Is 2 chicken breasts a day too much?

Quick answer

Eating 2 chicken breasts per day can be healthy as part of a balanced diet. Chicken breast is a lean, protein-rich food. Consuming around 0.8-1g of protein per pound of body weight daily is recommended for optimal health. For some people, 2 chicken breasts per day may provide too much protein. It’s best to consider your own nutritional needs and diet preferences when deciding on an amount of chicken to eat regularly. Moderation is key.

How much protein do you need daily?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day (g/kg/day) for adults. This equates to around 0.36g per pound of body weight.

So for a 150 pound person, the RDA is about 54g of protein per day. For a 200 pound person, it’s around 72g per day.

Many experts recommend consuming 0.8-1g of protein per pound of body weight daily for optimal health and muscle maintenance, especially for active individuals or athletes.

So for a 150 pound person, that would equal 120-150g of protein per day. For a 200 pound person, it would be 160-200g per day.

The amount of protein needed can also depend on your age, gender, activity level, health status, and goals. Older adults may need more protein to help maintain muscle mass.

How much protein is in 2 chicken breasts?

The protein content of chicken breasts can vary somewhat depending on the size.

On average, one 6-7 ounce chicken breast provides around 43g of protein.

So two 6-7 ounce chicken breasts would provide about 86g of protein.

For a 150 pound person, two chicken breasts would provide over half their daily protein needs. For a 200 pound person, it would provide close to half their protein requirements.

Benefits of eating 2 chicken breasts daily

Here are some potential benefits of eating two chicken breasts per day:

– High protein intake. Two breasts provides a large portion of the daily protein requirements for most people. Protein is important for building and repairing muscles, bone health, feeling full, and maintaining energy levels.

– Lean source of protein. Chicken breast is one of the leanest sources of protein, meaning it’s low in saturated fat and calories. Each breast only has around 3 grams of fat.

– Nutrient-rich. Chicken contains a variety of important nutrients like B vitamins, selenium, phosphorus, and zinc. These support bodily functions.

– Versatile ingredient. Chicken breast is easy to cook and works well in everything from salads to sandwiches to rice bowls. This makes it easy to incorporate into meals.

– Low carb. With zero carbs, two chicken breasts can fit into low carb, Keto, or Paleo diets.

– May aid weight loss. The high protein and low calorie content can help reduce appetite and preserve lean muscle mass during weight loss.

Downsides of eating 2 chicken breasts daily

There are also some potential downsides of eating two chicken breasts every day:

– Too much protein is wasted. Consuming more protein than your body can use may simply be excreted without doing much good. Overdoing protein for long periods can put strain on the liver and kidneys.

– Lack of variety. Any food eaten daily and in large portions could crowd out other healthy foods for a balanced diet. Focusing too much on chicken may lead to nutritional deficiencies over time.

– Potentially boring. While a versatile ingredient, chicken prepared the same way daily could get repetitive and boring, making it harder to stick with over time.

– Higher cost. Chicken breast is one of the more expensive protein options per ounce. Two per day could make grocery bills add up compared to plant-based proteins like beans and lentils.

– Sustainability concerns. Relying heavily on animal proteins like chicken has greater environmental impact vs. plant proteins. Moderation can be better for long term sustainability.

– Meat preparation safety. Improperly handling and cooking chicken raises risks of foodborne illness. Take care to store, thaw, and cook it thoroughly.

Who should not eat 2 chicken breasts daily?

Here are some instances where 2 chicken breasts per day may be too much protein:

– People with kidney disease. Excess protein can put strain on kidney function in those with chronic kidney disease or kidney damage. Lower protein intake around 0.6-0.8g/kg/day is typically recommended for this population.

– Pregnant women. While protein needs increase during pregnancy, going overboard could be risky. Sticking closer to the RDA of 0.8g/kg/day is suggested unless your doctor advises otherwise.

– Children. Toddlers and kids have lower protein requirements relative to body size. Too much could overload growing kidneys. Follow recommended intake based on age and size.

– Older adults. Protein needs increase slightly after age 50. But capabilities to process excess protein decrease in many older adults, especially with reduced kidney function. Moderation is wise.

– Anyone getting protein from other sources like supplements or protein shakes. If you already consume isolated protein products, you likely require less from whole food sources.

– Vegans and vegetarians. Since chicken is meat, vegetarians and vegans would need plant-based protein options instead. Tofu, beans, lentils, edamame etc. can provide sufficient protein without chicken.

Tips for getting protein if not eating 2 chicken breasts daily

If 2 chicken breasts per day does not suit your needs or preferences, here are healthy tips for meeting your protein requirements:

– Eat 1 chicken breast (around 40g protein) along with plant proteins like beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, edamame, nuts, or seeds. Combining plant and animal proteins can provide enough protein.

– Substitute with fish like salmon, tuna, or cod 1-2 times per week. Fish provides just as much if not more protein than chicken.

– Swap one chicken breast for lean red meat 1-2 times per week like 96% lean ground beef or sirloin steak for variety.

– Get creative with legumes like chickpeas, beans, or lentils. They can be blended into dips and sauces, added to salads, made into veggie burgers, etc.

– Snack on nuts, seeds, or nut butters between meals. Go for unsalted options and stick to suggested serving sizes.

– Include high protein grains like quinoa or amaranth into meals. Pair with veggies for well-rounded nutrition.

– Ask for a side of tofu, tempeh, or edamame instead of extra meat when dining out.

– Drink unsweetened soy, pea, or nut milk fortified with protein and nutrients.

– If needed, use a plant-based protein powder supplement in smoothies or shakes.

Sample high protein day without 2 chicken breasts

Here is an example of how to meet your protein needs in a day without eating two chicken breasts:

– 1 cup oatmeal made with soy milk (12g protein)
– 1/4 cup nuts (8g protein)
– 1 cup berries

– Sandwich with 1 oz low-fat mozzarella, veggies, mustard on whole grain bread (15g protein)
– Lentil soup (12g protein)
– Green salad with chickpeas (5g protein)

– Stir fry made with:
— 4 oz firm tofu (12g protein)
— 1 cup edamame (17g protein)
— Assorted veggies
— Brown rice

– 1 apple with 2 Tbsp peanut butter (8g protein)
– 1 cup Greek yogurt (15g protein)

Total protein: Around 104g

As you can see, it’s definitely possible to meet your protein needs without relying on chicken as your sole protein source. The key is including a variety of plant and animal-based proteins throughout the day.

How to incorporate 2 chicken breasts into a healthy diet

If you do opt to eat 2 chicken breasts daily, here are some tips for making it part of a nutritious diet:

– Vary cooking methods like baking, grilling, sautéing, or making chicken salad to prevent boredom. Get creative with seasonings and marinades too.

– Include a rainbow of non-starchy vegetables at meals like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, zucchini, carrots, spinach, etc. They provide fiber, vitamins, minerals.

– Consider whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, or 100% whole wheat bread for energizing carbs and fiber.

– Limit intake of added sugars, fats, and sodium by avoiding fried chicken, fatty sauces, and preparing food at home.

– Stay hydrated by drinking water as your primary beverage. Herbal tea and coffee in moderation are ok too.

– Round out meals with healthy fats from olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish like salmon a couple times a week.

– Use the extra protein to support an active lifestyle with strength training, cardio, and regular exercise.

– Get a physical exam periodically to make sure your cholesterol, blood pressure, kidney function etc. stay in healthy ranges.

Sample high protein menu with 2 chicken breasts

This 1-day menu provides 2 chicken breasts along with plenty of plants and nutrients:

– Veggie omelet with spinach, peppers, mushrooms (1 whole egg + 2 whites)
– 1 chicken breast, pan-fried
– 1 cup berries
– 1 slice 100% whole wheat toast

– Chicken salad made with 1 chicken breast, celery, onion, mustard, plain Greek yogurt
– Mixed salad greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots
– 1 cup lentil soup
– 1 small whole wheat roll

– Lemon garlic baked chicken breast
– 1 cup roasted broccoli
– 1/2 cup quinoa
– Salad with vinaigrette

– 1 apple with 1 Tbsp peanut butter
– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon


Eating 2 chicken breasts per day can be incorporated into a healthy diet for many people trying to increase protein intake. However, it may provide more protein than needed or be unsustainable long term for some individuals.

Focus on listening to your body, eating a balanced variety of protein sources, and practicing moderation without overdoing any single food. Adjust your intake based on your health status, activity level, dietary preferences, and weight goals.

Pair chicken with ample vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and stay active. Get regular checkups to ensure your diet is keeping you in great shape. Vary your protein choices to get a spectrum of nutrients.

Overall, 2 chicken breasts per day is a reasonable dietary choice for many people but be flexible based on your needs. Moderation and balance is key to long term health.

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