Shredded chicken is a rich source of protein that can be used as a diet-friendly alternative to pulled pork, as it is low in fat and has a similar consistency. Although shredded chicken is leaner than other meat sources, it is not fat-free and does contain carbohydrates, so it may not be suitable for all diets. Be sure to asses local nutrition facts when available, as different recipes may yield altered nutritional values.
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Shredded chicken is relatively low in calories, as 1/3 cup of this food contains 80 calories. This amount of calories comprises just 4 percent of the daily recommended intake of 2,000 calories. Adding toppings and condiments can significantly increase the calorie count of your meal, as a 2 tbsp. serving of barbecue sauce contains 60 calories, while 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese contains 110 calories.
Shredded chicken is relatively low in fat, as 1/3 cup of this food contains more than 2.5 g of fat. This compares favorably to other types of meat, such as pulled pork, which provides 5.3 g of fat per 1/3 cup serving. Fat contains nine calories per gram, so it tends to make things higher in calories than foods that are rich in protein or carbohydrates, which contain four calories per gram. Because fat can affect your cholesterol levels, the American Heart Association suggests a daily limit of between 50 and 60 g of fat.
Shredded chicken contains some carbohydrates; each 1/3 cup serving contains 5.3 g of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are important because your body uses them for energy, although a study from the July 2008 edition of the "New England Journal of Medicine" found that restricting carbohydrate intake promoted more effective weight loss than restricting fat intake. If you are following a low-carbohydrate diet, be sure to check the carbohydrate content of foods you eat with shredded chicken; buns, sauces and rice are all high in carbohydrates.
Chicken is a rich source of protein, and shredded chicken provides 8 g of protein per 1/3 cup serving. This amount is 2 g more than you would find in one egg. Protein is used by your body to manufacture tissues and cells. MedlinePlus suggests that you consume between 50 g and 65 g of protein each day.
- LIVESTRONG.com MyPlate: Calories in Shredded Chicken (Chi-Chi's)
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Barbecue Sauce (KC Masterpiece)
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Crystal Farms Finely Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Pulled Pork (Curly's)
- American Heart Association; Know Your Fats; March 2011
- "New England Journal of Medicine"; Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet; I. Shai et al.; July 2008
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Eggs
- MedlinePlus: Dietary Proteins