Is the Chicken McGriddle healthy?

The Chicken McGriddle is a popular breakfast sandwich sold at McDonald’s. It features a chicken patty, egg, and cheese between two maple-flavored pancake buns. With its combination of protein, carbs, and fat, the Chicken McGriddle provides a hearty way to start the day. However, with high levels of calories, fat, sodium, and sugar, it also raises questions about whether it can be part of a balanced breakfast. This article will examine the nutritional content of the Chicken McGriddle and evaluate whether it is a healthy option compared to other McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches and common breakfast choices.

Nutrition Facts of the Chicken McGriddle

The Chicken McGriddle contains the following nutrients (1):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 450
Total Fat 24g
Saturated Fat 8g
Trans Fat 0.5g
Cholesterol 145mg
Sodium 930mg
Total Carbohydrates 41g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 8g
Protein 19g

With 450 calories per sandwich, the Chicken McGriddle packs a caloric punch. The American Heart Association recommends a breakfast of 300 to 400 calories (2). So at 450 calories, the Chicken McGriddle exceeds that recommendation.

Where the calories in the Chicken McGriddle come from is also concerning from a health perspective. It contains 24g of total fat, accounting for about 37% of its calories, making it a high fat food (3). The saturated fat content is 8g, which is 40% of the daily value. The sodium content is also very high at 930mg, or 40% of the daily recommended limit (4). With 41g of carbohydrates, a decent amount comes from sugar at 8g. On the positive side, the Chicken McGriddle provides 19g of protein. But the high levels of fat, sodium and sugar in this sandwich are nutrition red flags.

How the Chicken McGriddle Compares to Other McDonald’s Breakfast Sandwiches

To better evaluate the Chicken McGriddle’s nutritional merits, it helps to compare it to other sandwiches on the McDonald’s breakfast menu:

Sandwich Calories Total Fat Sodium
Egg McMuffin 300 12g 820mg
Sausage McMuffin 370 24g 820mg
Sausage McMuffin with Egg 450 29g 910mg
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit 460 28g 1280mg
Sausage Biscuit with Egg 470 31g 1130mg
Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddles 470 25g 870mg
Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddles 510 30g 1150mg
Chicken McGriddles 450 24g 930mg
Hotcakes and Sausage 670 34g 1560mg

Compared to other McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches, the Chicken McGriddle is on the higher end for calories, total fat, and sodium content. The Egg McMuffin is a healthier choice at just 300 calories and 12g of fat. The Hotcakes and Sausage is the most calorie and sodium-laden at 670 calories and 1560mg of sodium. The Chicken McGriddle comes in right below that. So within the McDonald’s breakfast menu, the Chicken McGriddle is one of the more calorie, fat and sodium-dense options.

How the Chicken McGriddle Compares to Common Breakfast Foods

It also helps to see how the Chicken McGriddle stacks up against typical breakfast foods that people prepare at home:

Food Calories Total Fat Sodium
Scrambled eggs (2 large eggs) 160 10g 125mg
Oatmeal (1 cup cooked) 154 2.5g 0mg
Whole wheat toast (1 slice) 69 1g 126mg
Banana 105 0.4g 1mg
Yogurt (6oz., non-fat) 100 0g 115mg
Chicken McGriddles 450 24g 930mg

Against common breakfast foods, the Chicken McGriddles is markedly higher in calories, fat, and sodium. A simple breakfast of scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and fruit provides protein and carbs but a fraction of the calories, fat, and sodium. Even compared to a homemade sandwich with whole wheat toast and eggs, the Chicken McGriddle packs over twice the calories and four times the sodium. From a health perspective, a homemade breakfast provides a much better nutritional profile.

Chicken McGriddles Ingredients

Looking more closely at the ingredients of the Chicken McGriddles provides some additional insights into its nutritional makeup (5):

Pancakes: Enriched bleached wheat flour (bleached flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, soybean oil, eggs, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), natural maple flavor (plant source), salt, mono and diglycerides, natural and artificial flavors.

Chicken Patty: Chicken breast meat, water, seasoning [yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (vegetable source), sugars, onion powder, garlic powder, spice], sodium phosphates. breaded with: bleached enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, contains 2% or less of the following: yellow corn flour, wheat gluten, salt, dried yeast, dried honey, natural flavors (plant source), spices, sugar, paprika, spice extractives, citric acid, vegetable oil (soybean or canola). predusted with: enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), wheat gluten, salt, yeast, soybean oil.

Cheese Slice: Cheese (milk, cream, water, cheese culture, salt, sodium phosphate, color added, sorbic acid added as preservative), water, cream, sodium citrate, salt, color added, sorbic acid added as preservative (preservative), soy lecithin, acetic acid.

Egg: Whole eggs, citric acid, 0.15% water added as carrier for citric acid. Prepared with Liquid Margarine: Liquid soybean oil, water, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, hydrogenated cottonseed oil, soy lecithin, mono-and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate and beta carotene (color).

The main ingredients that account for the high calories, fat, sodium and sugar levels are:

– Bleached enriched wheat flour in the pancakes and chicken patty batter
– High fructose corn syrup and sugar in the pancakes
– Dextrose (a type of sugar) in the pancakes
– Soybean oil in the pancakes and margarine
– Seasonings, yeast extracts, and natural flavors that contain sodium and sugar
– Sodium phosphates and other sodium additives
– Cheese, egg, and chicken all contain fat and cholesterol

Many of these are processed ingredients added to increase flavor, shelf life, and texture rather than nutrition.

Nutritional Pros and Cons

Evaluating the key nutritional components of the Chicken McGriddles shows some pros and cons:


– Provides 19g protein from the chicken patty and egg

– Contains 41g of carbohydrates from the pancake buns to provide energy

– Maple flavoring adds taste without significant calories

– Part of a balanced breakfast providing carbs, protein, fat


– Very high in calories at 450 per sandwich

– High in fat (24g total fat, 8g saturated fat) from oil in pancakes, chicken patty, cheese, and margarine

– High in sodium (930mg) from seasonings, cheese, and other additives

– High sugar (8g) from pancake ingredients, seasonings

– Provides empty calories rather than very nutritious

– Excess calories from fat and carbs can lead to weight gain

The protein and carbs are a plus for providing satiety. But the high fat, sodium and sugar offset those benefits by adding many empty calories.

Verdict: Occasional Indulgence, Not a Healthy Everyday Breakfast

Analyzing the nutritional data shows that the Chicken McGriddles has some merits but also concerning drawbacks. The main health issues are the very high levels of calories, fat, sodium and added sugar. These put it at the less healthy end of McDonald’s breakfast menu and typical breakfast foods.

As an occasional indulgence, the Chicken McGriddles can be part of an overall balanced diet. The protein provides some staying power and energy. But on a regular basis, its poor nutritional profile makes it an unhealthy choice that can promote weight gain and other problems. It is always preferable to prepare breakfast at home where ingredients can be carefully selected for maximum nutrition. Foods like oatmeal, yogurt, fruit, and whole grain toast provide plenty of energy without all the excess calories, fat and sodium.

So in conclusion, the Chicken McGriddles is a tasty but unhealthy choice for a regular breakfast. We would not recommend it as part of a balanced, nutritious breakfast on a frequent basis. Keeping it to an infrequent indulgence and focusing on more wholesome breakfasts is the healthier path. But we can see its appeal and don’t want to be total breakfast buzzkills. The Chicken McGriddles can be worked into an overall healthy diet in moderation. Just don’t make it a daily habit!


1. McDonald’s USA Nutrition Facts for Popular Menu Items.

2. “Back to Breakfast Basics.” American Heart Association, 28 Aug. 2015,

3. “Dietary Fats Explained.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 11 Sept. 2020,

4. “Sodium in Your Diet: Use the Nutrition Facts Label and Reduce Your Intake.” Food and Drug Administration,,mg)%20per%20day.

5. Chicken McGriddles Ingredients. McDonald’s,

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