How unhealthy is Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit?

Chick-fil-A’s chicken biscuit is a popular breakfast item, but how healthy is it really? In this in-depth article, we will analyze the nutritional content of a Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit to determine just how unhealthy it is.

What’s in a Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit?

A Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit consists of a buttered biscuit, a breaded and fried chicken fillet, and American cheese. According to Chick-fil-A’s nutrition information, here are the ingredients and nutrition facts for a chicken biscuit:

Ingredient Amount
Buttered Biscuit 1 biscuit (86g)
Breaded Chicken Fillet 1 fillet (120g)
American Cheese 1 slice (21g)
Nutrition Facts Amount Daily Value*
Calories 510 26%
Total Fat 28g 43%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Trans Fat 1.5g
Cholesterol 125mg 42%
Sodium 1380mg 57%
Total Carbohydrates 44g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 28g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet

Is the Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit Healthy?

Based on the nutrition information, the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit is very high in calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Here is a detailed breakdown of why the chicken biscuit cannot be considered a healthy breakfast choice:

Too Many Calories

At 510 calories, the chicken biscuit contains over 1/4 of the recommended daily calorie intake. The biscuit alone is 280 calories, the breaded chicken fillet is 210 calories, and the slice of cheese adds 20 calories. This makes it a very high calorie choice for breakfast.

High in Fat

The chicken biscuit contains a whopping 28g of fat, which is 43% of the daily recommended value. 8g comes from saturated fat, which provides 40% of the recommended daily intake. Saturated fat has been linked with increased LDL cholesterol levels and a higher risk of heart disease, so this level is alarmingly high for one breakfast item.

Contains Trans Fats

Trans fats are considered the unhealthiest type of fat. While the chicken biscuit only contains 1.5g of trans fat, experts recommend limiting trans fat intake as much as possible to promote heart health.

High in Cholesterol

At 125mg of cholesterol, the chicken biscuit provides 42% of the daily recommended 300mg limit. Combined with the high saturated fat content, the high cholesterol further raises concerns for heart health.

Very High in Sodium

The chicken biscuit has a staggering 1380mg of sodium, which is over half of the daily 2300mg recommendation. Such a large amount of sodium can increase blood pressure in many individuals.

Low in Fiber

With only 1g of fiber, the chicken biscuit lacks adequate fiber. The daily recommendation for fiber is 25-30g. The low fiber content provides little nutrition and health benefit.

In summary, while the chicken biscuit does provide 28g of protein, the very high levels of calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium outweigh any potential nutritional benefit.

How the Ingredients Impact the Nutritional Value

Now let’s take a closer look at how each ingredient contributes to the poor nutritional profile of the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit:

Buttered Biscuit

While biscuits do provide some nutrition from their key ingredients like flour, milk, and baking powder, biscuits are also high in calories, fat, and sodium because they are essentially pastry dough. The 86g buttered Chick-fil-A biscuit contributes 280 calories, 13g fat (7g saturated fat), and 490mg sodium to the chicken biscuit.

Breaded Chicken Fillet

The 120g breaded chicken fillet adds 210 calories and 12g fat (1g saturated fat) to this breakfast sandwich. While chicken can be a lean protein source, heavily breading it and deep frying significantly increases the calorie and fat content.

American Cheese Slice

Cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium, which are two areas the chicken biscuit already goes overboard on. The 21g slice of American cheese provides an additional 20 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), and 350mg sodium.

In combination, these three indulgent ingredients create a breakfast offering with shockingly high amounts of calories, fat, and sodium.

Comparison to Healthier Breakfast Options

To demonstrate just how unhealthy the Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit is, let’s compare it to some healthier breakfast alternatives providing a similar amount of protein:

Breakfast Item Calories Fat (g) Protein (g)
Chick-fil-A Chicken Biscuit 510 28 28
Egg White Vegetables Omelet 180 9 30
Oatmeal with Blueberries and Almonds 350 12 15
Whole Wheat Toast with Peanut Butter 340 16 15
Greek Yogurt with Granola and Fruit 345 5 15

As you can see, the chicken biscuit is significantly higher in calories and fat compared to nutritious options that provide equal or greater amounts of protein. A vegetable omelet, oatmeal, peanut butter toast, or Greek yogurt are all far healthier choices.

How to Make the Chicken Biscuit Healthier

If you do indulge in a Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit, there are some simple ways to make it a little less unhealthy:

  • Ask for a whole wheat biscuit instead of a buttery white flour biscuit.
  • Request grilled chicken instead of the breaded fried chicken fillet.
  • Opt for a lower-fat cheese like Swiss or cheddar instead of full-fat American cheese.
  • Order a smaller sized biscuit, or eat only half.
  • Avoid adding sugary jam, syrup, or honey to your biscuit.

While these tweaks can make a slight difference, the chicken biscuit will still remain high in calories, fat, and sodium. Your best bet is to choose a healthier breakfast item overall.

Healthier Chick-fil-A Breakfast Options

If you still want to grab breakfast at Chick-fil-A, here are some menu items that are healthier than the chicken biscuit:

  • Egg White Grill – egg whites, cheese, chicken or bacon on a whole grain English muffin
  • Parfait Cup – vanilla Greek yogurt and berries
  • Fruit Cup – sliced fresh fruit
  • Yogurt Parfait – yogurt, granola, and fruit
  • Chicken, Egg & Cheese Bagel – grilled chicken, egg, cheese on multigrain bagel

These options provide protein and are lower in calories, fat, and sodium than the chicken biscuit. The yogurt, fruit, and egg white dishes make much healthier choices for breakfast from Chick-fil-A.

The Bottom Line

The Chick-fil-A chicken biscuit contains a whopping 510 calories, 28g fat, 8g saturated fat, and 1380mg sodium. This makes it a very unhealthy choice for breakfast. A whole grain biscuit piled with fried chicken and cheese is simply too indulgent for a morning meal. Other breakfast options like an omelet, oatmeal, or Greek yogurt are far healthier choices that can provide equal amounts of protein. If you do opt for the chicken biscuit, choosing a whole wheat biscuit and grilled chicken can make it slightly less damaging to your daily nutrition goals.

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