Editor’s note: This article was written by Chicken Farmers of Canada and submitted to Daily Hive.
We’ve all heard that protein is the building block of our organs, muscles, skin, and hormones. But there are different sources of protein, and they are not all equal, so that can make it confusing.
With all the buzz around plant-based diets over the past few years, most of us are left wondering how plant-based simulated proteins stack up against sources of animal protein.
Let’s start off by saying there’s a lot of merit to incorporating more fruits, vegetables and legumes into our diets. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the important roles that lean protein, like real chicken, plays in our bodies.
Here’s a quick science lesson. Protein is one of the three macronutrients — along with carbohydrates and fat — that our bodies need for energy and optimal functionality. Animal proteins are considered “complete proteins,” which means they contain all nine essential amino acids.
Animal protein, like chicken, has many nutritional advantages in addition to being a lean source of complete protein. It’s also a great source of micronutrients that our bodies need, like iron, magnesium, and vitamin B12.
We’ve also heard the recommendation that we should be eating whole foods and minimizing our consumption of processed foods. Sometimes this can be tricky based on what’s on food packaging. Remember to read the ingredients. This will give you a good idea if it’s been processed. If there is a long list of ingredients, including fillers and additives our bodies do not need, it’s clear it’s processed.
Most people don’t know that 90% of chicken farms in Canada are family-owned, and all farms must adhere to stringent standards, including mandatory programs with third-party audits and enforcement practices. And steroids and hormones have been banned for decades, so there are no additional ingredients when you buy Canadian chicken. No additives, fillers or ingredients you can’t pronounce. Just chicken.
Visit chicken.ca to learn more about protein and to find tons of delish chicken recipes.