Is Chick-Fil-A Grilled Chicken Sandwich healthier?

The Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken sandwich is a popular menu item that many customers choose as a healthier alternative to fried chicken sandwiches. But is it actually better for you? There are a few key factors to consider when comparing the nutritional value of the grilled chicken sandwich versus fried chicken sandwiches on the Chick-Fil-A menu.

Calories and fat

One of the main health concerns with fried foods like fried chicken sandwiches is that they tend to be high in calories and fat, especially saturated fat. The Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken sandwich contains 320 calories, 8 grams of fat (2 grams saturated fat), compared to the original Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich which has 440 calories and 23 grams of fat (6 grams saturated). So the grilled version does have significantly fewer calories and fat. However, the grilled chicken sandwich still contains a good amount of fat and nearly one-third of the daily recommended limit for saturated fat.


Both sandwiches deliver a good amount of protein. The grilled chicken has 42 grams of protein, while the original fried sandwich has 28 grams. Protein is important for building muscle, bone strength, and supporting a healthy metabolism.


The grilled sandwich is lower in sodium compared to the original fried sandwich. It has 1,280 milligrams of sodium, whereas the original contains 1,430 milligrams. The daily recommended limit for sodium is 2,300 milligrams, so both sandwiches contain well over half of the maximum recommended amount. The high sodium content is something to be mindful of in both sandwiches.


To get a better sense of the nutritional value, let’s compare the ingredients in each sandwich:

Grilled chicken sandwich

– Chicken breast fillet
– 2 slices of multigrain wheat bread
– 1 slice of Colby-Jack cheese
– Lettuce
– Tomato
– Pickles
– Chick-Fil-A sauce

Original chicken sandwich

– Fried boneless breaded chicken breast
– 2 buns made with enriched flour
– Pickles
– Mayonnaise
– Iceberg lettuce

The grilled chicken uses a whole chicken breast fillet while the original uses a processed breaded fried chicken breast. The grilled sandwich also opts for multigrain wheat bread over refined white enriched buns, making it a slightly better choice. It also includes tomato and Colby-Jack cheese for more nutrients. However, both sandwiches use sauces that are high in sodium, sugar, and preservatives.


Here’s a breakdown of some of the key nutrients in each sandwich:

Nutrient Grilled Chicken Sandwich Original Chicken Sandwich
Calories 320 440
Fat 8g 23g
Saturated Fat 2g 6g
Sodium 1280mg 1430mg
Protein 42g 28g
Carbs 41g 38g

The grilled chicken sandwich has fewer calories, fat, and sodium. It has significantly more protein. In terms of carbs, they are fairly similar.

Healthier ingredients

The grilled chicken sandwich has some healthier ingredients that make it a better choice than the original fried chicken sandwich.

Multigrain wheat bread

The multigrain wheat bread offers more fiber, B vitamins, and minerals than refined white flour buns. The fiber helps slow digestion and promote gut health.

Colby-jack cheese

The sandwich comes with 1 slice of Colby-Jack cheese. While cheese does contain saturated fat and sodium, it also provides bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D. In moderation, the cheese adds flavor and nutrients.

Lettuce and tomato

Fresh veggies like lettuce and tomato provide important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. They also add fiber.

Less healthy aspects

While the grilled chicken sandwich has some healthy qualities, there are still some downsides to consider:


As mentioned previously, both sandwiches are very high in sodium. The 1,280 milligrams in the grilled sandwich exceeds over half of the daily recommended limit. All of the sauces and seasonings Chick-Fil-A uses add substantial sodium.

Sauces and oils

The Chick-Fil-A sauce used on the grilled sandwich contains a laundry list of processed, artificial ingredients that are potentially harmful in large amounts. These include high fructose corn syrup, distilled vinegar, soybean oil, and preservatives. The chicken is also likely cooked in refined vegetable oils high in inflammatory omega-6s.

Refined carbs

Even though the grilled sandwich uses “multigrain” wheat bread, it is still a refined carb containing enriched wheat flour. So you lose much of the nutritional benefit of whole grains.

Is it healthy fast food?

The Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken sandwich does have some healthy qualities that make it one of the better options at a fast food restaurant. Choosing grilled chicken over fried chicken cuts out a significant amount of calories, fat, and sodium.

However, at the end of the day, it is still fast food. Large amounts of sodium, refined carbs and vegetable oils make it hard to consider truly healthy. It would be better to make a similar sandwich at home where you can control the ingredients.

But in a pinch, the grilled chicken sandwich is not a terrible choice if you are looking for a healthier alternative to fried chicken from a fast food joint. Moderation and balance are key.

Healthier alternative options

If you do eat at Chick-Fil-A but want to make a healthier choice, here are some ideas:

Grilled nuggets

Get the grilled chicken nuggets instead of fried. You can also request alternative sauce options like BBQ sauce or buffalo sauce which are a bit lower in sodium.


Try one of the salads with grilled or roasted chicken. Go easy on creamy dressings and get it on the side.

Fruit cup

Choose a fruit cup with yogurt for a healthy side. The superfood side pairs vanilla Greek yogurt with fruit and chia seeds for more nutrients.

Milk, juice or water

Skip the soda and go for low-fat milk, 100% fruit juice or water as a healthier beverage.


The Chick-Fil-A grilled chicken sandwich does have some marginally healthier qualities compared to fried chicken sandwiches on their menu. Choosing grilled chicken is a better option for limiting calories, fat, and sodium. However, it still contains processed ingredients and is high in sodium. Making similar sandwiches at home would be ideal for controlling nutrition. But overall, the grilled chicken sandwich can be a reasonably healthy fast food choice in moderation. Pairing it with healthier sides and beverages can further boost the nutritional value of your meal.

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