When looking for a quick meal, with quality ingredients, good nutrition and low calories, then you should give Kentucky Fried Chicken a try. Known today by its snappier, shorter trade name – KFC – the franchise has been in business for over seventy years. Started by Colonel Harland Sanders, with one location and his famous “secret recipe” of herbs and spices, the chain now has more than 18,000 outlets and a presence in 115 countries. And why not? Many folks just prefer chicken nutrition to other not-as-tasty forms of protein. And if that protein is surrounded by a “finger lickin’ good” crunchy crust, so much the better. Although not all menu items served at KFC can be classified as “healthy”, the chain is very open about their notional facts, posting their nutritional information in a downloadable pdf.
While it may seem counter-intuitive that fried chicken could be low in fat and calories, many of KFC’s menu items are surprisingly nutritious. An Original Recipe Drumstick has 120 calories and 7 grams of fat. The Extra Crispy Chicken drumstick, 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, and the Kentucky Grilled drumstick – only 90 calories with a miniscule 7 grams of fat. So, taken by itself, the chicken can be a good choice. However, when sides are added on, things start to go downhill.
Most KFC buckets and meals have a choice of sides. The mashed potatoes and gravy are 120 calories. Potato Wedges: 290 calories. BBQ baked beans: 210 calories. When added together, many of the sides push the caloric intake over the top. However, there are also healthier offerings, such as green beans, corn on the cob, cole slaw or mashed potatoes without gravy.
Unless opting for the house salad, the Crispy Chicken Caesar or BLT salads are not really a lo-cal option. Weighing in at 300 and 350 calories respectively, by the time the salad dressing is added, you are eating a lot of not-so-good-for-you ingredients. Also, the Chicken Pot Pie (790 calories, 45 grams of fat) and the various snack or value boxes are all high in caloric intake. Do yourself a favor and stick to just chicken and healthy sides. After all, you want the chicken thighs, rather than your thighs, to be nice and plump.
Click on KFC Nutrition Facts to download the PDF
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