Chicken cutlets are thin strips of meat from chicken breasts that can be used in a variety of recipes. Chicken cutlets are a culinary blank canvas; you can cover them in sauce or breading or grill the cutlets and serve them on a sandwich. Chicken cutlets can also be suitable for a variety of diet plans, as they are low in fat and calories. Note that adding toppings, sauces or breading will alter the nutritional values significantly.
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Chicken cutlets are relatively low in calories, as a 4-oz. chicken cutlet contains just 110 calories. That amount comprises 5.5 percent of the daily recommended intake of 2,000 calories, so you should be able to find a place in your diet for chicken cutlets. Chicken cutlets are much lower in calories than even some other healthy foods; a 4-oz. grilled salmon filet contains 233 calories. If you switched from eating 4 oz. of salmon to 4 oz. of chicken cutlets each day, you'd save 861 calories weekly, enough to lose about one-quarter of a pound.
Chicken cutlets are a rich source of protein, as each 4-oz. cutlet provides 26 g. That amount is more than four times the amount in an egg, which contains 6 g of protein. Consuming protein is vital for your health because it helps build and repair your body's cells and tissues.
If you're on a low-fat diet, chicken cutlets can be a good choice, as each 4-oz. cutlet contains just 1 g of fat. Fat is the most calorie-dense nutrient, so higher fat foods tend to be higher in calories. Fat does serve important roles, as it promotes satiety, aids in the absorption of vitamins and helps ensure healthy growth.
Chicken cutlets can be good choices for reduced-carbohydrate diets, as they are carbohydrate free. While you can lose weight with any diet plan, research from the March 2010 edition of "Nutrition & Metabolism" found that low-carbohydrate, protein-rich diets encouraged fat loss and the retention of muscle strength during weight loss.
One element of concern is the cholesterol content of chicken cutlets. Each 4 oz. cutlet contains 70 mg of cholesterol, a nutrient that can increase your risk of heart disease if you eat too much. The American Heart Association suggests limiting daily intake to 300 mg, so each 4-oz. cutlet contains 23 percent of that amount.
Vitamins and Minerals
Chicken cutlets are generally low in vitamins and minerals. A 4-oz. chicken cutlet contains just 60 mg -- about 3 percent of the daily suggested intake -- of sodium, 8 percent of the daily suggested intake of iron and 2 percent of the daily suggested intake of calcium.