Calories in Chicken

The Department of Health and Nutrition has found that there are only 165 calories in 85gms of chicken. Calories in chicken vary depending on the chicken cut used. This protein-packed food is a great source of lean protein. Chicken is one of the healthy non-vegetarian meals most people love. Many people include chicken in their diet to maintain muscle mass and preserve a healthy metabolism. While one chicken breast has a high-calorie content, one chicken wing marks the lowest calorie count. Now, let us discuss in detail the calories in chicken cuts, their nutritional composition, and their health benefits.


When it comes to a healthy non-vegetarian meal for the family, one food stands apart from the others - ‘Chicken’. Though there are so many protein-packed foods to choose from: fish, eggs, nuts, legumes, and more. Chicken is a truly dependable source of low fat protein. Various studies from the Department of Health and Nutrition found only 165 calories per serving (85gms) of chicken.


This makes it a great source of lean protein (protein without a lot of accompanying fat). People who eat enough protein are more likely to maintain muscle mass and preserve a healthy metabolism. Since chicken is versatile and relatively inexpensive, it is a useful food to include in a balanced, healthy eating plan.


When people add chicken to a balanced diet, it can be a healthful source of protein and other vitamins. Protein helps a person’s body rebuild muscle and supports many other functions. Additionally, chicken offers a number of health supplements. Check out the nutrition facts for chicken below.

Chicken Nutritional Facts Serving Size (85g)

Total calories 187

Total Fat 11g

  • Saturated Fat 3.1g

  • Polyunsaturated Fat 2.4g

  • Monounsaturated Fat 4.4g


Cholesterol 80 mgs


Sodium 60mg


Potassium 173mg


Total Carbohydrates 0 gms


Protein 20g


Vitamin A


Vitamin C






How Many Calories Does Chicken Have?

You may wonder exactly how many chicken calories are on your plate. However, it's important to know the specific cut of chicken you plan on eating. Chicken comes in a variety of cuts, including:

  • Breasts

  • Thighs

  • Drumsticks

  • Wings

Each cut contains a different number of calories and a different proportion of protein to fat. Here are the calorie counts for the most popular cuts of chicken.

Chicken Cut

Calorie Count/ 100 gms

Food Constitution

Breast Chicken Calories

285 Calories

Around 80% of chicken breast consists of protein. The remaining 20% is made up of fat and other carbs.

Chicken Thigh

109 Calories

Around 53% of chicken thigh consists of protein. The remaining 47% is made up of fat and other carbs.

Chicken Wing

43 Calories

Around 64% of chicken wings consist of protein. The remaining 36% is made up to fat and other carbs.

Chicken Drumsticks

76 Calories

Around 70% of the chicken drumstick consists of protein. The remaining 30% is made up of fat and other carbs.

Other Cuts:

  • Chicken Tenders

  • Back

  • Dark Meat (kidneys, liver)

  • Light Meat

120 Calories

The calories count varies depending on the cut. Light meat has the lowest number of calories while the chicken tenders have the highest.

Popular Chicken Dishes and the Chicken Calories they Contain

Apart from the health benefits, another appeal about chicken is its versatility. Nearly every cuisine from around the world offers a variety of chicken dishes. Chicken also has a relatively neutral taste, which makes it easy to pair with different flavourings.


Here are some popular dishes from around the world and their 100g chicken calories.

Dish Name

Number of Calories

Burn Time

Roasted or Grilled Chicken Calories

142 Calories

39 min (Walking)

16 min (Jogging)

Butter Chicken

288.48 Calories

64 min (Walking)

35 min (Jogging)

Chicken Noodle Soup

36 Calories

7 min (Walking)

4 min (Jogging)

Barbecue Chicken

226 Calories

52 min (Walking)

23 min (Jogging)

Fried Chicken

246 Calories

55 min (Walking)

26 min (Jogging)

Marinated Chicken (Gravy)

144 Calories

40 min (Walking)

17 min (Jogging)

Health Benefits of Eating Chicken

By far, chicken is the most popular of all white meats out there. For starters, it’s inexpensive and quick to prepare. Plus it can be served in a variety of ways (chicken soup and diced up in a salad are just a few favorites.) Here are some of the health benefits of eating chicken.

  1. Rich in Protein: It’s a great source of lean, low fat protein which contributes to muscle growth and development. That protein also helps support a healthy body weight and aids weight loss.

  2. Good for the Heart: Eating chicken breast suppresses and controls a body’s homocysteine amino acid levels which, if too high, can lead to cardiovascular disease.

  3. Plenty of Phosphorus: They’re rich in phosphorus, an essential mineral that supports your teeth and bones, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system function.

  4. Abundant in SeleniumProvides this essential mineral involved in metabolic performance like thyroid, hormone, metabolism, and immune function.

  5. Boosts Metabolism: Vitamin B6 (or B-complex vitamins) in chicken will keep blood vessels healthy, energy levels high, and metabolism burning away calories so you can manage a healthy weight.

  6. Rich in Niacin: Another B-vitamin, niacin helps guard against cancer and other forms of genetic (DNA) damage.

  7. Natural Antidepressant: If you’re feeling depressed, eating some poultry will increase the serotonin amino acid levels in your brain, enhancing your mood, blasting stress, and lulling you to sleep.

  8. Promotes Eye Health: An excellent source of retinol, alpha and beta-carotene, and lycopene (all derived from vitamin A) and all vital for healthy eyesight.

Read More

How Much Chicken Should You Consume Everyday?

The answer really depends on how you plan on preparing the chicken. If you are preparing roasted or grilled chicken calories without the use of cooking oils or butter, you can include it in an everyday meal plan. Many proponents of the everyday chicken diet claim it can promote rapid fat loss with a minimal focus on meal planning, in theory helping people stick to the diet.


However, an only chicken diet can lead to many nutrition deficiencies that are crucial for proper growth and overall health. Doctor Sanjay Gupta from International Group Hospital opines, “You can make simple, healthy chicken dinners, served over a salad of mixed greens, or mixed with peppers and onions for extra flavour”.

Final Thoughts

While an all-chicken diet can aid in weight loss and has a number of health benefits, it comes with some potentially serious downsides, including nutrient deficiencies, unhealthy eating habits, and overall unsustainability. As the saying goes, ‘too much of anything is bad’ the same applies for your favorite fried chicken calories too. If your aim is to achieve weight loss, the best path is to follow a well-balanced diet that includes your favourite chicken dish around 3-4 times a week. Taking good care of your health begins with your diet and focusing on your BMI and BMR to make sure you keep your health and calories in check, but you must ensure that you are prepared for all situations by securing your health with an adequate health insurance plan. 

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