Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's Finger Lickin' Bad: Is KFC Chicken Drumstick (Dark Meat) BAD for Your Health?


Is KFC chicken drumstick which is dark meat bad for you? What’s the difference between dark and white chicken meats? Which one has more calories or fat? We’re supposed to shun dark chicken meat at all costs, right?  But it tastes so good!


What is Dark Meat Chicken?

Within fowl poultry (raising rabbits is also called poultry), there are two types of meats—white and dark meat. The different colors are based on the different locations and uses of the muscles. Dark meats occur in the legs, which are used to support the weight of the animals while they move around.

The two kinds of muscles are often grouped into “fast-twitch” and “slow-twitch” muscles, with dark meat made up of the former and white meat, the latter. As you can probably surmise, the fast-twitch muscles in a chicken's or turkey's breast are for quick movement. Turkeys burst away in a sort of gliding flight from danger using their wings, and breast muscles, to propel them. Geese and other flying birds use their breast muscles to flap their wings and fly, so are mostly dark meat.

In contrast, the white meat are used for quick bursts of power which requires little of the meat-darkening myoglobin. Take note that this holds for ground-based birds like chicken– birds which use their chest muscles for sustained flight (such as ducks and geese) have dark meat throughout their bodies. 

These muscles are designed to develop endurance for long-term use and contain a large amount of myoglobin, allowing the muscle to use oxygen more efficiently for aerobic respiration. Dark meats simply have more myoglobin proteins. 

Myoglobin is a richly pigmented protein. The more myoglobin there is in the cells, the redder, or darker, the meat.

When you cook your favorite dark meat, myoglobin's color changes depending on what the meat's internal temperature is. When dark meat is cooked to 140° F, and myoglobin's red color remains unchanged. Above 140° F, myoglobin loses its ability to bind oxygen, and the iron atom at the center of its molecular structure loses an electron. This process forms a tan-colored compound called hemichrome, which gives medium-done meat its color. When the internal of the meat reaches 170° F, hemichrome levels increase, and the myoglobin becomes metmyoglobin, which gives well-done meat its brown-gray shade.

4 Reasons Dark Meat is NOT Bad For You!: Dark Meat vs White Meat Chicken

1) Chicken breast tends to have a drier texture, which can make it boring to eat. Dark meat is more flavorful than white meat. We like the flavor of dark meat, its succulence, its abundance of tastiness , its complexity, yummy skin, the way the meat is exactly proportional to the bone, keeping it moist and sapid during cooking.

2) The higher concentration of myoglobin and blood vessels means dark meat is usually more nutritious than white meat, while white meat is lower in fat, making it a preferred choice for some dieters. But the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) researched found that 100 g of white meat has 0.56 g of saturated fat and 114 calories; while the same amount of dark meat has 1 g and 119 calories. 

Some food advocates have long advocated choosing white meat, saying it contains less fat, fewer calories and leaner. In fact, the difference in fat and calorie content is nearly identical or insignificant.

In real world eating practices, the same people who are trying to avoid in their tables for half a gram of fat are probably using plentiful amounts of mayonnaise, butter or oil to make their dry, unsavory breast meat more palatable.

You should learn more about facts you don't know on the worst human diets here, What is the Ideal Human Diet According to the Latest Scientific Findings- 2015?

3) Food scientists has emphasized that dark meat contains more nutrition. As good as this sounds, chicken dark meat is richer in nutrients like amino acid than white meat. Chicken and Thanks Giving turkey dark meat contain vitamins A, K, B6, B12, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, minerals as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, selenium and phosphorus. 

4) Dark meat contains more iron and zinc. It contains about 11 times more zinc than tuna, and about 3 times as much iron than raw spinach. Zinc is a trace mineral that is found in every cell of your body and is necessary for growth and reproduction. It also supports immunity, wound healing and helps maintain your sense of taste and smell. The good sources of zinc are foods of animal origin such as poultry, meat, liver and seafood. 

Just remember, any way you serve it, chicken meat is good for you. So go ahead and add a little dark meat to your meal. It’s more healthful and not so saturated in fat. It will save you more money. There is no better than that!

Related Blogpost: Game of Thrones Season 5 just started, have you tried Tyroshi Honeyfingers? Get the recipe here, Tyroshi Honeyfingers Medieval Recipe- Game of Thrones Food Recipes. NOW! :-)


Editors at Cook's Illustrated. 2014. The Cook's Illustrated Meat Book: The Game-Changing Guide that Teaches You How to Cook Meat and Poultry with 425 Bulletproof Recipes. Cook's Illustrated. ISBN-13: 978-1936493869

Green, Aliza. 2005. Field Guide to Meat. Quirk Books. ISBN-10: 1594740178

North American Meat Institute. 2014. The Meat Buyers Guide, 8th Edition. North American Meat Institute. ISBN-13: 978-0692302026

USDA. 2000. The color of meat and poultry, USDA: Food Safety and Inspection Service. Retrieved April 17, 2015.

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