Homemade chicken stock is simple and inexpensive to make, and it lends a rich flavor to your soup, stew and casserole recipes. In many cases, homemade chicken stock offers more nutrition than store-bought versions because you can control the amount of fat and sodium you add to the finished product. Knowing the basic nutrition information is useful, as is how to boost the nutritional value even more.
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Chicken Stock Basics
A cup of homemade chicken stock contains 86 calories and about 2.9 grams of fat, of which less than 1 gram is saturated. Limiting your intake of saturated fat to 7 percent or less of your total caloric intake can help lower your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and stroke, the Harvard School of Public Health notes. Making your own chicken stock is one way to take control over how much saturated fat your homemade recipes contain. Skimming the fat off the top of the stock once it cools is the simplest way to accomplish this goal.
Chicken Stock and Protein
One cup of homemade chicken stock supplies about 6 grams of protein. That's 13 percent of the 46 grams of protein women need each day and 11 percent of the 56 grams men require every day. Your body turns the protein you get from your diet into amino acids, which are responsible for continuously replacing proteins in your body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This process is essential for survival and for your cells, tissues and muscles to work properly.
Vitamins and Minerals
Homemade chicken stock delivers 3.8 milligrams of niacin per cup. Niacin is a B vitamin that helps you metabolize the foods you eat, and it also promotes the normal function of your nerves, skin and digestive system, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Those 3.8 milligrams translate to 27 percent of the 14 milligrams women need each day and 24 percent of the 16 milligrams men should have daily. Homemade chicken also provides small amounts of potassium, iron and zinc, as well.
Chicken Stock and Sodium
The average cup of homemade chicken stock contains 343 milligrams of sodium. If you follow the American Heart Association's recommendation that you limit your sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams or less per day, that cup of chicken stock is 23 percent of your daily limit. When you make chicken stock, don't add salt to the broth. When you use the stock to make homemade recipes, the other ingredients will help flavor the food, so you don't need as much salt. Because too much salt can cause high blood pressure, this is a good way to take control of your heart health.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database: Soup, Stock, Chicken, Home-Prepared
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fats and Cholesterol: Out With the Bad, in With the Good
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Protein
- American Heart Association: Sodium (Salt or Sodium Chloride)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Niacin