Diet & Food

Are The Nuggets At Chick-Fil-A Totally Unhealthy?

Chick-fil-A restaurant exterior

Ever stop for gas on a road trip and feel so hungry you’re seriously considering eating those goodness-knows-how-old-they-are mints in your cupholder? And tbh, they might seem more appealing than choosing between a sad vending machine sandwich or something greasy from the likes of a fast-food place.

But! It is possible to hit the drive-through without totally derailing healthy-eating plans. “I tell people that when it comes to fast food, you might not find the best choice, but you can pick the better choice,” says Amber Pankonin, R.D.

Enter Chick-fil-A, which actually has several R.D.-approved options that’ll tide you over until your next rest stop.

Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

“Chick-fil-A is actually my go-to when we’re traveling. If you have time to sit down, try the Market Salad with Zesty Apple Cider Vinaigrette. You’ll get 27 grams of filling protein, a serving of vegetables, and even some fruit.” —Jessica Ivey, R.D.N.

Per salad: 330 cal, 15 g fat (3.5 g sat), 25 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 690 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 27 g protein.

Per dressing packet: 230 cal, 19 g fat (3 g sat), 16 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 460 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.

Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

“If you need to be able to eat and drive, go for the grilled chicken sandwich with a fruit cup for the side. The sandwich comes on a whole-grain bun, and choosing fruit will add vitamins, minerals and fiber to your selection.” —Jessica Ivey, R.D.N.

Per sandwich: 310 cal, 6 g fat (2 g sat), 36 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 820 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 29 g protein.

Per fruit cup: 50 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 12 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 0 g protein.

Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

“If you’re craving the fried chicken, choose a smaller portion size by ordering the kid’s nugget meal with fruit. Add a side salad with vinaigrette dressing to fill up on nutrient-rich vegetables.” —Jessica Ivey, R.D.N.

Per 4-piece nugget kids meal (including fruit and apple juice): 270 cal, 9 g fat (2 g sat), 26 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 750 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 21 g protein.

Per side salad: 160 cal, 11 g fat (3.5 g sat), 12 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 180 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein.

Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

“At breakfast, I love the egg white grill. Biscuits are high in saturated fat, but this sandwich served on a multigrain English muffin packs 25 grams of filling protein with just 300 calories and only 3 grams of saturated fat.” —Jessica Ivey, R.D.N.

Per sandwich: 300 cal, 7 g fat (3 g sat), 31 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 970 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 25 g protein.

Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

“Having a small serving of waffle fries can bring joyful satisfaction, which can help prevent increased cravings or binges down the line. Pair it with grilled chicken instead of fried—this way you can enjoy a small side of waffle fries instead of opting for two fried items.” —Alanna Waldron, R.D.

Per serving: 280 cal, 14 g fat (1.5 g sat), 33 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 220 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

“If I’m in a rush, I would definitely order the grilled nuggets with honey mustard due to their convenient size and nutrition. When choosing a sauce, I typically choose the honey mustard because it’s only 45 calories and 150 mg of sodium per packet. Add a fruit cup, and you have a pretty nutritious lunch.” Amber Pankonin, R.D.

Per 8 grilled nuggets: 140 cal, 3.5 g fat (1 g sat), 2 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 440 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 25 g protein.

Per dipping sauce packet: 45 cal, 0 g fat (0 g sat), 11 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 150 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.

Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

“It contains fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats from the nuts. Antioxidants are important during travel to help protect the immune system and keep it healthy, staving off potential colds and other harmful bacteria.” —Alanna Waldron, R.D.

Per bowl: 150 cal, 8 g fat (1 g sat), 17 g carbs, 11 g sugar, 170 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein.

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