Grilled Chick-fil-A Nuggets: Low Calorie Little Wonders

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

3027-chick-fil-a-grilled-nuggets.jpgFor those that don’t have a Chick-fil-A in their hometown, this fast food restaurant is known for their chicken.

Grilled or fried, Chick-fil-A is one of the most popular chicken fast food restaurants. Chick-fil-A introduced their new grilled chicken nuggets this year, and could set a good example for other restaurants.

They nailed our Healthiest Grilled Chicken Sandwich pick, so let’s check out the facts on these “grilled” nuggets!

MSG, Anyone?

Ingredients: 100% natural chicken breast, seasoning (salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika).

The first thing I noticed was monosodium glutamate, in short, MSG. Chick-fil-A uses all kinds of MSG in their foods and other yeast extracts to enhance the flavor. Maybe this is why their food is so popular and addictive?

MSG is not a problem for most people. Only a small percentage of the human population suffers from headaches associated with MSG. For others, it is currently regarded as safe to ingest. MSG is the salt of glutamate (glutamate is an amino acid, or the building block of a protein).

Save Over 100 Calories

3028-grilled-nuggets-nutrition.gifChoosing the grilled nuggets instead of the fried traditional nuggets can save close to 150 calories and 10 grams of fat.

But, watch out for sodium. One grilled nuggets order contains 840 mg sodium! This is quite a bit for 110 calorie food. For the entire day, we should intake about 2400 mg.

If you were to choose these nuggets it would be a good idea to eat with a fruit cup or side salad to help balance out the meal.

Still a Better Choice

Even though there are some negatives to the grilled nuggets, look at what you will not be eating when you choose the grilled instead of fried:

100% natural whole breast filet, seasoning (salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika), seasoned coater (enriched bleached flour [bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening [baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate], spice, soybean oil, color [paprika]), milk wash (water, egg, nonfat milk), peanut oil (fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and Dimethylpolysiloxane an anti-foaming agent added).

The peanut oil that fries the nuggets contains an anti-foaming agent which is similar to a rubber or plastic and can be found in silly putty.

So, the conclusion, is that if you find yourself at Chick-fil-A, choose the grilled nuggets since they are a cleaner food than other fried nuggets or chicken at other fast food chains.

Have you tried Chick-fil-A’s new Grilled Nuggets?


  1. wes

    Chic-FILA is bad for you junk food

  2. Jeff

    My kids love Chikfila and the grilled nuggets are actually quite tasty!

  3. Benjamin Raucher

    MSG is put in to enhance flavor. It is a useless chemical and flavor can be enhanced in other ways,


  4. O.

    We have had a chick-fil-a in our town since the 80’s but up until 4 years ago it was only in our malls food court.

    I didn’t even know they had free standing restaurants until they turned the closed Krispy Kreme in our town into a chick-fil-a. They have some of the tastiest chick I have ever eaten.

  5. L @ Trying Not to be Fat

    I’ll stick with fresh chicken I think.

  6. Linda

    I rarely eat out, no chick fill a here in Vermont. Really don’t miss it though, cooking your own food you know what’s in it.

  7. Spectra

    No. I don’t eat at fast food restaurants in general and we don’t have Chick-Fil-A near me, so I’ve never tried them. I usually buy chicken and grill it up at home to eat. That way, it doesn’t have MSG in it.

  8. Jim

    Mmmm delicious anti-foaming agent…