Is Chicken Better Protein Than Fish?
Chicken and fish are the two most consumed sources of protein in the world. Yet, which is better—chicken or fish?
The answer may not be as simple as which of these sources has the most protein. At the end of the day, which is the best and healthiest source of protein?
Chicken and Fish Protein, Which Is Better?
Both chicken and fish are good protein sources, but which is better depends greatly on the method of preparation and quality of the meat. Chicken breast contains 31 grams of protein per three-ounce serving, while a three-ounce serving of salmon offers 25 grams of protein. Fish contains less protein per ounce than chicken, but chicken can be less healthy than fish.
The Truth About Chicken and Fish as Protein Sources
Chicken and fish are both healthy sources of protein. However, if you prepare your chicken or fish using a load of oil, butter, or other calorie-increasing cooking methods, the value of the protein decreases.
Knowing which protein source is best depends on how it’s prepared, where the meat is cut from the chicken, or the type of fish.
Protein in Fish per 3-Ounce Serving
Different types of fish have their own protein content. The main fish types that are commonly served have the following protein values per three-ounce serving:
- Salmon: 25 grams
- Processed tuna (canned): 19 grams
- Sardines: 25 grams
- Shrimp: 14 grams
For a three-ounce serving, shellfish can average at 62.8 grams of protein. Fish tends to be less filling than chicken, so you can eat a larger portion of fish and obtain a greater protein intake than chicken.
Protein in Chicken per 3-Ounce Serving
Chicken is traditionally considered the healthy meat option, especially when the skin is removed. White chicken breast meat is the leanest meat, and it also offers the highest protein content out of all chicken cuts at 32.1 grams protein per three-ounce serving.
Other cuts from chicken aren’t nearly as nutritious. Potentially, these also contain a lot more calories, such as the thigh meat that contains a mere 23 grams of protein in a three-ounce serving but also boasts a serious 225 calories.
Fish or Chicken, Which Is Healthier?
Of the two protein sources, which is healthier? Healthy protein sources are low in calories, yet high in protein and other useful nutrients such as omega oils, vitamins, minerals, and folates. If you’re looking for bang for your buck, then fish protein offers the best deal for your health.
Fish protein contains the most omega oils when compared to white chicken breast. Likewise, fish is easier to prepare as a simple steamed meal where chicken breast meat can be a challenge to prepare in a nutritious way that doesn’t introduce other oils and fats.
Chicken Protein Vs Beef
Beef is considered the protein source par excellence, yet the risk factors such as contributing to calorie intake, cholesterol, and diabetes formation may negate the protein gain.
Lean beef may give you a fairly good portion of 27.7 grams per serving, but fatty beef such as a T-bone steak only contains 22.8 grams of protein but 149 calories per serving.
While beef may contain more protein than chicken, it is not the healthiest protein source out there. The fatty connective tissue adds up to clogged arteries, blocked circulatory systems, and fatty deposits in arteries.
Fish Protein Vs Beef
The ratio of protein vs calories per serving of fish and beef is uncontested as to which is best. Fish such as raw haddock contain 16.9 grams of protein per serving at a mere 69 calories.
Beef, on the other hand, offers slightly more protein per serving (27.7 grams), but it also comes with a much higher calorie count at 168 calories per serving. Alternatively, opt for shellfish with 62.8 grams of protein for 290 calories.
Preparation to Improve Protein Vs Calories in Fish and Chicken
The ideal is to choose a meat type that has low calories but high protein content. When you fry or cook the meat using extra oils, fats, and condiments, the calorie content increases, making the meat less ideal as a protein source.
Cooking by using an airfryer, on a grill, or by steaming the meat helps reduce the calories, yet keeps the protein content high.
Chicken Vs Fish: And the Winner Is?
If you are after good-quality lean protein, fish is the way to go. Ensure that you steam fish to avoid loading up on calories instead of protein servings.
The next best protein source after fish is chicken, especially white breast meat that’s steamed or grilled. Finally, beef offers a fair amount of protein, yet it also comes with more calories and a greater fat content (and not the omega fatty acids you want).
Frequently Asked Questions to Is Chicken Better Protein Than Fish?
Fish or chicken, Which Has More Protein?
Chicken has more protein per three-ounce serving than fish, though chicken has more calories than fish. Shellfish is higher in protein, but it’s also significantly higher in calories.
Is Salmon or Chicken Better for Weight Loss and Why?
White chicken breast is recommended for weight loss due to the low calorie content. However, choosing a dried fish offers great value as it’s low in calories, yet high in protein.
Conclusion: The Final Protein
While shellfish contains the highest levels of protein, it’s also high in calories, so this is not the best idea if you’re on a calorie-restricted diet. Plain dried fish such as cod, hake, and salmon are good protein sources, and you can prepare these without extra oils.
Chicken, while marginally higher in protein than most fish types, is also much higher in calories than fish protein. For the red meat eaters out there, beef may seem like a great protein source, but it is significantly lower than shellfish per three-ounce serving.