Grilled chicken breast is a summer favorite, served plain or slathered in barbecue sauce. Its versatility makes this meat useful in the kitchen as well; not only does grilled chicken breast serve as a high quality protein source by itself, you can add it to salads and casseroles to boost nutritional value. Chicken breast is readily available in grocery stores across the United States, and you can find it raw or pre-cooked.
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Calories and Serving Size
One 4-oz. serving of grilled, skinless chicken breast contains 187 calories, although be sure to account for any sauces or marinades you use on the chicken to avoid consuming too many calories as this can lead to weight gain. No need to drag out your food scale to measure out a 4-oz. portion: this serving size of grilled chicken breast is approximately the size of the palm of your hand.
A 4-oz. serving of grilled chicken breast has 4 g of fat. This accounts for 19 percent of the calories in a portion of chicken. Your daily fat intake should range from 20 to 35 percent of your total calories, depending on your gender and lifestyle. Keep fat consumption within that spectrum to avoid weight gain and related health problems.
Eat a 4-oz. portion of grilled chicken breast and you contribute 25 g of protein to your meal plan. This amount comprises 44.6 to 54.3 percent of the 46 to 56 g recommended by the Institute of Medicine for daily consumption. Like all animal proteins, grilled chicken breast is a complete protein, containing all the amino acids your body needs to function.
One serving of grilled chicken breast provides 7 percent of the daily-recommended intake of iron, a mineral your body uses to make red blood cells. Without enough iron in your diet, you may suffer from fatigue, heart palpitations and pale skin, a condition known as anemia. A 4-oz. serving of grilled chicken breast also contains 2 percent of the calcium you need each day.
Grilled chicken breast may contain less cholesterol than other meats, but it still contains roughly one-third of the recommended daily limit of 300 mg. The cholesterol in your diet often takes up residence in your arteries, building up and eventually blocking blood flow. This can result in an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.