If you want to boost your immune system, have high blood pressure, bad cholesterol or heart disease, changing your diet should be your first priority. As part of this diet change, you should strive for a low-sodium, low-fat and high-fiber diet. Most people begin their diet change by substituting red meat with chicken or poultry and, in some cases, fish.
What is wrong with this evolution is that it is not necessarily about substituting one meat for another. Rather, it is about knowing the kind of meat, cut of meat, portion size and how the meat is prepared, in order to really know if what you are doing will help you reduce your cholesterol. For instance, fried chicken is not going to help you achieve optimum health.
One problem with chicken and your immune system is that you really never know what the chicken was fed, or if it was enhanced with hormones while being raised. Many mass-produced animals are fed antibiotics and cheap feed, which may contain a host of toxins including pesticides, heavy metals, drug residues and pathogens. These hormones and toxins do not necessarily cook out, and could affect your immune system too, especially women.
Chickens are susceptible to many diseases and infections; most of them do not affect humans but, your immune system still works to defend against them, which can weaken your immune system.
If you had to choose a meat, poultry is probably better for you than red meat, but not as good as fish. As a guide, you want to avoid anything fried and filled with sodium, including any kind of processed lunch meats. According to our government’s DASH diet guide, you can have up to 2-3 servings per day of chicken or other meats.
If you want to have chicken, buy it from a place that advertises organic, antibiotic-free, free-range, and so on. At restaurants, chicken can be a gamble, but in the context of an overall balanced diet, a little chicken is not going to hurt you.
Whether you eat out or at home, always have your poultry skinless. The skin has too much fat and the leaner the poultry, the better. Stay away from duck as it has too much fat, but chicken and turkey can be great protein sources.