Chicken nuggets: good idea failed? (2024)

If white meat is a healthier choice than red meat, many consumers wonder, "Does that include chicken nuggets?" Are they really a better fast food choice than burgers?

A serving of five to six chicken nuggets is in many ways comparable to a small hamburger. They are about equal in protein and cholesterol-raising fats (saturated plus trans fat), although nuggets contain about 20 to 50 calories fewer. The amount of sodium in chicken nuggets varies widely. Some contain less than a fast food hamburger packed with spices, while others are just as high.

However, if you use a dipping sauce for your nuggets, any sodium benefit is lost. They are the same with any sauce other than regular honey.

If you compare five or six chicken nuggets to an equal portion of hamburger, such as a "single" or quarter pound burger, the fat and protein issues change. Compared to the burger, chicken nuggets provide about half the calories and not much more than half the cholesterol-raising fat. Chicken nuggets contain less protein than the burger, because a large part of their weight is not chicken, but breadcrumbs.

One reason to choose chicken nuggets over a burger is to limit red meat. Regardless of the fat or sodium content, experts recommend limiting red meat to no more than three ounces total per day to reduce the risk of colon cancer and perhaps some other cancers as well.

However, chicken nuggets differ nutritionally from regular fried or stir-fried chicken.

Chicken nuggets can contain not only the chicken meat itself, but also the skin with various flours, starches and oils. That makes the nuggets contain more calories and about half the protein compared to an equal portion of regular, cooked, skinless chicken. The biggest differences are in sodium and saturated plus trans fat, which is 50 percent higher in nuggets than in regular chicken thighs, and more than four times higher than in regular breast.

A better nuggets
When dining out, a grilled chicken sandwich is a healthier option. The saturated plus trans fat will be about half of the chicken nuggets. Because of the bun, calories and sodium are not lower. However, a grilled chicken sandwich without added sauce does not contain much more sodium than nuggets plus a portion of fries.

Don't assume that frying frozen chicken nuggets at home is a healthy choice.

Much of the fat and sodium is in the meat mixture and coating and is not the result of frying. However, cookbooks and Internet websites offer ways to make healthier chicken nuggets by frying plain chicken pieces coated with seasoned cornflake crumbs. The calories may be about the same as commercial chicken nuggets, but this version contains more protein, less total and cholesterol-raising fat, and less sodium if you don't use salt in the coating.

Another alternative is soy-based nuggets, which look and taste like chicken nuggets. Here, the calories and fat are lower than in commercial chicken nuggets, but the protein and sodium are about the same.

The full answer about chicken nuggets cannot be found by simply comparing them to these different alternatives.

The nutritional impact depends on how the overall meal is composed. If the chicken nuggets are served with fries and soda or packaged macaroni and cheese, concerns about the calorie, unhealthy fat and sodium content of the chicken nuggets are heightened.

On the other hand, the overall nutritional picture is not as bad as a small portion of chicken nuggets, e.g. accompanied by a salad, oven-roasted vegetables, fresh fruit, a baked potato or a whole wheat bun. .

Nutritional notes are provided byi Washington, D.C. © 2006 MSNBC Interactive

As an expert and enthusiast, I have access to a vast amount of information on various topics, including nutrition and food choices. I can provide you with information related to the concepts mentioned in the article you provided. Let's dive into it!

White Meat vs. Red Meat:

The article mentions that many consumers wonder if white meat, such as chicken, is a healthier choice than red meat. White meat generally refers to poultry, such as chicken and turkey, while red meat includes beef, pork, and lamb. The nutritional differences between white and red meat are primarily related to their fat content.

White Meat (Chicken Nuggets):

  • Chicken nuggets are often considered a form of white meat.
  • In terms of protein and cholesterol-raising fats (saturated plus trans fats), a portion of five or six chicken nuggets is comparable to a small hamburger.
  • Chicken nuggets contain about 20 to 50 fewer calories than a small hamburger.
  • The amount of sodium in chicken nuggets can vary widely, with some containing less sodium than a fast-food hamburger loaded with condiments.

Red Meat (Burger):

  • Red meat, such as beef, is generally higher in saturated fat compared to white meat.
  • The article suggests that one reason for choosing chicken nuggets over a burger is to limit red meat consumption.
  • Experts recommend limiting red meat intake to no more than three ounces per day to reduce the risk of colon cancer and other cancers.

Nutritional Differences:

The article also highlights the nutritional differences between chicken nuggets and other forms of chicken, such as plain baked or stir-fried chicken.

Chicken Nuggets vs. Plain Cooked Chicken:

  • Chicken nuggets can include not just the chicken meat itself but also the skin, various types of flour, starches, and oils.
  • Chicken nuggets are higher in calories and about half the protein compared to an equal portion of plain cooked skinless chicken.
  • Chicken nuggets have higher sodium and saturated plus trans fat content compared to plain chicken thighs and breasts.

Healthier Options:

  • The article suggests that a healthier option when eating out is a grilled chicken sandwich, which typically has lower saturated plus trans fat content compared to chicken nuggets.
  • However, the overall nutrition picture depends on how the overall meal is put together. Pairing a small portion of chicken nuggets with healthier sides like salad, oven-roasted vegetables, fresh fruit, a baked potato, or a whole-grain roll can improve the overall nutritional value of the meal .

Homemade Chicken Nuggets:

The article also mentions that baking frozen chicken nuggets at home may not necessarily make them a healthy choice. The fat and sodium content in chicken nuggets can be present in the meat mixture and coating, regardless of whether they are deep-fried or baked.

Healthier Homemade Options:

  • Cookbooks and internet websites offer ways to make more healthful chicken "nuggets" by baking plain chunks of chicken coated with seasoned corn flake crumbs.
  • These homemade versions may have similar calorie content to commercial chicken nuggets but can contain more protein, less total fat, cholesterol-raising fat, and less sodium if salt is not included in the coating.

Soy-Based Nuggets:

The article briefly mentions soy-based nuggets as an alternative to traditional chicken nuggets. These soy-based nuggets are designed to look and taste like chicken nuggets.

Soy-Based Nuggets:

  • Soy-based nuggets generally have lower calories and fat content compared to commercial chicken nuggets.
  • However, the protein and sodium content in soy-based nuggets are similar to commercial chicken nuggets.

In summary, the article discusses the nutritional aspects of chicken nuggets compared to other food choices, such as burgers and plain cooked chicken. It emphasizes the importance of considering the overall meal composition and suggests healthier options like grilled chicken sandwiches and homemade baked chicken nuggets. It's important to note that individual dietary needs and preferences may vary, and it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice.

Chicken nuggets: good idea failed? (2024)


What is the answer to the chicken nugget math problem? ›

The answer is 43. Solution For any desired number if it is divisible by 3 it can easily be made with 6 and 9 packs, except if the number is 3 itself. If you can't use all six packs then use one 9 pack and you can do the rest with six packs. If the number is not divisible by 3 then use one 20 pack.

What is the chicken nugget theory? ›

The Chicken McNugget theorem, also known as the Frobenius coin problem , states that for any two relatively prime integers m and n, the largest integer that cannot be expressed in the form am + bn for non-negative integers a and b is mn − m − n.

Who sued McDonald's over chicken nuggets? ›

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Broward County jury awarded a family $800,000 in damages on Wednesday regarding the alleged hot chicken McNuggets that left a 4-year-old girl with severe burns, according to NBC affiliate WTVJ.

What is the answer to McDonalds math? ›

Multiplication comes before addition, so you have to multiply one packet of fries by one drink and then add that to one burger. Thus, 5 + (1x10) = 15. It's enough brain-teasing math to work up an appetite.

What is the chicken math saying? ›

Chicken math is the curious and incomprehensible process by which a flock of 5 backyard chickens grows to become 35 in three years. Chicken math stretches the meaning of "A few" to it's very limits. This is a just a few chicks, honey. Chicken math can also be applied to chicken coops and incubators.

What happened to chicken nugget girl? ›

Florida girl severely burned by McDonald's Chicken McNugget awarded $800,000 in damages. A South Florida jury awarded $800,000 in damages to a little girl who was severely burned when a hot Chicken McNugget fell on her leg as her mother pulled away from the drive-thru of a McDonald's restaurant.

Who is the 11 year old who only eats chicken nuggets? ›

Jessica Thompson, 11, from Swindon, Wiltshire, spent her life eating just chicken nuggets after refusing to try new foods at 18 months old.

What are the 4 chicken nugget shapes? ›

According to McDonald's, the nuggets come in four shapes: the bell, the bow-tie, the ball and the boot. The reason for the four different shapes is to ensure consistent cooking times for food safety.

Did McDonald's get sued for $800 million? ›

In May, a jury found that McDonald's and the franchise owners were at fault for the incident. And this week, a jury was tasked with deciding how much they think the family should receive in damages. Of the $15 million the family asked for, they were granted $800,000 by the jury.

Are McNuggets made by Tyson? ›

Tyson does make McDonalds McNuggets. Tyson makes a huge variety of different chicken nuggets with different breading and different meat formulas. The nuggets you buy at retail or in a club store are very different as to both breading and meat formulas compared to McNuggets.

What is the 800 000 McDonald's lawsuit? ›

The Broward County jury awarded the family $800,000 in damages on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, according to CNN. The jury found that the fast food chain and franchise owner did not give warning or guidance on how to avoid injury by the hot McNuggets that they ordered from a drive-thru in Tamarac, Fl.

What is McDonalds secret menu item? ›

Bababooey Burger

This fun combination throws in everything but the kitchen sink and remains one of the most popular secret menu items at McDonald's. To create this burger, order a McDouble and a McChicken. Remove the chicken patty from the bun and place between the two burger patties.

How much is a 50 piece McNugget? ›

They don't outright sell a 50-piece McNugget box, so you would have to order a box of 40-piece Chicken McNuggets for $8.99, and then a 10 piece box of McNuggets for $4.49. All in all, in 2022, 50 Chicken Nuggets at McDonalds costs $13.48 in the United States.

Are spicy McNuggets real? ›

Breaded in a crispy coating, flavorfully spiced with a blend of aged cayenne and chili pepper, they're sure to get your attention. *At participating McDonald's for a limited time.

What is the McDonalds nugget math? ›

However, fun math fact—there is a number above which all order numbers are possible. With packs of 9 and 20, that number turns out to be 151. You can't order 151 McNuggets in combinations of 9 and 20, but you can order every number above that.

What are the numbers for McNuggets? ›

McDonald's sells chicken McNuggets in boxes of 6, 9, and 20. As a result, it is possible to purchase certain numbers of nuggets, and impossible to purchase other numbers.

Is there an answer to the chicken or the egg question? ›

BENTON: Yeah, well, the quick answer is the egg, because the chicken is just one of many birds. And of course, all birds, as we well know, lay an egg with a hard shell. So if you're familiar with your breakfast egg, that's pretty much the same for all birds.

What solved the chicken or the egg? ›

Chicken might be the winner

In terms of evolution, the chicken's distant dinosaur predecessors were laying eggs millions of years before the first chicks appeared. It was believed that this would finally put an end to the age-old debate over which came first, the egg or the chicken.

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