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What is the healthiest thing to eat at KFC?

When you’re looking for a quick, convenient meal, KFC may come to mind. However, with fried chicken, biscuits, and creamy sides dominating the menu, figuring out a healthy order can be tricky. While KFC isn’t exactly a nutrition superstar, there are some options that are lower in calories, fat, and sodium compared to others.

What are the healthiest main dishes at KFC?

If you’re looking for a main dish, KFC’s grilled chicken is one of the healthier choices. A 3-piece breast and wing meal with green beans and mashed potatoes with gravy contains 540 calories, 13g fat (3g saturated fat), 930mg sodium, 46g carbs, and 39g protein.

Compare that to the classic 3-piece original recipe meal with the same sides which packs 1,030 calories, 56g fat (14g saturated fat), 2,060mg sodium, 88g carbs, and 42g protein. The grilled chicken shaves off nearly 500 calories and 43g of fat.

Other main dishes under 600 calories include:

  • 2-piece grilled chicken breast meal with green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy (500 calories)
  • 6 piece newly launched chicken nugget meal (580 calories)
  • Roasted chicken sandwich (570 calories)
  • 1/2 portion of original recipe chicken with 1 side (legs 560 calories, breast 500 calories)

What are the best KFC chicken strip and popcorn nugget options?

If strips and popcorn nuggets are calling your name, opt for the grilled chicken strips or Kentucky Grilled Chicken Popcorn Nuggets. A 3-piece grilled chicken strip meal with green beans and mashed potatoes contains 440 calories, 12g fat (3g saturated fat), 1,250mg sodium, 44g carbs, and 42g protein.

Meanwhile, a 5-piece popcorn nuggets meal with the same sides has 380 calories, 12g fat (3g saturated fat), 1,210mg sodium, 36g carbs, and 30g protein.

In comparison, the classic Chicken Strip meal packs 700 calories, 42g fat (12g saturated fat), 1,540mg sodium, 56g carbs, and 34g protein. And the Popcorn Nuggets meal has 710 calories, 42g fat (8g saturated fat), 1,550mg sodium, 56g carbs, and 30g protein.

What’s the healthiest fried chicken to order at KFC?

If you have your heart set on fried chicken, the Extra Crispy chicken or Hot Wings are your best bets.

A 2-piece breast Extra Crispy meal with green beans and mashed potatoes contains 750 calories, 45g fat (10g saturated fat), 1,510mg sodium, 57g carbs, and 40g protein.

For chicken wings, an order of 6 Hot Wings with ranch dipping sauce packs 530 calories, 35g fat (5g saturated fat), 1,730mg sodium, 12g carbs, and 40g protein.

Compare that to the original recipe chicken, where a 2-piece breast meal provides 850 calories, 50g fat (12g saturated fat), 1,610mg sodium, 60g carbs, and 42g protein.

What are some lower calorie KFC side dishes?

When it comes to KFC sides, steer clear of mac and cheese (290 calories), coleslaw (140 calories), and biscuits (210-500 calories).

Some better options include:

  • Green beans – 80 calories
  • Mashed potatoes with gravy – 100 calories
  • Corn – 70 calories
  • 1 Shortcut Fries – 150 calories
  • Caesar side salad – 60 calories

Load up on green beans, corn, salads, and limit high-calorie add-ons like crispy toppings and heavy sauces.

What are the lowest calorie KFC sandwiches?

When you want a sandwich, skip fried options like the Famous Bowl (760 calories) and Double Down (740 calories).

Instead, try:

  • Roasted chicken sandwich – 570 calories
  • 1 Crispy Colonel sandwich – 350 calories
  • 1 packet grilled chicken with ranch – 180 calories

Ask for sandwiches to be made as a salad or in a bowl to subtract the bun and further cut calories.

What are the best KFC salads and bowls?

Speaking of salads, KFC offers several low calorie salad options:

  • Caesar salad with 2 strips – 270 calories
  • House side salad – 60 calories
  • Bowl with grilled chicken, corn, greens – 290 calories
  • Bowl with roasted chicken, mixed greens, ranch – 320 calories

Load up on veggie toppings while limiting fried chicken, crispy toppings, and high-fat dressings.

What are the lowest calorie KFC sauces and dips?

When it comes to sauces, ranch, honey mustard, honey BBQ, and ketchup are fairly low calorie options, with around 50-90 calories per individual packet.

Avoid dunking your chicken in higher calorie sauces like:

  • Gravy – 113 calories per 2 oz
  • Cheese sauce – 160 calories per 2 oz
  • Buttery spread – 110 calories per packet

And opt for grilled chicken if you want to dip in a sauce.

What are the healthiest KFC desserts?

If you have room for dessert, a chocolate chip cookie, fudge brownie, or cinnamon sticks are decent options around 130-220 calories each.

Or split a dessert with a friend, like 1/4 of a chocolate mousse cake or 1/2 an apple turnover.

Steer clear of fried pies (360-720 calories).

What are the healthiest KFC drinks?

When it comes to drinks, water and diet soda are your best low calorie picks.

If you want something different, opt for an unsweetened tea or a small fruit punch. Avoid large sugary drinks like lemonade and sweet tea.

What are some tips for ordering healthy at KFC?

Here are some final tips for constructing a healthier KFC meal:

  • Choose grilled chicken or oven roasted chicken
  • Load up on veggie sides like green beans, corn, salads
  • Go for individual sandwiches or hot wings vs meals
  • Split or skip high-calorie biscuits, mac and cheese, fried pies
  • Limit crispy toppings, sauces, gravy, buttery spreads
  • Stick to water, unsweetened tea, or diet soda
  • Share a dessert or pick a sensible portion cookie or brownie

Sample 500-600 Calorie “Healthy” KFC Orders

Here are some examples of reasonably healthy 500-600 calorie orders at KFC:

Meal #1

  • 2-piece grilled chicken breast meal
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Green beans
  • Small diet soda

Total: 500 calories

Meal #2

  • 3 Hot Wings
  • 1 Crispy Colonel Sandwich
  • Corn
  • Small fruit punch

Total: 530 calories

Meal #3

  • Roasted chicken sandwich
  • Side salad with low-fat dressing
  • 1 chocolate chip cookie
  • Unsweetened iced tea

Total: 600 calories

The Bottom Line

While fried chicken and creamy sides dominate the menu, you can construct reasonably healthy KFC meals. Focus on the grilled chicken options, lighter sides, and sensible portions.

Balance out your meal with veggies, split high-calorie options, and limit extras like biscuits, mac and cheese, and sugary drinks.

With a little menu know-how, you can enjoy some finger lickin’ good KFC without derailing your healthy eating goals.