en de
Affiliate links on our site may earn us commissions. Learn More.
Canned Chicken: Is It Good or Bad for Your Health?

Canned Chicken: Is It Good or Bad for Your Health?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Fact checked by Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Last update: March 22, 2023
4 min

So what are the dietary facts about canned chicken? Is it really the best alternative to traditional processed foods? Find out as we dissect its health factors.

is canned chicken healthy

Picture this. It is a busy or lazy day, you are down at the grocery shop picking items for dinner, but you are not interested in spending the next 40 minutes whipping up some meal for your rumbling stomach. What do you do? If your answer involves canned foods, you will probably be right.

Although we have gotten used to hearing about how we need to avoid eating canned meat, many are healthy enough to incorporate into our diet. Canned turkey, canned tuna, canned corn beef, and canned chicken breast are just a few.

Today, we will be looking to answer some questions about whether canned chicken is a good dietary addition. Is canned chicken healthy for you?

Come with us as we set out to find these answers.

Do you feel guilty after eating fast food?

Thank you for your answer

Health Reporter Surveys

How Is Canned Chicken Made?

Very little equipment goes into making canned chicken. You will require a pressure cooker, canning jars, and the chosen ingredient. Canned chicken is made by:

  • Preparing the chicken
  • Preparing the pressure cooker
  • Filling the canning jar with raw chicken and removing trapped air bubbles before sealing the lid
  • Placing your filled jar inside your pressure cooker and cooking for the specified time

Once you have completed this process, all left is to store your chicken for later use.

One great thing about it is that canned chicken is not raw. The canning process involves cooking the chicken to a minimum internal temperature. You do not need to cook the canned chicken as it is fully cooked.

Similarly, when it comes to whether you should rinse canned chicken, the answer is no. The canning process accounts for proper sterilization and doneness. That makes the option to rinse canned chicken or cook it a matter of personal preference.

Is Canned Chicken Healthy?

The simple answer is yes. Canned chicken is one of the healthy, quick-prep meals for you since it offers the same nutrients as unprocessed chicken. For starters, canned chicken breast is an excellent source of lean protein instead of red meat and other processed meat.

Similarly, it contains many essential vitamins and minerals that promote growth, development, and overall positive health.

What Ingredients Does Canned Chicken Contain?

The major ingredients in canned chicken include chicken (typically chicken breast meat, with added rib meat), sea salt, chicken broth, natural flavors, modified food starch, and sodium phosphates.

The presence of modified food starch stabilizes the chicken meat, shielding it against cold and heat during shipping. On the other hand, the added inorganic sodium phosphate is responsible for maintaining the texture, stopping the chicken from turning to mush while canning.

Sodium phosphate, like sodium nitrate, is an ingredient used in cured meat production. Furthermore, the addition of sodium phosphates helps balance the pH of the chicken, thereby extending its shelf life.

Overall, with canned chicken, the key thing is discipline. While it is safe to eat canned chicken due to the level of sodium phosphate present, you still need to consume it in moderation.

Nutrition Facts

There is a lot of information concerning eating canned meats. However, the truth we so desperately need hides within the nutritional value.

The nutritional value of any food is the guideline that determines whether it is healthy or not. For this reason, we will be exploring the dietary values inside a serving of canned chicken.

Nutritional value per 100g

The nutritional value per 100g serving of canned chicken is as shown in the table below.

Calories (kcal)185
Net Carbs (g)0.9
Fiber (g)0
Sugar (g)0
Fats (Total) (g)8.1
Protein (g)25.3
Cholesterol (mg)50

High in vitamins and minerals

Much to your surprise, canned chicken is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It contains substantial amounts of vitamin B and D while having traces of vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins are important as they help improve musculoskeletal health and cellular and brain functions.

Additionally, canned chicken contains calcium, iron, zinc, selenium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. These minerals play different roles in developing and maintaining a healthy immune system.

The main thing to watch out for is consuming too much salt. Excess sodium consumption accounts for an increase in blood pressure, which could lead to either stroke or heart attack.

High in protein

Chicken (canned or fresh chicken) is an excellent source of lean protein and amino acids. This makes eating canned chicken great for developing and repairing muscles and tissues.

In conjunction with its calcium content, eating chicken helps maintain bone mineral density, leading to a lower risk of bone-related injuries and diseases.

Low in fats and calories

A 100g serving of canned chicken contains 8.1g of fat and 185kcal, which is quite surprising considering the notion behind processed foods.

The majority of the calories associated with canned chicken come from its protein content. Similarly, the amount of saturated fat is on the low side.

Being low in calories, you can easily incorporate a sensible portion of canned chicken into your weight loss diet.

High in cholesterol

Canned chicken contains quite the amount of cholesterol – an increase in your LDL cholesterol puts you at risk of suffering from stroke and heart disease.

Canned chicken has 50mg of cholesterol per 100g serving, meaning you will have to cut down on consumption to maintain a balanced blood cholesterol level.

Low in carbohydrates

High carbohydrate and protein intake typically leads to a high-calorie level, which factors into trying to lose weight. With 0.9g of net carbs and 0g of fiber and sugar, canned chicken are the favorites for any low-carb diet.

A Word From Our Nutritionist

The main issue with food stored in cans is that they undergo intense processing, making them unfit for consumption. However, this does not play into the canned chicken.

Carb, fat, and calories are on the low side. Vitamins and protein are on the high side. Unfortunately, it does not get much better as canned meat typically contains the opposite.

One prevalent issue is about pink, canned chicken being safe to eat. In actuality, even fully cooked poultry can have a pink hue, which does not indicate undercooked. Pink, canned chicken is safe to eat as long as it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Overall, the main issue remains the sodium content, which is still present in fresh chicken, though mostly when you eat a combination of dark meat, white meat, and chicken skin. When it comes to human health concerns, the benefits outweigh the health risks.


When it comes to canned chicken being safe to eat, the health benefits answer the underlying question. Like fresh chicken and other similar canned meat, grabbing one off the canned foods aisle becomes an easy option.

Canned chicken contains the same nutritional benefits as canned tuna, another healthy and fast choice meal. Albeit canned tuna has omega-3 fatty acids and even less saturated fats, they both offer many health benefits.

You can also substitute canned chicken in recipes that demand cooked chicken breast. As such, when it comes to fast, cheap food items, and your options involving selecting canned meat, the canned chicken should be your go-to pick.

Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Share on
facebook twitter pinterest linkedin


Leave a comment

Thank you for your comment!
We will review it as soon as possible.

FitMom FitMom