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When you are out and about around lunchtime you will likely pass by many fast-food restaurants and might swing in to get a meal (or snack to tide you over). You look over to see your favorite restaurant, Chick-Fil-A.
Chick-Fil-A is an incredibly popular fast food chain that serves up an amazing fried chicken sandwich, waffle fries, salads, sides, and much more.
And the original Chick-Fil-A Sandwich is something everyone has to try at least once!
However the problem with these fried options (and eating out in general) is when it comes to our waistline. They simply aren’t that good for our bodies!
And unfortunately, eating healthy foods and fast food restaurants rarely mix. But wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to find some fast food that is actually pretty healthy?
Well when you head into a Chick-Fil-A you will see grilled chicken sandwiches and grilled chicken nuggets on the menu (and their grilled nuggets aren’t that expensive either). When you look up the calories of these options you will find that they are not on the list of the highest calorie menu items.
But does that actually mean that a grilled chicken sandwich or grilled nuggets are healthy or good for you? Can grilled nuggets from Chick-Fil-A make a balanced and healthy meal?
Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets could certainly be considered healthy based on their protein and how low in calories that they are. This is especially true when you compare them to the battered and fried options from Chick-Fil-A and other fast food restaurants.
Going for the grilled option when it comes to Chick-Fil-A’s nuggets is a great choice… but that doesn’t mean your decision making is done there. You also have to make sure that you choose a healthy option for a side or for your dipping sauces.
When you pair these grilled nuggets with waffle fries, creamy dipping sauces, ice cream, a lemonade, or a greek yogurt parfait your meal becomes far less healthy. To keep your meal healthy, the healthiest option would be to pair these grilled nuggets with a fruit cup or a side salad (with light italian dressing, fat-free honey mustard dressing, or no dressing).
And grilled nuggets with any of these healthier sides makes for a really tasty meal too!
This is why picking healthier options is crucial when you are trying to stay on your daily diet or nutrition plan. Because I promise you, choosing a fried option will completely ruin your diet for the day!
However the Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets are pretty high in sodium. So if you are trying to stay within the expert recommended 2,300mg or less of sodium per day you will need to be careful with what else you eat with these grilled nuggets.
If all you eat at Chick-Fil-A is their grilled nuggets then you won’t have to worry too much about the sodium. However even if you just pair it with a Chick-Fil-A side salad (which has 690 mg of sodium) you will be at over 50% of the recommended daily sodium intake!
And that’s when paired with a side salad! Remember just because you are eating a Cobb salad doesn’t mean that it is always healthy.
Surprisingly if you pair your Chick-Fil-A Grilled nuggets with a medium waffle fry it will give you fewer calories and less sodium than if you pair those nuggets with a side salad. (of course that doesn’t take into account any Chick-Fil-A dipping sauce though).
A 8-count entrée of Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets has:
- 200 calories
- 4.5 g of fat
- 2 g of carbs
- 38 g of protein
With experts recommending people trying to get between 1,600 and 3,000 calories a day (depending on your goals and body type) Chick-fil-A grilled nuggets coming in at only 200 calories puts them firmly in the running as one of the lowest-calorie options at any fast food restaurant.
Whether you are getting grilled nuggets, a grilled chicken sandwich, or a Market salad you do have to be careful what you put onto it though as often the salad dressing or dips can have as many calories or fat as what you are actually eating. I will show you what I mean in just a minute.
Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets Nutrition Facts
In each of the nutritional tables below I will give the amount of and daily value for:
- Grams of fat
- Grams of saturated fat
- Milligrams of cholesterol
- Milligrams of sodium
- Grams of carbs
- Grams of fiber
- Grams of sugar
- Grams of protein
This should allow you to easily determine if the grilled chicken nuggets fit into your daily diet or not.
A large order (12 piece grilled chicken nuggets) has the following nutritional information:
The Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets are an incredibly low calorie option especially when you compare them to the traditional Chick-Fil-A nuggets. Battered Chick-Fil-A nuggets have 380 calories for a 12 piece so choosing to go with grilled nuggets instead will save you almost half of the calories.
Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets really shine when you compare the fat they contain vs their traditional nuggets. Chick-Fil-A’s traditional nuggets contain 17 g of fat whereas the grill nuggets only have 4.5g. That means that the normal Chick-Fil-A nuggets have 3x more fat in them than the grilled nuggets do.
One major area where Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets aren’t quite so good for you is when it comes to cholesterol. The daily cholesterol recommendation is 300 mg according to experts and a 12 piece grilled chicken nugget entree has 43% of that!
And that is without any dipping sauces either. Each dipping sauce will typically have 5-10 mg of cholesterol so that can easily put you over half of your recommended daily amount if you aren’t careful.
In every nutritional value Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets are far healthier than their traditional nuggets are. So if you are trying to be health conscious while eating out then the grilled nuggets or grilled chicken sandwich are much healthier choices.
One thing that you have to know is that you can easily take these mostly healthy nuggets from decently healthy to horrible for you… all by dipping them in your favorite sauce!
One small container of Chick-Fil-A’s famous dipping sauce has:
Yes, you read that right, a single tiny Chick-Fil-A sauce container has almost as many calories as their 12 grilled nuggets do! Now I don’t know about you but I love that Chick-Fil-A sauce and I will typically use at least 2 or 3 of them with my nuggets (whether grilled or deep fried).
If you only use 3 Chick-Fil-A sauce containers with your 12 piece grilled nuggets you will consume
- 620 calories
- 43.5g of fat (between 75-100% of the recommended daily intake for most people)
- 7g of saturated fat
- 160mg of cholesterol
- 1,170mg of sodium (almost 50% of your recommended daily intake)
- 23g of carbohydrates
- 19g of sugar
So if you aren’t careful with your sauces you can easily take those delicious Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets from pretty healthy to absolutely horrible for your diet!
How Are Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Made?
Chick-Fil-A took over 7 years and 50 million dollars to perfect their grilled chicken nugget recipe, and it shows. Most places sell very few of their grilled sandwiches or boneless chicken bites because they simply don’t taste very good.
However, Chick-Fil-A’s grilled sandwiches and grilled nuggets are delicious on their own even without the high calorie and high fat dipping sauces.
Chick-Fil-A’s grilled chicken nuggets are made with real fresh boneless skinless chicken breast that are marinated in sea salt, garlic, herbs, and lemon. The real fresh chicken breasts that are used helps explain the great taste that Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets have
These grilled chicken nuggets are actually cooked on a real grill just like the one you might have on your back deck. The grills in the Chick-Fil-A restaurant are designed to cook the nuggets far faster however which means you get your order much faster as well.
What Makes Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets Healthy Or Not?
When trying to determine if Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets are healthy or not it is important to look at the calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium.
Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Calories
In a 12 piece grilled boneless chicken bites entree from Chick-Fil-A there are 200 calories. In comparison Popeyes Blackened Chicken Tenders have 170 calories in a 3 piece while Buffalo Wild Wings Naked Chicken Tenders have 160 calories for a 3 piece.
All three of these entrees are comparable in the amount of chicken that you get vs the calories in the dish so when it comes to calories Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets are on par with what you can get from other fast food style chains with their grilled chicken (although BWW is far more of a sit down restaurant than both Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A).
Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Fat
In a 12 piece grilled nugget entree from Chick-Fil-A there is 4.5 g of fat. Popeyes Blackened Chicken Tenders have 2 g of fat in their 3 piece entree while Buffalo Wild Wings Naked Chicken Tenders have 1 g of fat.
Looking at this comparison it is easy to see that Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets are slightly higher in fat than the grilled chicken tenders from Popeyes and Buffalo WIld Wings. Again, all three of these options will give you approximately the same amount of chicken in each.
Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Saturated Fat
The next nutritional value of the Chick-Fil-A grilled nuggets that I will go into is the saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends only eating 13g of saturated fat per day if you are on a 2,000 calorie diet.
A 12 piece Chick-Fil-A grilled nugget entree has 1g of saturated fat. Popeyes Blackened Chicken Tenders have 0g of saturated fat while Buffalo Wild Wings Naked Chicken Tenders have 0g of saturated fat as well.
So when it comes to saturated fat Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets have more than their competitors chicken does.
Chick-Fil-A Grilled Nuggets Sodium
It is recommended that you don’t get more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. But how much sodium does Chick-Fil-A’s grilled nuggets have in comparison to other similar products?
A 12 piece Chick-Fil-A grilled nugget entree has 660 mg of sodium in it. A 3 piece Popeyes Blackened Chicken Tender entree has 550 mg of sodium and the 3 piece Naked Chicken Tenders from Buffalo Wild Wings has 1,140 mg of sodium.
When it comes to sodium, Chick-Fil-A’s grilled chicken nuggets compare favorably to Popeyes entree while the grilled chicken from BWW has far too much sodium in it (almost 50% of the recommended daily intake). So if you are concerned about your sodium intake you should be fine with Chick-Fil-A or Popeyes but should avoid Buffalo Wild Wings Naked Chicken Tenders.
Are Chick-Fil-A’s Grilled Nuggets Healthier Than Other Fast Food Chains?
Grilled Chicken Nuggets
Blackened Chicken Tenders
|Buffalo Wild Wings
Naked Chicken Tenders
Breaded Chicken Nuggets
Breaded Chicken Nuggets
Chick-Fil-A’s grilled chicken nuggets are far healthier than any breaded alternative from Chick-Fil-A, Mcdonalds, Burger King, or any other fast food restaurant. However, when compared with other grilled options like those from Popeyes and Buffalo Wild Wings they are not healthier than those two options are.
If you are looking for the healthiest grilled chicken nuggets/tenders that are currently available from a fast food restaurant then you will want to head to Popeyes as their Blackened Chicken Tenders are healthier than the grilled chicken nuggets are from Chick-Fil-A.
Just because something comes from Chick-Fil-A doesn’t automatically mean that it is always a great option when it comes to being healthy. If trying to be health conscious you have to take the time to look at the nutritional information whether you are getting grilled nuggets or a Spicy Southwest Salad from Chick-FIl-A.
What Fast Food Restaurants Have Grilled Chicken Nuggets/Tenders?
If you want to see what options you have available for grilled chicken when you are headed out to a fast food restaurant then you are in the right spot.
As of right now the only fast food restaurant that serves grilled chicken nuggets is Chick-Fil-A. Both Popeyes and Buffalo Wild Wings have grilled chicken tenders available on their menu.
Popeyes grilled chicken tenders are called “Blackened Chicken Tenders” and BWW grilled chicken tenders are called “Naked Chicken Tenders”.
Beyond those three restaurants there are currently no other national fast food chains that offer grilled chicken nuggets or grilled chicken tenders. All other fast food restaurants only offer breaded options.
Chick-fil-A Grilled Nuggets Macros
Trying to live a healthier life? Are you counting your macronutrients instead of calories? Then this section is for you.
In the sections below I will give the macronutrients for all of the different sizes of Chick-fil-As grilled nuggets.
Chick-fil-A 5 ct. Grilled Nuggets Macros
The macronutrients for a 5 piece entree of grilled chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A are:
- 2 g of fat
- 1 g of carbohydrates
- 16 g of protein
Chick-fil-A 8 ct. Grilled Nuggets Macros
The macronutrients for an 8 piece entree of grilled chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A are:
- 3 g of fat
- 1 g of carbohydrates
- 25 g of protein
Chick-fil-A 12 ct. Grilled Nuggets Macros
The macronutrients for a 12 piece entree of grilled chicken nuggets from Chick-fil-A are:
- 4.5 g of fat
- 2 g of carbohydrates
- 38 g of protein