The nuggets are fried in hydrogenated oil and contain high amounts of sugar, fat and preservatives. This makes them an unhealthy choice, especially if you eat them frequently. This is because the main component of chicken nugget isn't chicken. Turns out chicken nuggets aren't all the same.
Primarily, the healthiest part of a nugget is, as you might expect, the chicken itself. In addition to being a low-calorie and protein-rich food, chicken also contains essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B, vitamin D, calcium and iron. Chicken nuggets can be a great way to lose weight if they're made with healthy chicken meat and no extra fat. However, the problem with a lot of chicken nuggets is that they're made with a lot of additional ingredients that are likely to be high in fat.
The basic idea behind this dish of breaded and cooked chicken isn't bad, but the nutritional value of chicken nuggets can vary greatly. Most chicken nuggets are made with pieces of white meat, but unfortunately they also contain a lot of other filling ingredients that aren't as healthy. Amy Gorin, MS, RDN said that chicken nuggets can be enjoyed as long as you pay attention to a few key details. If you eat at Chick-fil-A, for example, 5 pieces of chicken nuggets will have 160 calories, 17 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of fat.
In addition, people should monitor their sodium intake because a typical serving of chicken nuggets is high in salt. That means that if you want to eat a food that contains more chicken, you should avoid eating chicken nuggets. To be sure, check the package of the frozen seeds, which will tell you if the seeds are pre-cooked or not. Says Kara, who also points out that no chicken nugget is going to be as healthy as, for example, a poached chicken breast, but recognizes that they can undoubtedly play a role in a healthy diet.
Not only do chicken nuggets contain some not-so-good ingredients like oil, sugar, and bleached wheat (via Boldsky), but they also contain extremely high amounts of fat and sodium, depending on how the nuggets are prepared. As for the type of chicken used, a nugget normally contains approximately 95% white meat and 5% dark meat. Not only do chicken nuggets have about half as much protein as skinless chicken, but they also have four times more sodium and fat than a plain chicken breast, according to NBC News. Instead of looking for antibiotic-free chicken, you can also opt for nuggets certified organic, which ensures that the chicken has been fed exclusively with organic foods and has not received antibiotics.
For an additional dose of vegetables, another good option from this brand is the Nuggets Perdue Chicken Plus Chicken Plus with chicken breast and Dino Nuggets vegetables, which include ¼ cup of chickpeas and cauliflower, providing 11 grams of protein per serving. While chicken nuggets are a popular food, the health of a nugget depends on the restaurant you go to. For example, a six-piece serving of Popeyes chicken nuggets contains 225 calories, 14 grams of fat and 345 milligrams of sodium (via Health).