Is Chick-fil-A healthy? Chicken, sandwiches, soups and more (2024)

While processed fast food may not be the best for your health, Chick-fil-A offers healthier options for a variety of dietary needs, such as low calorie, low carb, low salt, keto and vegetarian.

If you're trying to eat healthier, you may wonder if you can still eat at fast food restaurants.

Fast food – food that is generally highly processed – doesn't exactly have a reputation for being healthy. But many fast food restaurants have made great strides in adding more nutritious choices to the menu.

Chick-fil-A is one such example. It's a popular fast-food restaurant known for its fried chicken sandwiches and waffle fries, but the brand's menu is also surprisingly full of fresher options.

This is how you make healthier choices at Chick-fil-A.

Is Chick-fil-A healthy? Chicken, sandwiches, soups and more (1)Share on Pinterest

Chick-fil-A is probably best known for its classic chicken sandwich – a fried onekipbreast fillet with pickle on a toasted white bun.

The brand offers several variants of this sandwich, such as the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and both the regular and the spicy Deluxe Sandwich. These have lettuce, tomato and cheese.

These sandwiches contain anywhere from 440 to 550 calories per serving and are high in carbs (from the bun) and fat (from the fried chicken) (1).

However, Chick-fil-A does offer some lower carb or fat options.

The Grilled Chicken Sandwich offers salad andtomatoon a multigrain bun. It contains slightly fewer calories from fat, at 320 calories. However, the Grilled Chicken Club Sandwich, topped with cheese and bacon, contains 520 calories (1).

Chick-fil-A also offers a Cool Wrap, consisting of lettuce, shredded cheese and grilled chicken breast in a flaxseed flatbread. Without dipping sauce it contains 350 calories (1).

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Chick-fil-A offers the Grilled Chicken Sandwich, made with grilled chicken and a multi-grain bun, as a low-calorie alternative to the brand's classic Chicken Sandwich, which is fried and served on a white bun.

Chick-fil-A is known for its chicken, which is seasoned with the company's own spice blend.

The brand offers Chicken Nuggets, Grilled Nuggets and Chick-n-Strips. The strips and regular nuggets are breaded and fried.

The grilled and fried options are about the same in terms of protein content. But the fried options are higher in calories, fat and refined carbohydrates because of the breadcrumbs and oil they are fried in.

For example, 8-piece chicken nuggets contain 250 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 11 grams of carbohydrates, while 8-piece grilled nuggets contain 130 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of carbohydrates (1).

Another consideration with Chick-fil-A's chicken is which sauce you choose. The restaurant offers a large selection, but some sauces contain more fat, sugar or both. Some of the sauce options with fewer calories from fat and sugar include (1):

  • Delicious buffalo sauce
  • Sweet and spicy Sriracha sauce
  • Honey-roasted BBQ sauce
  • Barbecuesaus
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Chick-fil-A's Grilled Nuggets are a low-fat, low-carb alternative to regular Chicken Nuggets and Chick-n-Strips. The brand also offers a few sauces that are lower in calories and fat.

Chick-fil-A also offers various salads on the menu. These are usually the best choices if you're looking for a healthy meal at Chick-fil-A.

Salad options include:

  • Caesar salad with lemon kale
  • Cobb-salat
  • Spicy southwestern salad
  • Market salad

For each of these salads, you can choose from grilled chicken, fried chicken, or no chicken (for a vegetarian option).

Similar to the sauce selection, Chick-fil-A also has an impressive selection of salad dressings. As a general rule of thumb, the creamy dressings contain more fat and calories. But many of the other options are packed with sugar (1).

These high-sugar dressings include:

  • Leave balsamic
  • Delicious apple cider
  • Fat-free honey mustard

However, the light Italian dressing contains only 25 calories per serving. portion and contains less sugar than other options (1).

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You can customize Chick-fil-A's salads with fried or grilled chicken. The creamy dressings contain a lot of fat and calories, while the light Italian dressing is the lowest in fat and calories.

Chick-fil-A's most popular side is waffle fries. These are high in fat, calories and carbohydrates, like most fast food fries. Likewise, the side dishes for Mac & Cheese are also high in fat, calories, and carbs from the pasta and cheese sauce (1).

However, the restaurant offers several other sides that may be a better choice if you are trying to eat more nutritious foods. These include:

  • Fruit bowl
  • Side salad
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Kale Crunch Side
  • Greek yogurt perfect
  • Buddy Fruits Applesauce

Consider checking the nutritional information for the dishes you are interested in, as some may work better than others for your nutritional needs.

For example, the chicken noodle soup is high in salt and the Greek yogurt parfait contains about the same amount of sugar as some desserts on the menu, even though it also contains 13 grams of protein.

Instead of fries you can also opt for waffle chips. Although these are still fried, they contain about half the calories of a medium order of Chick-fil-A fries (1).

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Although side dishes like Waffle Fries and Mac & Cheese are high in fat, carbs and calories, there are several other side dishes that are healthier choices.

Chick-fil-A's Treats menu includes milkshakes, ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, frozen coffee and lemonades.

These products are high in sugar, fat and calories, so they may not be the best choices. Consider eating them only occasionally if you're watching your sugar, fat, or calorie intake (1).

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The desserts on Chick-fil-A's Treats menu are full of calories, fat and sugar. In general, they are not healthy options.

Chick-fil-A's breakfast menu offers a number of chicken options, such as the chicken biscuit and chick-n-minis, miniature biscuits with nuggets.

But the menu also includes more traditional breakfast options, such as biscuits and English muffins with sausage or bacon, eggs and cheese. The restaurant also offers a Hash Brown Scramble Burrito and a Hash Brown Scramble Bowl.

These options are rich in protein from chicken, sausage, and eggs, but also packed with calories from fat and refined carbs (1).

For a lighter option, opt for the Egg White Grill, featuring grilled chicken, egg whites and cheese on a toasted English muffin (1).

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Chick-fil-A's breakfast menu includes many of the standard breakfast items you would expect, with the addition of some chicken items. For a light breakfast, choose the Egg White Grill, which is made with grilled chicken and egg whites.

Fortunately, the Chick-fil-A menu can accommodate a wide variety of different dietary needs, including low-calorie, low-carb (keto), low-sodium and vegetarian.

Low calorie content

All of the following entrees contain less than 400 calories per serving. portion (1):

  • Protein grill (290 calories)
  • Chick-n-Minis (360 calories)
  • Grilled Chicken Sandwich (320 calories)
  • Nuggets of 8 or 12 pieces (250 or 380 calories)
  • Grilled nuggets of 8 or 12 pieces (130 or 200 calories)
  • 3-count Chick-n-Strips (310 calories)
  • Cool Wrap (350 calories)
  • Bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup (255 calories)

If you choose a sauce, stick with Zesty Buffalo Sauce for only 25 calories per serving. container (1).

Pair your entree with a salad with light Italian dressing for an additional 25 calories, or a fruit cup for an additional 60 calories (1).

However, keep in mind that all of the brand's entree salads contain more than 400 calories per serving, even if ordered with grilled chicken. If you want salad, the lowest calorie option is the Lemon Kale Caesar Salad, which has 470 calories, including dressing (1).

Few carbohydrates

It's surprisingly easy to eat low-carb, orKeto, at Chick-fil-A. The 8-piece grilled nuggets contain only 1 gram of total carbohydrates, while the 12-piece contain 2 grams.

You can add a Kale Crunch Side for an additional 8 grams of carbs, or opt for a salad with Avocado Lime Ranch Dressing for 16 grams of carbs. To lower the carbs even further, remove the brand name tomatoes and crispy red peppers (1).

It's also easy to make any salad keto-friendly by choosing grilled chicken and removing the tomatoes, crispy red peppers, corn, black beans, seasoned tortilla strips, apples, strawberries, blueberries, and granola (1).

One thing to be aware of is that dips and dressings often containadded sugar. Creamy sauces and dressings, while high in calories, are better choices for low-carb and keto eaters because they contain fewer carbs (1).

Consider avoiding the following dressings and sauces at Chick-fil-A if you're on a low-carb or keto diet (1):

  • Barbecuesaus
  • Chicken fillet-A sauce
  • Honey mustard sauce
  • polynesian sauce
  • Sweet and spicy Sriracha sauce
  • Fat-free honey mustard dressing
  • Drizzle in the balsamic vinaigrette dressing
  • Delicious apple cider vinaigrette dressing

Low salinity

If you arelimit your salt intakefor your blood pressure or heart health, you may already know how difficult it is to find low-sodium fast food options (2).

Although Chick-fil-A has some low-sodium menu items, those offerings are quite limited.

The following menu items contain less than 600 mg of sodium (salt) per1):

  • Greek yogurt parfait (80 mg)
  • 8-piece grilled nuggets (440 mg)
  • Medium wafelfrietjes (240 mg)
  • Fruit cup (0 mg)
  • Kale Crunch Side (140 mg)
  • Wafelchips (250 mg)
  • Buddy Fruits Applesauce (0 mg)

All products on the delicacies menu, such as milkshakes, ice cream and cookies, are also low in salt. But they contain a lot of sugar, fat and calories (1).

Finally, with the exception of the Honey Roasted BBQ Sauce, which contains 75 mg of sodium per serving, all sauces and dressings at Chick-fil-A contain at least 100 mg of sodium per serving, many of which contain up to 400 mg per serving (1).

Vegetarian

Although Chick-fil-A has quite a bit of chicken on its menu, it's quite easy to make certain meals vegetarian, especially if you also eat eggs and dairy products. However, Chick-fil-A is not a good option for strict vegans.

For vegetarians, the Cool Wrap without chicken or salads without chicken are the best options.

In particular, the Cobb salad contains some protein from eggs and cheese, and the Southwest salad contains protein from black beans and cheese, so these can be the most filling choices if they work for you.vegetableeating style (1).

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Chick-fil-A has low-calorie, low-carb, low-sodium and vegetarian options that meet many different dietary needs.

Compared to many other fast food restaurants, Chick-fil-A offers a wide variety of healthier options that can meet different dietary needs – such as low calorie, low carb and keto, vegetarian and low salt.

Also chickenfilled with proteins. One of the big benefits of Chick-fil-A's chicken-centric menu is that every menu item that contains chicken contains at least 15 grams of protein per serving. portion - and in most cases significantly more than that.

Protein is importantnot only for muscle maintenance and growth, but it also helps you gain volume. This is because your body digests it more slowly than carbohydrates (1,3,4).

But regardless of the nutritional value of the food Chick-fil-A serves, it's important to remember that it's all highly processed. Even the restaurant's grilled chicken contains additives.

Highly processed foods, regardless of nutritional value, appear to be worse for your health than whole foods. That's why it's important to use Chick-fil-A only occasionally, rather than making it a major part of your diet (5,6).

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Chicken is a great source of protein, and Chick-fil-A offers more healthy options than many other fast food restaurants. However, the restaurant's food is still highly processed, so consider eating it only occasionally for optimal health.

While Chick-fil-A's signature chicken sandwich and fries may not be the best for your health, the company's menu offers a variety of lighter options, such as grilled chicken sandwiches, grilled nuggets, salads and more side dishes.

In fact, Chick-fil-A's menu caters to low-calorie, low-carb, low-sodium, vegetarian diets.

But because Chick-fil-A is still highly processed, it should be a one-time occurrence rather than a staple of your diet.

But one thing

Try this today:If you love Chick-fil-A, there's no reason why you can't enjoy your favorite menu items on your next visit. Even small changes to your diet can help you create new, healthier habits.

If you like waffle fries, opt for a lower-calorie entrée such as grilled nuggets or chicken noodle soup. If you like the chicken sandwich, opt for a salad or fruit bowl instead of fries. Healthy eating doesn't have to be all or nothing!

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Is Chick-fil-A healthy? Chicken, sandwiches, soups and more (2024)
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