Is Chicken Keto-Friendly?

Is Chicken Keto-Friendly?

Chicken is both incredibly delicious and nutritious. It's a popular high-quality protein source and is readily available. But can you eat chicken while on the ketogenic diet? Or will it slow down the process or even ruin your slimming program?

It's not easy to avoid chicken. It's everywhere. Virtually almost every restaurant and fast-food chain include chicken in their menu.

For the most part, these restaurants always have a way to tempt and move us to order that large chunks of chicken nuggets or that big chicken sub!

So once and for all, let's talk about the question: is chicken keto-friendly?

Nutritional Content of Chicken?

The nutritional profile of chicken varies depending on if it's raw or cooked.

Clearly, cooked chickens may have added seasonings and other ingredients, and these can add up to the nutritional makeup of the chicken. 

Roasted Chicken

A whole roasted chicken with skin has 239 calories, 24 g of protein, 13.4 g of fat, and 0 carb content. 

A roasted skin-on chicken breast contains 197 calories, 30 g of protein, 7.8 g of fat, and 0 carb content.

Without the skin, it would be 165 calories, 31 g of protein, 3.6 g of fat, and still zero carbs. 

Raw Chicken

Of course, we know that you won't eat your chicken uncooked.

But this data will show you the nutritional profile of raw chicken, so you'll know how much macronutrients there is already before adding other ingredients. 

A whole skin-on, raw chicken yields 215 calories, 18.7 g of protein, 15 g of total fat, and zero carb content. 

Meanwhile, a chicken breast with skin has 172 calories, 20.8 g of protein, 9.3 g of fat, and zero carbs. If the skin is removed, it would have about 114 calories, 21.2 g of protein, 2.6 g of total fat, and incredibly, still no carbs. 

Fried Chicken

A piece of fried chicken (approx. 140 g) is loaded with 377 calories, 40 g of protein, 21 g of total fat, and 4.4 g of carbs. 

Is Chicken Keto-Friendly?

A keto-approved food is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs. And after examining the nutritional profile of chicken, we can say that chicken is keto-friendly.  

It's important to consume little to no carbs while on the keto diet. This is because you want your body to burn all the pesky stored fat.

When in the state of ketosis, your body will be forced to use the stored fat as an energy source since it has been deprived of sugar, which is the primary source of energy. 

If you feed your body with too many carbs, then it will, by default, use sugar again to fuel you up. 

This being said, you must limit your carb intake. Some keto dieters restrict themselves to consuming only 20 to 30 grams of carbs a day, though some go as high as 50 grams. 

Your carb threshold depends entirely on your body. The point of the matter is that you should eat little to no carbs to maintain in the state of ketosis. 

Peanut butter is keto-friendly, as long as you consume no more than two tablespoons a day. 

Ideal Portion for Eating Chicken

Roasted and boiled chicken do not contain carbs. That means you can eat as much chicken as you like. 

A piece of fried chicken has 4 to 5 g of carbs. Eating a piece or two should be enough for the entire day. 

More important than the portion is the food that you will eat your chicken with. Remember, sauces (especially sweet ones) may have a high carb content. 

Best Ways to Enjoy Chicken

You don't need to torture yourself from eating bland chicken meat just to avoid carbs. 

Step up your chicken keto meal by adding parmesan in it. Parmesan, along with other types of cheese, are generally low in carb. Check out the full recipe here

Or, you can create a chicken keto salad to fill you up! It's hearty, healthy, and most definitely, keto-friendly.

Learn how to prepare chicken keto salad here.

About the Author

Ryan is a personal trainer, athlete, health enthusiast, and entrepreneur. He is researching and expanding his knowledge about the ketogenic diet. He spends most of his time writing content about his new learnings of the ketogenic diet and shares it on Ketogenic Supplement Reviews. You can find me on: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.