Fast food often gets a bad rap for being unhealthy. But as more of us try to count calories with programs like Weight Watchers, cut carbs as with the keto diet or eliminate dairy like those on paleo, fast food restaurants are taking notice. This is especially evident at fast food restaurants like Chipotle, Wendy’s and, of course, Chick-fil-A.
On “My Pleasure: The Unofficial Chick-fil-A Podcast”, we talked to Katie Scott, blogger at ChasingVibrance.com. She has some great suggestions for those trying to stick to various diets, without avoiding Chick-fil-A. You can listen to this episode on iTunes, Spotify, or anywhere you enjoy podcasts! You can also stream it right here:
If you’re trying to eat healthy, without giving up your beloved Chick-fil-A, here are the seven healthiest option on the menu.
1. Egg White Grill
Why It’s Healthy: If you’re looking to start your day with a boost of protein, the Egg White Grill is the way to go. It’s 290 calories and 26 grams of protein.
When Chick-fil-A introduced the Egg White Grill in 2016, it was the first new breakfast entrée on Chick-fil-A’s menu in six years. Keep in mind that slice of American cheese melted on top is 50 calories, which makes up roughly 17-percent of the entrée’s calories.
2. Kale Crunch Salad
Why It’s Healthy: At 120 calories, the kale crunch salad is one of the healthiest side options on the entire Chick-fil-A menu.
Curly kale and green cabbage topped with crunchy roasted almonds makes for a delicious, and healthy side to your entrée of choice. And keep in mind the roasted almonds, while healthy, account for 60 (or half!) of this side dish’s calories.
3. Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Why It’s Healthy: At 320 calories and 6 grams of fat, the Grilled Chicken Sandwich is the healthiest sandwich available at Chick-fil-A.
Not many fast food sandwiches come in at less than 400 calories, especially not ones as delicious as the Grilled Chicken Sandwich at Chick-fil-A. However, if you’re eating on the keto diet, or you decide to skip the Multigrain Brioche Bun, you’ll save another 210 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.
4. Grilled Chicken Nuggets
Why It’s Healthy: At just 17 calories per nugget, the grilled chicken nuggets are by far the healthiest entrée option on the Chick-fil-A menu.
Chick-fil-A spent seven years perfecting the recipe for grilled chicken nuggets before releasing them in 2012 as a kids’ meal entrée. They’re made in a delicious marinade of sea salt, lemon, garlic and herbs, which will ALMOST make you forget the breading is missing.
5. Fruit Cup Side
Why It’s Healthy: The small Fruit Cup has only 50 calories and no fat.
It may be incredibly difficult to swap out your waffle fries for healthier options, but a medium waffle fry has 360 MORE calories than a medium fruit cup. Maybe eat a couple from your loved one’s bag of fries and save yourself a whole lot of fat and calories, while still getting your waffle fry fix. And if you’re looking for a no-calorie way to enjoy waffle fries, check out our waffle fry earrings!
6. Market Salad
Why It’s Healthy: When you choose the option with a grilled filet, you’ll enjoy a full entrée with just 250 calories and 16 grams of carbs.
Chick-fil-A’s menu includes three entrée salads: Cobb Salad, Spicy Southwest Salad, and the Market Salad. The Market Salad is definitely the healthiest choice. While you can choose between topping it with strips, nuggets or a grilled filet, the healthiest choice is the grilled filet. Ordering it with no chicken at all brings the calorie count down to just 210.
7. Chicken Noodle Soup
Why It’s Healthy: With just 120 calories and 3 grams of fat, the chicken noodle soup is one of the best side choices on the menu.
There are two soup options at Chick-fil-A: Chicken Noodle and Chicken Tortilla. If you’re trying to choose the healthiest soup at Chick-fil-A, the Chicken Noodle is by far the way to go. A side of Chicken Noodle Soup has 120 calories. Make it your entrée with a bowl and you’ll jump to 230 calories. A bowl of Chicken Tortilla has nearly three times as many calories.
Other Healthy Menu Swaps
- Choose THRIVE Farmers Coffee for just 5 calories, rather than one of the sweet coffee drinks which can add lots of calories to your meal. The Frosted Coffee for instance has 240 calories and the small iced coffee has 150 calories and 26 grams of carbs.
- Also, you may be surprised to find out that the Multigrain Brioche Bun, like the one used for the grilled chicken sandwich, has 60 more calories than the white bun. You can also order your bun without butter, which saves 30 calories.
- When it comes to sauce—beware. Those little packets can add quite a few calories if you’re not careful. The lowest calorie sauce is the Zesty Buffalo.