Heard too many myths associated with chicken? Planning to switch to other protein sources?
Let's put this straight: chicken and eggs fulfill some of the most essential dietary requirements of a person; in fact, they improve bone density, muscle strength, eyesight and have even been said to have assisted many in their quest for weight management.
Since eggs and chicken are rich sources of protein, the two can actually make us feel fuller, which prevents us from over-eating, thereby helping in weight loss.
There are all kinds of crazy myths around chicken and eggs, ranging from how they might cause infertility to serious health ailments, and so we are debunking five of the most common ones here.
Myth 01: All broiler chicken and eggs are bad for health
It is commonly believed that all broiler chicken is harmful to health and can lead to diseases like hypertension, obesity, cancer, etc. Some even claim that consuming chicken is worse than smoking cigarettes these days.
However, this assumption is based on the myth that broiler chicken is artificially injected and given feed mixed with hormones.
What most people miss out on is that chicken bred on organic, plant-based feed is actually quite healthy for consumption and is a nutritious source of proteins, vitamin D and amino acids.
Fun Fact: some studies even claim that consuming chicken can increase serotonin levels in our bodies.
No wonder we are always looking forward to our serving of grilled chicken!
Myth 02: Egg yolks can increase cholesterol
For decades, this idea has been propagated by researchers and common people alike; the fact is, it's 2021 and now is finally time to move on from this largely popularised myth.
Let’s first address the elephant in the room: are egg yolks rich in cholesterol? Yes, two large whole eggs (100 grams) contain approximately 411 mg of cholesterol.
But does that mean they increase cholesterol in our bodies? Absolutely not!
The human body is exceptionally well-coordinated. The liver naturally produces cholesterol according to a person’s bodily requirements; however, when we consume higher levels of cholesterol through food sources, like eggs, the liver decreases its production, thereby balancing the overall cholesterol levels in the body.
So as long as you are eating proteins, especially egg-based, in moderated quantities, you are going to be okay.
Also, keep in mind that cholesterol isn’t bad for you. Infact It is involved in the production of vitamin D, steroid hormones, like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, bile acids, which help digest fat, and is an essential component of every cell membrane in our bodies.
Myth 03: Boiled eggs are healthier than fried ones
We are so tired of hearing this one over and over again.
Here’s what actually happens:
Boiled or poached eggs do not require butter or oil for cooking and by virtue of that have slightly fewer calories.
However, fried eggs are in no way worse; what’s important is the temperature you are cooking your eggs at.
Instead of cooking for long hours at high temperatures, try to cook the egg for a shorter period at medium heat for maximum health benefits.
More importantly, if you are frying the egg at high temperatures, avoid using extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil which oxidises cholesterol in eggs and releases harmful free radicals.
Instead, it is advised that you cook eggs on medium heat or choose avocado oil and sunflower oil.
Myth 04: All chicken gets injected which causes hormonal imbalance for some people
Going by what experts say: Kate Barger, veterinarian and Director World Animal Welfare at Cobb‑Vantress, a global primary breeder company dedicated to the development and production of broiler breeder genetics, says, "I don't know what would happen if you actually did put hormones in a chicken. It doesn’t make sense. Yesterday, we saw a house with 20,000 chickens in it. You’d have to pick up each one of those chickens, twice a day, to inject each one to make them grow."
She added, "Not only would the process of injecting hormones in poultry represent added cost anytime you pick up a chicken, but it’s also a potentially stressful moment for the bird and would likely hurt flock performance".
Broiler chicken is larger because, over the course of several decades, scientists have been selectively cross-breeding chickens to increase growth and meat production and decrease the development time of chickens.
Hence, it's not the impact of hormones but years of scientific research that has produced larger, faster-growing birds.
Myth 05: Red meat is better than chicken
Here's a no-brainer: white meat or chicken actually has lesser saturated fats and calories as compared to red meat.
Chicken is not only safe for consumption but is recommended by most dieticians and nutritionists in advised amounts due to its rich health benefits.
What’s probably more harmful is building a diet that is heavy on chicken wings oozing with cheese all the time. Though we wouldn't mind that at all.
So the next time you are at a family gathering and someone points out how you shouldn't have too much chicken, you now know how to fight your case.
This content is produced in paid partnership with US Soybean Export Council and is not associated with or necessarily reflective of the views of Dawn.com or its editorial staff.