When it comes to exploring different dishes and picking out the perfect daily meal for your diet, there is a high chance that chicken shawarma will come up. It is known that chicken shawarma is a very delicious dish; however, not many people know about this meal’s nutritional facts and properties. So, is chicken shawarma actually healthy, and are there any benefits of eating it in the first place?
Chicken shawarma is not the healthiest choice because of different sauces and pita bread. Also, the chicken strips contain a lot of fat since they are marinated in oils. However, it is a quick meal that can be adjusted to a healthier level. For example, use Greek Yogurt as a sauce and salad instead of pita bread.
If you have recently tried or come across the chicken shawarma dish, you would definitely want to learn more about its ingredients and benefits. In this article, I have provided everything you need to know about this delicious dish, from the nutritional facts to different combinations that can be made with similar ingredients. So, join me in learning how to consume this meal properly!
What Makes Chicken Shawarma Good for You?
Although chicken shawarma is not the ideal healthy meal, it can be good for a few things. Firstly, it is important to bear in mind that we are talking about a quite quick dish here, and if we consider our busy daily lives, this would be the perfect lunch option for that kind of lifestyle. It is something that you can easily take on the go, meaning your appetite would be satisfied and your energy regained.
Secondly, chicken shawarma is a dish that can be easily adjusted for healthier matters. This means that you can make different combinations that suit your needs and remain loyal to your healthy diet plan. In other words, the recipe for chicken shawarma allows alterations, so it would be healthier for people who are trying to maintain a good shape and healthy eating habits.
In addition, it is a dish that contains many ingredients that can be good for losing weight, such as proteins and vegetables. Just adjust the recipe according to the requirements of your diet. Therefore, besides the delicious taste, you can also gain some other benefits that can be good for your well-being and appropriate for your lifestyle.
Chicken Shawarma Nutrition
Chicken shawarma is considered the most popular street food in the Mediterranean, while it is the traditional food in the Middle Eastern countries. It is no secret that this dish is quite delicious, however, it can be quite high in the number of calories.
Many people are not sure whether they are supposed to eat it frequently or avoid it altogether. If you are one of those people who are constantly wondering, it would be a great idea to look at the nutritional facts of a regular chicken shawarma dish.
If we look at an ordinary chicken shawarma wrap, we can notice some of the regular and most common ingredients inside of it. Therefore, if you tend to buy your chicken shawarma in a local street food restaurant, expect to find chicken breast, onions, pita bread, cucumber, yogurt, tahini, garlic, and additional sauces that are added by choice. Considering these ingredients, we can build up an image of how healthy this dish, in fact, is.
The main problems are oils and fat that are used to marinate and bake the chicken breast and pita bread. Another problem is sauces that often include various preservatives or mayonnaise, etc. Having that in mind, making chicken shawarma at home would be a better option since you would have control over the ingredients and the whole process of making shawarma.
Therefore, there are sodium, magnesium, vitamin C, iron, potassium, fiber, and protein among the nutritional values.  Among the ones that might be harmful and not so much preferred are carbs, fat, and cholesterol. However, these nutritional values might vary depending on the ingredients that are included in the particular chicken shawarma wrap, meaning you cannot always determine the accurate values.
Calories in Chicken Shawarma
A rough estimation of the number of calories in a 6-oz chicken shawarma wrap is around 300.  But, since the nutritional values depend on the ingredients included in the chicken shawarma and its size, the same refers to calories as well. If you want to determine the actual number of calories, you will need to calculate the calories of each ingredient separately.
Does It Mean that Chicken Shawarma Is Good for Weight Loss?
Chicken shawarma is not the healthiest dish you can pick out for yourself. However, it could be good for weight loss if you adapt this dish. In this case, it can work quite well in your favor.
For instance, if you opt for chicken breasts instead of the darker leg meat, then it could totally work in your favor. Furthermore, you can cook your chicken shawarma under the grill, so you would avoid additional fat after the marination. In addition, you can get rid of the pita bread and combine your dish with a light salad and complex carbs. That way, your chicken shawarma would definitely be adapted for weight loss purposes.
Since chicken shawarma is a quick dish, it can be great for cutting down the carbs because it can satisfy your appetite quite fast. It can also be a great snack if you avoid the bread altogether and add only a light cucumber dressing or Greek yogurt. The meat inside of the wrap, especially if you opt for chicken breast, will satisfy your craving and leave you energized and full for a significant amount of time.
As mentioned above, the whole dish can be a good source of vitamins and minerals, so you would not lose weight in an unhealthy manner. In other words, you will be able to rely on this kind of dish several times a week, and it would be especially convenient for those who do not have a lot of time to prepare their food.
As you can see, chicken shawarma, generally, is not the healthiest dish among the numberless options of healthy food we have. However, it is quite convenient since it allows variations and can be adjusted to healthy levels if required by the person who is eating it.
So, Is Chicken Shawarma Considered Junk Food?
Since it is the traditional food of Middle Eastern countries, it would be not fair to consider chicken shawarma as junk food.
However, chicken shawarma wrap is sold as street food worldwide, and considering that you can eat it on the go, it might be not so shocking to refer to it as junk food. In addition, if we look into the variation of ingredients, the results will definitely give you a clear notion of chicken shawarma as a type of fast food.
However, that does not always need to be that way since you can choose ingredients that will be healthy enough to make this dish excluded from the group of junk food. This means that if you make your own chicken shawarma, you might probably avoid the notion of eating fast food. On the other hand, if you buy your chicken shawarma wrap from a street restaurant, then you should probably not expect some healthy nutritional values.