- Chicken is an excellent source of protein
- Fishes are loaded with protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids
- High protein diet can help you lose weight
Protein plays a significant role in weight loss. It keeps you full for longer, boosts metabolism, helps in post-workout recovery and also contributes in building muscles. Two common sources of protein are fish and chicken. Being a rich source of protein, fish and chicken are equally considered good in terms of losing weight. While fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids too, which provides satiety and helps to cut down on food cravings and a person's indulgence is less for unhealthy food. If you are wondering which one to choose for better weight loss, we have got this covered for you. Here are the benefits of these two amazing sources of protein and know which one is better for weight loss.
Weight loss: Fish or chicken? Know which one is better
Protein itself provides satiety and help in weight loss. Protein intake improves muscle growth and building more muscles results in higher weight loss, as muscles consume lot of calories and improve body's metabolic rate. Food with high calories, have higher tendencies to accumulate fat and make the muscles weaker.
In comparison to red meat, both chicken and fish contain less saturated fat and cholesterol. Since the amount of protein intake should be limited to 40 to 50% in the diet, if looking for weight loss, physical activity and exercise is equally important for the effective utilization of protein in the body.
Daily protein requirement: On an average 0.8 - 1 gram per kg body weight protein is sufficient which ideally makes 45 grams of protein for females and 55 grams for males. This amount of daily intake is sufficient to tackle wear and tear of the muscles. While for elderly, the intake may range from 1-1.2 grams per kg body weight and the consumption can be increased to 2-2.5 grams/kg body weight for athletes in case of heavy exercises.
A combination of healthy diet along with regular exercising is necessary to build stronger muscles. It is critical to eat right and periodically right after a workout. Having a balanced diet ensures the amount of amino acids, vitamins and minerals for the muscles to build and stay strong. If the protein intake is high, it is important to include at least three times the quantity of fibre in the form of salads, fruits, vegetables etc.
Consuming more than the recommended levels may be harmful, as the excess protein is stored by the body resulting in weight gain (reverse reaction). Hence, chicken and fish, both should be steamed, grilled, marinated and should not be deep fried. Intake of carbohydrates along with chicken and fish should be complex.
While the quantity also plays a major role, chicken breast is considered the best for weight loss, while boiled chicken and chicken soups with less salt also helps. Chicken can only be considered slightly less than fish only on the basis of omega-3 fatty acids content in fish.
(Dr. Namita Nadar is a Head Nutrionist at Fortis Hospital, Noida)
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