The Best and Worst Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches


We have already discovered a winner for the crispiest, most flavorful fast-food rooster sandwich (trace: it isn’t Popeyes, which truly got here in third, however one other beloved restaurant chain’s creation).

However now it is time to concentrate on which chain has the healthiest choice. Contemplating increasingly manufacturers have been becoming a member of the rooster wars by releasing their very own signature sandwich, these choices undoubtedly aren’t all made the identical—and their components and dietary data must be put to the check. We enlisted the assistance of Lindsey Pine, MS, RD to search out out which sandwiches at 14 fashionable fast-food chains are definitely worth the hype health-wise.

The outcomes are really juicy, however there’s one vital caveat to this rating: “Before everything, if I am defining ‘wholesome’ as a eating regimen consisting of primarily entire meals… I would not contemplate any of those sandwiches essentially ‘wholesome,'” Pine says. “Most comprise tons of sodium, a number of refined carbs, components, meals dyes, refined oils, and really lengthy ingredient lists. Nonetheless, life is about steadiness, and it is okay to eat quick meals on occasion.”

Maintain studying under to see which fast-food rooster sandwiches to skip ordering and that are the best choice to take pleasure in each on occasion. And for extra meals to keep away from, be certain to take a look at the 100 Unhealthiest Meals on the Planet.


Zaxby's Kickin' Chicken Sandwich
Courtesy of Zaxby’s

730 energy, 41 g fats (6 g saturated fats, 0 g trans fats), 2,790 mg sodium, 55 g carbs (3 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 37 g protein

“The variety of energy and complete carbs on this sandwich are virtually double that of plenty of the opposite sandwiches listed,” says Pine.

Make this a Zaxby’s meal (as a substitute of simply ordering the sandwich alone), and the carbs double whereas the sodium skyrockets by virtually 600 milligrams. “The sodium content material [of the meal] blows me away at a whopping 3,370mg,” explains Pine. “That is the equal of roughly 11 pickle spears! To place this into perspective, the sodium suggestion from the American Coronary heart Affiliation is not more than 2,300 mg per day.  (Associated: The Greatest and Worst Menu Objects at Zaxby’s.)

popeyes chicken
Courtesy of Popeyes

699 energy, 42 g fats (14 g saturated fats, 1.5 g trans fats), 1,443 mg sodium, 50 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar), 28 g protein

We all know, that is devastating. However Popeye’s, as we have warned earlier than, shouldn’t be the most effective rooster sandwich from a well being standpoint. “Popeye’s Traditional Hen Sandwich is the one merchandise listed that accommodates a sizeable quantity of trans fats (1.5g),” Pine says.

Because of this the Louisiana seasoned, buttermilk hand-battered and breaded rooster with barrel-cured pickles and mayo on a toasted and buttery brioche bun could be the distinction between good and unhealthy ldl cholesterol. “If there’s one sort of fats to keep away from fully, it is trans fats,” says Pine. “This substance contributes to not solely growing LDL ldl cholesterol (unhealthy), but additionally lowers HDL ldl cholesterol (the great variety).” (Associated: The Most In style Objects at America’s Greatest Chain Eating places.)

Raising canes chicken sandwich
Elevating Cane’s Hen Fingers/Fb

840 energy, 41 g fats (6 g saturated fats, 0 g trans fats), 1,470 mg sodium, 70 g carbs (5 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 48 g protein

Elevating Cane’s sandwich meal is quite a bit with three rooster fingers, Cane’s sauce, and lettuce on a Kaiser roll. Add crinkle-cut fries, a drink, and Texas toast, and this meal tops out at round 1,320 energy, greater than 55 grams of fats, 1,710 milligrams of sodium, and 107 grams of carbs. (Associated: The Greatest and Worst Menu Objects at Elevating Cane’s.)


wendys classic chicken sandwich
Courtesy of Wendy’s

490 energy, 21g fats (3.5 g saturated fats, 0 g trans fats), 1,450 mg sodium, 49 g carbs (2 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 28 g protein

Wendy’s considers its Traditional Hen Sandwich “calmly breaded,” and the dietary data is there to again up that assertion. This feature has considerably fewer energy and fats than the worst three.

The chain can be very clear about what’s within the sandwich and the way it’s made. Pine says it is a nice method to actually know what you are consuming—particularly in case you have any meals allergic reactions. “Not solely do they checklist the components and potential allergens, however additionally they checklist attainable sources of cross-contact of allergens, reminiscent of frying oil and shared reducing boards,” Pine says. (Associated: The Unhealthiest Wendy’s Burgers Ever.)

Culver's Crispy Chicken Sandwich

460 energy, 14 g fats (3 g saturated fats, 0 g trans fats), 1,110 mg sodium, 56 g carbs (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 25 g protein

Culver’s Crispy Hen Sandwich is decrease in nearly every part compared to its opponents… besides sodium. However what units this sandwich other than the others can be the quantity of fats: It has 66% much less fats than Zaxby’s, Popeye’s, and Elevating Cane’s rooster sandwiches (which all have 41 or 42 grams).

Nonetheless, be careful for ordering additions together with your sandwich. For instance, ordering a Tall Salted Caramel Concrete Mixer with the Hen Sandwich can add 1,630 energy, 83 grams of fats, 1,1oo milligrams of sodium, and 156 grams of sugar to the meal. Consuming that quantity of sugar is like consuming 4 cans of Coca-Cola, or consuming over 15 Krispy Kreme Sizzling Unique Glazed doughnuts.

Chick fil a fried chicken sandwich
Courtesy of Chick-fil-A

440 energy, 17 g fats (4 g saturated fats, 0 g trans fats), 1,400 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 29 g protein

Chick-Fil-A’s rooster sandwich is a traditional for a motive, however it’s additionally one of many lowest-calorie choices out of all of the fast-food rooster sandwiches.

Nonetheless, “the problem that I’ve with this sandwich is that it’s fairly fundamental with solely the bun, rooster, and pickles,” Pine says. In the event you’re trying to customise it, make the correct selections. “Including lettuce, tomato, and zesty buffalo sauce are the most effective choices.”

Pine additionally warns in opposition to selecting the multigrain bun choice, as a result of “whereas the bun does have some entire grains, the primary ingredient listed is common, ol’ white flour.”

So, there you will have it! Chick-Fil-A wins.

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