As you probably know, not all fats are created equal. Chicken skin contains mostly unsaturated fats, according to University Hospitals. It’s particularly high in monounsaturated fatty acids, such as those found in olive oil. These dietary fats may help improve blood lipids and heart health, notes Harvard Medical School. Omega-3s, omega-6s, and other polyunsaturated fatty acids are just as beneficial.
The crispy skin of a well-cooked chicken also supplies small amounts of saturated fat. Harvard Medical School explains that saturated fat may not be as harmful as it was once thought. While some studies suggest that it may increase heart disease risk, more recent research shows that there’s not enough evidence in this regard. One meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition points out that saturated fat intake doesn’t increase the risk of heart or stroke.
Also, note that chicken skin isn’t significantly higher in cholesterol than most types of meat. As mentioned earlier, it has only 3.5 grams of cholesterol per serving (3.5 ounces). Dietary cholesterol doesn’t affect blood cholesterol levels in healthy people. “Your genetic makeup — not diet — is the driving force behind cholesterol levels,” cardiologist Steven Nissen told the Cleveland Clinic.