Fried chicken tenders, a staple in comfort food cuisine, are loved for their crispy exterior and juicy interior. While they're often associated with a satisfying taste experience rather than health benefits, chicken tenders have their positive qualities, too. Understanding the nutritional aspects can provide some peace of mind to those who enjoy tenders as part of a balanced diet.

Here are some interesting nutrition facts about fried chicken tenders that might surprise you.

Protein Powerhouse

One of the primary benefits of chicken tenders is their high protein content. Chicken is a great source of lean protein, which is essential for muscle building, repair and overall body function. A typical serving of fried chicken tenders can provide a significant portion of the recommended daily protein intake, making them a filling option that can help keep you satisfied longer.

Varied Caloric Content

The caloric content of fried chicken tenders can vary significantly depending on the size of the tenders and the preparation method. Generally, a single medium-sized fried chicken tender can contain anywhere from 100 to 140 calories. However, when considering a meal, it's important to account for the total number of tenders consumed, as well as any additional sides and dipping sauces, which can increase the calorie count substantially.

Fat and Cholesterol Considerations

Fried chicken tenders are often cooked in oil, contributing to their higher fat and cholesterol content. While they do contain some unsaturated fats, which are considered healthier, the process of frying can also introduce saturated fats and trans fats, which should be consumed in moderation. For healthier frying, choose healthier oils (not all are created equal), cook at lower temperatures and drain the food well.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

The batter or breading on fried chicken tenders adds carbohydrates to the dish, with a serving containing a moderate amount depending on the thickness of the coating. However, this coating is typically low in fiber since it's usually made from refined flour. Opting for whole-grain or alternative flours can offer a slightly higher fiber content, though this is less common in traditional preparations.

Vitamins and Minerals

Chicken tenders also provide various vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, particularly niacin and vitamin B6, which are important for energy metabolism and neurological health. They can also contain trace amounts of iron, zinc and phosphorus, contributing to overall dietary needs. However, the nutrient profile can be affected by the cooking method and any additional ingredients used in the batter or breading.

Sodium Content

One nutritional aspect to be mindful of is the sodium content in fried chicken tenders. The breading and seasonings, along with any added sauces or dips, can make this dish relatively high in sodium. High sodium intake is linked to increased blood pressure and heart disease risk, so it's advisable to consume fried chicken tenders in moderation.

Chicken Tenders can Be Part of a Healthy Diet

While fried chicken tenders may not be the healthiest option on the menu, understanding their nutritional content can help you make more informed choices. By considering portion sizes, cooking methods and dipping sauces, it's possible to enjoy fried chicken tenders as part of a diverse and balanced diet. Remember, moderation is key, and there are always opportunities to tweak traditional recipes for a healthier twist without sacrificing flavor.

La Rosa Chicken and Grill is all about eating well and living healthy! That’s why we serve roasted and grilled chicken that’s free of preservatives, hormones and MSG. Our meats are marinated in our own natural process and our side dishes are made fresh daily from real vegetables. We also cook our foods in ovens, kettles, open-fire grills and rotisseries so that the fats are extracted. Try us out today and see how healthy eating on-the-go is made possible at La Rosa Chicken and Grill!

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