The chicken is the meat most consumed in the world , probably because of its versatility, we can enjoy fried, broiled, grilled and in many other ways. Even so, there is a general tendency to believe that your skin can be detrimental to our health. Truth or hoax?
“It depends on the taste of the consumer. It is the only answer we can give, ”says Beatriz Robles, food technologist and dietitian-nutritionist, adding that the skin of this animal does not accumulate hormones or antibiotics dangerous to health. “The use of hormones for fattening purposes was banned in the European Union two decades ago,” he adds.
Current legislation does not allow it.
The use of hormones for fattening purposes was banned more than two decades ago. ”
The amount of calories the skin contains is also responsible for more than one leaving it in a corner of the plate, but is it necessary? Guadalupe Blay, spokesman for the Spanish Society of General and Family Physicians (SEMG), argues that as we take it on very few occasions its caloric intake should not worry us , although it insists that it will also depend on cooking.
“The most recommended way to eat it is roasted, since the fat comes off and remains in the juice. On the other hand, if we choose to make it fried, we must add the calories of the oil, ”explains the nutritionist. Cooking it on the grill and with little oil can be a healthier alternative, although surely the result will not be as tasty.
Eating roasted chicken skin is a way to consume fewer caloriesENLARGE
Chicken skin on a healthy diet
Looking only at fat is a mistake and we must value the food as a whole. “It is not the same to speak of industrial bakery than of a piece of chicken. All the fats contained in both meat and skin are not bad, we can consume them without major problems, ”clarifies food technologist Beatriz Robles.
A Harvard report says that chicken contains few saturated fats and is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats , both beneficial and recommended for good cardiovascular health. Although there are others more recommended. “If as a source of fat we have to choose between a chicken with skin or some nuts , better to opt for the latter. But that does not mean that chicken skin is bad, ”defends the food technologist.
Should we reduce its consumption?
I only limit red meat and fish with high amounts of mercury, but not chicken. ”
In addition, the skin is not the only thing that determines the caloric intake of the piece . The type of life that the animal had during its breeding should also be consulted when buying it. The most fatty chickens tend to move little and feed on feed. On the other hand, if we choose one raised in freedom and fed with cereals, it is probably less caloric.
Is it incompatible then the consumption of chicken with skin with a healthy and balanced diet ? Nutrition expert Guadalupe Blay is clear. “I only limit red meat and fish with high amounts of mercury , but not chicken. It is always good to vary our diet with other types of white meat such as pork, but if we do not do it, our health will not be harmed, ”he says.
Chicken skin is also feared for being the part of the animal that is most in contact with bacteriaENLARGE
Chicken skin is not only criticized for its calories, but also for the amount of microorganisms with which it is in contact. It is the part of the animal that accumulates the most bacteria – among others it can have salmonella , listeria or campylobacter .
Before your meat reaches the markets and stores you must go through different spaces , such as transport containers, plucking or slaughterhouse, which multiplies the chances of bacterial contamination . However, the risk of poisoning lies not only in the production process but also when handling meat at home.
Why not wash chicken skin before cooking?
In doing so we can produce splashes and spread the microorganisms through our kitchen
For example, we should never clean the skin before cooking it, since in doing so we can produce splashes and spread the microorganisms through our kitchen. Robles gives us another advice and that is when we arrive with the chicken of the purchase we store it in the lowest part of the refrigerator . Thus, explains the expert, “if the container releases any liquid will not contaminate other foods from lower floors.”
We must also take care that our kitchen utensils are not infested by mistake of these bacteria. “We put the raw chicken on a cutting board, then we manipulate other foods on the same surface, we use utensils that also come in contact with the microorganisms and in a second we have contaminated the entire kitchen, ” warns the food technologist. Hence, experts always emphasize how important it is to wash your hands frequently and clean the utensils whenever food has been in contact.
The only way to eliminate bacteria is to cook chicken skin and meat wellENLARGE
The only way to eliminate bacteria is to cook the skin and meat well. In this sense, whether the animal is from a supermarket or from a neighborhood butcher shop should not influence the way it is cooked. “Not necessarily because the animal has been raised in a small or nearby place the hygienic conditions will be better. Moreover, sometimes large industries better respect hygiene and safety measures, since they have more resources, ”concludes the expert.