Skinless chicken breasts are often recommended for dieters because of their high protein content and low fat content. Skinless chicken thighs offer important nutrients, are high in protein and tend to be moister and more flavorful than breasts.
Skinless chicken breasts are often recommended for dieters because of their high protein content and low fat content. Skinless chicken thighs offer important nutrients, are high in protein and tend to be moister and more flavorful than breasts. Chicken thighs can play a role in a healthy diet with portion control and the right cooking techniques.
Calories and Macronutrients
One-hundred grams of skinless chicken thighs, or about 3.5 ounces, contains 209 calories and 10.9 grams of fat. Compare this to the 165 calories and 3.57 grams of fat in 3.5 ounces of skinless chicken. In terms of saturated fat, the thighs contain just 2 grams more than the breast -- 3 grams versus 1 gram. Skinless chicken thighs are high in protein, with almost 26 grams in a 100-gram serving. Chicken contains no carbohydrates, fiber or sugar.
Skinless chicken thighs also contain vitamin A and K, as well as B6, B12, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. A 3.5-ounce serving of skinless thighs provides 7 percent of the daily recommended allowance of iron. With 29 micrograms of selenium, skinless chicken thighs provide more than half of the daily recommended amount.
Skinless chicken thighs are a source of potassium, according to Drugs.com. A 3.5-ounce serving offers 238 milligrams, which is comparable to the amount found in lean beef and peanut butter. Potassium helps keep bodily fluids and minerals in balance to promote healthy heart and muscle function.
According to the American Heart Association, the daily recommended limit for cholesterol is 300 milligrams for people who have normal levels. Those with high cholesterol or taking a cholesterol-lowering medication should aim for 200 milligrams or fewer daily. A 3.5-ounce serving of skinless chicken thighs contains 93 milligrams of cholesterol, or 1/3 to ½ of the daily maximum.
Choosing skinless is best because it helps control calories and fat. The skin includes another 38 calories and almost 5 grams of additional fat, most of which is saturated. Chicken thighs do well with moist, long cooking techniques like stewing and braising. Using them in broth-based soups and chili are healthy preparation options, but cream-based stews and chowders add significant calories and fat to skinless chicken thighs. Frying thighs is another way to significantly increase the calorie and fat content.