If you 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.
As a guide when it comes to high blood pressure, 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.
Poultry is probably better for you than red meat, but not as good as fish. What we do not like about most meats, including poultry, is that many 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 heart.
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.