the world, street vendors sell chicken gizzards, and in other places, chefs consider them to be a delicacy. They are high in protein and potassium and low in fat.
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A 100 g, or 3.5 oz., serving, of chicken gizzards provides 94 calories. While the number of calories a person requires each day varies with the amount of activity, the calories in a serving of chicken gizzards are just a small part of the 2,000-calorie-a-day reference diet that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services use in their Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
A 3.5 oz. serving of chicken gizzards contains 2 g of total fat -- 1 g of saturated fat and 1 g of monounsaturated fat. Chicken gizzards contain no trans fats, according to the My Fitness Pal online database. A person who consumes 2,000 calories a day should have 20 g or less of saturated fat per day, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
A 3.5 oz. serving of chicken gizzards contains 240 mg of cholesterol. Dietary Guidelines for Americans notes that a "high intake of saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol increases the risk of unhealthy blood lipid levels, which, in turn, may increase the risk of coronary heart disease." Government nutrition experts suggest keeping cholesterol intake to below 300 mg a day, but those who have high levels of LDL cholesterol -- the bad cholesterol -- should consume below 200 mg a day.
Many Americans consume too much sodium or salt. Chicken gizzards are low in sodium, with 69 mg in a 3.5 oz. serving. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests taking in less than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. A serving also contains 237 mg of potassium. The government suggests that people consume 4,700 mg of potassium a day.
Vitamins and Minerals
A 3.5 oz. serving of chicken gizzards contains 14 percent of the daily value of iron, based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, according to My Fitness Pal. The body needs iron to produce hemoglobin, which helps red blood cells carry oxygen. Failure to take in enough iron can cause you to become tired, pale and weak. A serving of chicken gizzards also contains 6 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin C, 1 percent of vitamin A, and 1 percent of calcium.
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Chicken: Gizzard, Raw
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 Chapter 7: Carbohydrates
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 Chapter 8: Sodium and Potassium
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 Chapter 6: Fats
- Cleveland Clinic: Anemia