There’s never been a better time than now to cut back on your chicken intake! You might be wondering why I would bring it up. Well for one, the cost of ALL chicken products from the chicken to the egg has SKYROCKETED in the last few months in the area. With that said, if you feel that the cost is just too much for the chicken – NEVER FEAR! There are BETTER alternatives so listen up!
Chicken as part of a rotationally-balanced protein intake is a viable option. Its nutritional profile is unique to itself, and like any protein when combined with a weekly routine and rotation fills many nutritional needs and gaps. HOWEVER, chicken is one of the most overeaten meats that I see in my clients, and in this country. It hasn’t developed the stigma that red meat has, and it’s looked at as a “safe” option. Many clients eat chicken for lunch and dinner, daily for more than 90 percent of their week. This leaves a lot of nutrient gaps and can create different types of gut overgrowth as well.
Pastured, properly raised chicken can work in your routine safely. Cheap, processed chicken that never saw the light of day should never be consumed no matter what. That is NOT a safer and healthier option than any other meat. So if that is what you have been buying (the cheapest chicken from the major chains) then fret no more – just ditch that totally. Chickens need to be outside, eating grass and bugs in order to properly have the nutritional value that YOU need when you go to eat them or their by-products. Pastured and properly raised chickens have a better nutritional profile without all the added shots, chemicals, and feeds that are GMO and grain-based. If your chicken was fed grain-based feed, that comes into your body as well. If you have inflammatory issues, autoimmunity, and more that will only contribute to the issues you already have (grains).
The Cost of Chicken
The whole pastured chicken I have been buying once a week for MANY years has increased to $10.00 more per bird just in the last few months. I have decided that bird isn’t worth it. I can eat multiple meals of seafood instead for that price. All I get out of that whole chicken is one dinner, and maybe 1-2 lunches following if I am lucky. So with that price tag – it’s not worth it.
The cost of eggs is also alarming. This is unfortunate as well. Still, the best way to get these is from a local farmer who pastured their chickens. It’s still the best price around locally for me as well. Eggs are a NUTRITION bomb and they are worth having as part of your week. Perhaps you need to cut back on the quantity due to the cost now, but still worth getting into the week if possible.
How does chicken compare to seafood, and other meats, and costs
Although proper chicken can be a great part of a weekly routine, its nutritional profile lacks in comparison to seafood and fish for example. In our house, this chicken is replaced with another day of fish. Let’s do a comparison of SALMON and CHICKEN. These are 4-ounce pieces of chicken to salmon.
As you can see by the graphics below, salmon starts out with FAR more B12 (ESSENTIAL AND FANTASTIC for digestion and stomach acid support), as you move through you quickly see salmon has MUCH more Vitamin D and this is something our population is SORELY in need of. As you move through more vitamins and minerals are present in the salmon. The protein and amino acid profiles are different with salmon than chicken, however, the FAT profile is spectacular for salmon. VERY anti-inflammatory in nature. Whereas the fat profile for chicken isn’t spectacular for omega 3.
You can find a bag of frozen salmon (if you lack a fresh source) for far less than one whole chicken in the store. This bag will serve your family a week of salmon, for less money, than just ONE whole chicken which might be one dinner and a few lunches. The same for other fish like haddock, even less expensive. Cod is another option. Even SHRIMP costs less per meal than chicken right now. If you want to learn more about what and how to eat from the sea – check out this previous blog post on how to shop for the best seafood possible.
What about other meats?
Currently grass-fed beef is indeed cheaper per meal than chicken. This is a great once-a-week option as well. If you had chicken 5 days a week or more, making one-night grass-fed beef is a great choice. You can rotate different fish and seafood the remaining days of the week. You may be thinking about turkey. This is a tough one. It’s almost always primarily grain-fed. So once again if you have immunity issues, inflammatory issues, and food issues with grains it will be a challenge to have turkey that is healthy enough for you. You could try an organic turkey if you aren’t in an extremely inflammatory or gut-issue situation. Trying to locally source turkey is very challenging as well. Sticking with sea animals and beef are all great options.
So don’t worry about the loss of that chicken, you will feel even better in your body and your wallet by saying goodbye to so much chicken.