KFC Nutrition Guide:
Kentucky FRIED Chicken

cartoon chicken drumstick
KFC Nutrition Guide

KFC, previously known as Kentucky FRIED Chicken, introduced its new "KFC" logo in 1991 as a way to position the restaurant as a healthier eating choice.

If you are fooled by the new logo and go to KFC expecting that the Colonel stopped frying the chicken in 1991 too, think again.

The majority of chicken options are still fried...

Original Recipe (OR) Chicken serves up the original amount of grease, but if you are feeling too thin or too healthy, you can order the Extra Crispy (EC) Chicken: greasy fried chicken, fried in even more grease.

The truth is, I'm not going to have a lot of good things to say about Kentucky Fried Chicken nutrition.

Is it possible you're in the mood for chicken but don't really need to clog your arteries or add to your waistline? Why not head to a Boston Market?

You'll find not only rotisserie white meat chicken--with or without the skin--but nutritious selections from the forgotten vegetable and fruit groups as well...fresh steamed vegetables and seasonal fresh fruit salad.

If eating a whole fried breast or thigh seems like too much, you might think the FRIED Chicken Strips, FRIED Popcorn Chicken or FRIED Wings are better options in terms of portion control.

The truth is, they may look smaller than a whole breast or thigh, but the calories and fat grams are right in the same neighborhood.

More than 50% of the calories in all the fried chicken choices come from fat. The number of total fat grams in one breast or thigh or one order of wings (or even one kids order of Popcorn Chicken) rival that of a medium order of Burger King french fries.

If you find yourself having to eat at KFC but are determined to stick to a healthy eating plan or weight loss regimen, know that KFC offers a few menu items that are lower in fat and calories.

Best Choices (see the criteria I used)

  250-350 calorie options 400-500 calorie options 600-700 calorie options
Best Choices Honey BBQ Sandwich OR Tender Roast Sandwich without sauce OR Oven Roasted Twister without sauce Tender Roast Sandwich with sauce OR Oven Roasted Twister with sauce 2 pieces of OR Chicken Breast without skin or breading + Mashed Potatoes without gravy + 5.5" Corn on the Cob + double order of Green Beans

Q: Which calorie level is most appropriate for me? (Establish your personal calorie count.)

A: Use the following rough guidelines:

250-350 calorie menu suggestions could be considered a "mini meal" for a larger or more active person, or a full meal for a smaller person or someone in need of a lower calorie intake.

400-500 calorie menu suggestions would be appropriate for an average size person or an active smaller person.

600-700 calorie menu suggestions would be appropriate for a very active or larger person.

Are you wondering what I would order? (Meet me.) I would order the Colonel to come up with a new recipe!

KFC Nutrition Guide to Chicken

Let's dismiss the Original Recipe (OR) and Extra Cripsy (EC) options right here at the outset. That is...

...unless you plan to order the breast and then remove the skin and breading. If you have the will power to throw away all that oily "goodness," then you'll be leaving yourself a reasonably healthy serving of chicken.

Good for you!

You could even order the House Side Salad or Caesar Side Salad without the dressing and croutons, then add your chicken (sans skin and breading) to the salad and top it with some Fat Free or Lite Dressing.

Roasted chicken is available in the following forms:

chicken drumstick

  • Honey BBQ Sandwich
  • Oven Roasted Twister without sauce
  • Tender Roast Sandwich without sauce

Note: ordering the sandwiches without the mayonnaise based sauce saves you 80-90 calories and 9-10 grams of artery-clogging fat. But even if you opt to have the sauce, you'll still be eating less fat than if you ordered any of the fried chicken choices.

KFC Nutrition Guide to Salad

Best choice is the Roasted Caesar Salad without the dressing and the croutons. Use the Fat Free Ranch or the Light Italian Dressing. The Creamy Parmesan Caesar Dressing that they want you to put on top has more calories than a McDonald's Hamburger and more fat than a large order of Wendy's french fries.

The dressing alone!

KFC Nutrition Guide to Sides



  Slow Cooked Garlic Chicken  
Filename: j0296906.gifKeywords: cartoon chef cookingFile Size: 18 KB courtesy of
  Simply delicious...& tested. Classical, famous recipes from various countries.  

Best choices: (listed in order of calories, least to most)

  • Green Beans
  • 3" Corn on the Cob
  • Mashed Potatoes without the Gravy
  • 5 1/2" Corn on the Cob
  • Seasoned Rice
  • Baked Beans

KFC Nutrition Guide: What to Avoid Like the Plague

Any of the Pot Pies and "Bowls." Even the Colonel should be embarrassed to offer food with so much calories, fat grams, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. The Chicken Pot Pie especially is swimming in artery-clogging trans fat! It makes a grocery store frozen pot pie look like health food in comparison.

If you want to know the numbers for youself, visit the official KFC Nutrition Guide.

Back to Surviving Fast Food.

Back to Personal Nutrition Guide Home.

** Note: Kentucky Fried Chicken Nutrition Guide information current as of August, 2007 **