Chicken Nuggets: Are They Healthy?

by in Is It Healthy?, October 7, 2012

chicken nuggets
This kid-friendly and wildly popular food is often DEMANDED by kids.  Should you give into to your kiddos’ requests for these bite-sized poultry pieces?

YES?
At a first glance, breaded and fried chicken isn’t the best nor is it the worst food your kid could be eating. The chicken provides some B-vitamins and protein and served with a side salad or veggies and a whole grain, it can be part of a healthy eating plan.

Much of the nutritional value in nuggets depends on who’s making them. Store-bought and fast-food varieties aren’t without their issues (see below). You can always opt to make your own breaded and baked nuggets. This helps decrease the unpronounceable ingredient list, preservatives, sodium and fat.

NO?
The following is the basic nutritional info for 6-piece chicken nuggets from a popular fast food joint:

  • Calories: 280
  • Total Fat: 18 grams (27% of the daily recommended dose for an adult)
  • Saturated Fat: 3 grams
  • Sodium: 540 milligrams (23% of the daily recommended dose for an adult)

Although the calories and even fat seem to be reasonable, you’re not getting much bang for your buck — looking at the nutritional value, this means that for the 280 calories you’re not getting many nutrients in return. These nuggets are lacking significant amounts of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and healthy fats.

In addition, in 2003 a popular fast food establishment promoted their chicken nuggets as now using “all white meat.” That makes us all wonder . . . what were they using before to make their nuggets?

Furthermore, it’s the ingredient list that raises a red flag. Besides reading like a short novel, two ingredients in some varieties of chicken nuggets are the preservatives tBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone) and dimethylpolysiloxane. The former is a petroleum-based product that helps prevent rancidity while the latter is an “anti-foaming agent” which is also used in silly putty. Both products are thought to pose no health risk, but who wants to eat food with ingredients that you can’t pronounce?

The Verdict: Most varieties of processed chicken nuggets should be eaten sparingly. Besides offering little nutritional value, there contain an overwhelmingly high amount of preservatives. If chicken nuggets are a favorite in your house, opt to make your own – baked, fried or even broiled – at least you’ll have full control over the ingredients you’re serving.

Recipes to Try:

Ellie’s Crispy Chicken Fingers
Chicken Fingers With Curried Ketchup, from Food Network Magazine
Chicken Fingers, Two Ways

TELL US: What’s your take on chicken nuggets?

More posts from .

Similar Posts

Cheese: Is It Healthy?

Does this dairy delight have a place in your healthy eating plan? Although cheese has gotten bad press for being high in artery-clogging fat, choosing...

Comments (223)

  1. Baju Bayi says:

    Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Chicken Nuggets: Are They Healthy? | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog .

  2. I wish people would write more about this as you have done. This is something that is very important and has been largely overlooked by the internet community

  3. pakaian bayi says:

    Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Chicken Nuggets: Are They Healthy? | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog .

  4. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is wonderful, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Chicken Nuggets: Are They Healthy? | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog .

  5. snabblan says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.

  6. I am glad to be a visitor of this perfect site ! , thankyou for this rare info ! .

  7. buat kaso says:

    I’m sure that is definitely extremely very important details personally. And i am happy learning ones article. Nonetheless choose to remark with some typical concerns, Your website taste is good, the actual content is at reason for actuality fantastic : D. Excellent course of action, all the best

  8. kvCtUyPs says:

    kvCtUyPs…

    Chicken Nuggets: Are They Healthy? | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog…

  9. akb48 dvd says:

    I went over this internet site and I believe you have a lot of great information, saved to bookmarks (:.

  10. cyhARTOq says:

    cyhARTOq…

    –…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>