Animal-based proteins are known to be the richest sources of protein. This is because they are complete proteins that provide your body with essential amino acids it cannot make on its own but must get from the diet. These types of foods are also advocated for on low-carb diets because of their lower carb count.
The most common animal protein is chicken. Is chicken keto-friendly? Yes, it is, and it is perfect on a low-calorie diet as well. However, how you cook your chicken determines the grams of carbohydrates it contains. Today we will look at a common chicken dish, breaded chicken. Can this count as one of the keto no-carb fast foods?
Today’s read will look at the nutritional values of different breaded chicken options. We will also discuss the essential nutrients this food provides you with that can be beneficial to your body. I will also explain ways you can make this dish healthier and lower the carb content of your chicken. Do breaded chicken carbs affect your blood sugar? Let’s find out.
Breaded Chicken Carbs
Breaded chicken is usually coated with all-purpose flour to give it its crunchy texture. The chicken itself may not be high in carbs but coating it with flour increases your daily intake of carbs. In addition, this dish is not considered one of the healthy foods because of how it is prepared. To make this chicken, you need to deep fry it in oil, which will increase its saturated fat content.
A high fat diet weight loss diet advocates for the consumption of healthy fats and excess intake of saturated fats increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. The daily allowance of carbs on the ketogenic diet is 20-50 g. Will a daily intake of chicken coated with corn or rice starch exceed this limit? We can answer this question by taking a look at breaded chicken nutritional facts.
Breaded Chicken Breast Nutrition
According to the USDA, one chicken breast (with skin and breading) provides you with:
- Energy: 467 kcals
- Total carbs: 12.2 grams of carbs
- Dietary fiber: 0.2 grams of fiber
- Net carbs: 12 grams of net carbs
- Protein: 47.7 grams of protein
- Total fat: 25.2 grams of fat
- Saturated fat: 6.74 grams of fat
- Unsaturated fats: 16.4 grams of fat
- Trans fat: 0.3 grams of fat
- Cholesterol: 187 mg
- Sodium: 1330 mg
Looking at the grams of carbohydrates in just one breaded chicken breast, it is clear that this is a high-carb food. This provides you with 5% of your daily values for carbs on the 2,000-standard diet. It also provides you with 44% of your daily values for protein.
The recommended dietary allowance for sodium is less than 2,300 mg. Yet, one chicken breast meets more than 57% of the daily values. Your recommended cholesterol allowance is 300 mg per day. This dish meets 62% of the daily values.
Breaded Chicken Breast Carbs
Chicken breast meat is naturally low-carb. But how come when it’s breaded the carb count increases? When analyzing breaded chicken carbs, you will notice that it contains no sugars and almost no fiber. Most of the carbs in breaded chicken are starch sitting at 12.8 grams per piece.
This starch on your breaded chicken breast comes from the flour used to coat it. Wheat flour is made up of 85% starch with its major component being gluten. Individuals with celiac disease and non-celiac-related gluten sensitivity may not be able to enjoy these chicken pieces.
Corn flour has 75% of it being made up of starch. So, the high carb count of your chicken breasts is due to the breading.
According to the USDA, skinless chicken breast with breading will provide you with 8.56 grams of carbs, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 933 mg of sodium, and 131 mg of cholesterol. Breaded skinless chicken has fewer carbs than chicken with meat and skin with breading. However, the carb count is still high.
Are Fried Chicken Carbs Keto?
As earlier mentioned, chicken meat and skin with breading are usually deep fried. Breaded chicken breast is not keto because flour, cornstarch, and cornmeal to make its breading. Is there a way to make your fast-food chicken keto? On a calorie-controlled diet, you have to be careful of the foods you include in your diet regimen.
How will you make your breaded skinless chicken keto? How do you lower breaded chicken carbs? Before we go to homemade let’s look at your popular fast-food chicken and whether it is keto-friendly.
Carbs in Fried Chicken (KFC)
Every fan of fried chicken pieces has been a return customer at their local Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet. But is KFC chicken keto-friendly? KFC’s breaded drumsticks’ original recipe could be considered keto because it provided you with only 4 grams of net carbs.
Keep in mind that chicken breast and thigh have a higher carb count than drumsticks.
Carbs in Breaded Chicken Breast (KFC)
One chicken breast from KFC with meat and skin with breading provides you with:
- Energy: 490 kcals
- Total carbs: 13.3 grams of carbs
- Dietary fiber: 0 grams of fiber
- Sugar: 0 grams of sugar
- Starch: 12.4 grams of starch
- Protein: 46.4 grams of protein
- Total fat: 27.8 grams of fat
- Saturated fat: 6.32 grams of fat
- Trans fats: 0.165 grams of fat
- Sodium:1280 milligrams of sodium
- Cholesterol: 172 mg
KFC chicken without skin with breading provides you with 9.55 grams of total carbs and 8.89 grams of starch. Checking the chicken breast calories, this dish can’t fit on a low-calorie diet.
In comparison, KFC chicken drumsticks with skin and breading have fewer carbs. One drumstick provides you with 222 kcals, 6.45 grams of carbs, and no fiber. The skinless option has 156 kcals, 4.54 grams of carbs, and no fiber.
A skinless drumstick. with breading have lower calories, proteins, carbohydrates, and fat content compared to breaded chicken breast.
Okay so from the breaded chicken carbs discussed above, we know this option is not suitable for a low-carb and calorie diet. Although, there are ways you can make breaded chicken to fit into a healthy diet. Here are tips to make keto-breaded chicken for your low-carb daily diet.
Tips to Make Keto Breaded Chicken
Raw chicken on its own is low in carbs and high in protein. Different parts of your chicken have different carb counts. You have two options for making keto fried chicken you can either forego the breading altogether or use low-carb ingredients to make your “breading”.
Keto Flourless Fried Chicken
This goes to the people who do not mind letting go of the crunch that breaded chicken fanatics love and adore. Pick the part of your raw chicken with the least amount of carbs, which is the chicken thigh. Just season your chicken thighs with your regular ingredients then pan-fry with a healthy keto oil like coconut oil.
Healthy fats and oil like lard, butter, and oil will increase fat intake without compromising your carb intake. I would advocate baking your raw chicken thighs to lower the intake of saturated fats that poses a risk to your heart health.
Keto Breaded Fried Chicken
You can’t give up the thrill of the crunch that comes with eating breaded chicken, that’s okay! There are low-carb alternatives you can use to make your breading.
High Fat Dairy Product Option
Your first option would be dipping your chicken breasts in heavy cream or yogurt. Breaded chicken breast with yogurt or heavy cream has a higher fat and protein content, but lower carb count. This is helpful when you are trying to keep the extra weight at bay. You can also keep the chicken in unsweetened low-carb milk like almond milk.
Most people prefer heavy cream to Greek yogurt.
Low Carb Flour Option
You can have the same crunchy texture by replacing high-carb flour with low-carb flour for baking substitutes. These include almond flour, coconut flour, other nut flour, and seed flour. This will keep your daily carbohydrate intake on the lower side.
You can add your seasonings to your low-carb flour to make your low-carb breading. You may compromise on flavor; however, your carbohydrate consumption is going to be significantly reduced.
A cup of almond flour for example contains 10 grams of net carbs compared to 60.6 grams of net carbs in wheat flour.
Whichever option you choose, I would recommend baking, grilling, or air frying your chicken to deep frying. Moreover, use only healthy fats and oils when cooking. This will moderate your saturated fat intake promoting heart health.
Is Grilled or Breaded Chicken Healthier?
Grilled chicken is considered healthier than breaded chicken. The main issue with breaded chicken is it is normally deep-fried in oil or pan-fried with butter. This increases its calorie and fat content. Deep frying increases saturated fats in foods. Breaded chicken also has excess sodium. High amounts of sodium can increase your risk of developing hypertension.
The other issue with frying breading is it increases the trans-fat content of food. Frying heats oil at high temperatures which can convert unsaturated fats to trans fats through a process known as hydrogenation. When oil undergoes heating, especially vegetable oils, their levels of this bad fat increase. Trans fats have been associated with higher risks of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.
You are better off eating grilled chicken because it has better taste and nutritional value. This option also lowers your intake of sodium and cholesterol, lowering your risk of heart disease.
Does Breading Add a Lot of Calories?
Yes, breading significantly increases chicken breast calories. It does the same for other foods as well. As I mentioned earlier, breaded foods are usually deep-fried. Whenever you fry your food, it loses water and absorbs fat.
Considering you get more calories from fat than other macronutrients, this absorption increases the calorie content of your food. Although on the keto diet you are meant to get most of your calories from fat, an excess consumption of this macro will lead to a calorie surplus leading to weight gain rather than weight loss.
Breaded chicken carbs are too high because they are coated with high-carb flour. However, there are ways you can make your breaded chicken fit into the keto diet. Consider dropping the breading altogether or using low-carb flour to make your low-carb breading. Also, go for grilling or baking when cooking your chicken.
How have you been making breaded chicken while dieting? We’d love to try out your low-carb breaded chicken recipe.