The Real Reason Chick-fil-A is Tasty

I have never really viewed Chick-fil-A as a horrible fast food option. So, I occasionally go there and get a grilled chicken salad or sometimes the chicken salad sandwich–love it. I was curious to figure out the ingredients in the chicken salad sandwich because it just tastes so good.

Come to find out one of the main ingredients is MSG. MSG is not harmful to most people, but it is like salt on crack. It makes us want to eat more and more. For example, we sometimes sprinkle MSG on the food of elderly people who don’t seem to have an appetite.

Ingredients (Chicken salad sandwich):
Chicken (seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika]), chicken tenderloins (seasoning [salt, autolyzed yeast, maltodextrin, spice, natural flavor, chicken fat, garlic powder, sugar cane syrup, onion powder, paprika, molasses, sodium diacetate, tomato powder, silicon dioxide {anticaking agent}, sugar, oleoresin paprika {color}, citric acid, smoke flavor, caramel color]), seasoned coater (enriched bleached flour [with malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening [baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate], spice, soybean oil, color [paprika]), milk wash (water, egg, nonfat milk), peanut oil (fully refined peanut oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness and Dimethylpolysiloxane an anti-foaming agent added), mayonnaise (soybean oil, water, egg yolk, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, salt, spice, calcium disodium EDTA to protect flavor), diced cooked eggs, celery, pickle relish (cucumbers, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, vinegar, salt, xanthan gum, mustard seed, calcium chloride, alum, potassium sorbate [preservative], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, dehydrated red bell pepper, turmeric), Wheatberry bread (enriched flour [wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], water, bulgar wheat, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, honey, sugar, yeast, wheat gluten, contains 2% or less of each of the following: soybean oil, raisin juice concentrate, salt, calcium sulfate, dough conditioners [contains one or more of the following: sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium stearoyl lactylate, monoglycerides and/or diglycerides, calcium peroxide, calcium iodate, DATEM, ethoxylated mono and diglycerides, azodicarbonamide, enzymes], soy lecithin, calcium propionate [to retard spoilage], topped with rolled oats), green leaf lettuce.

A few of these additives are used in the making of plastics. Some of the additives are completely harmless, and others have not been tested enough to know. Calcium propionate is known to be slightly toxic, and is banned in other countries.

Just great… all this time I thought Chick-fil-A wasn’t that bad for you. As a dietitian I need to be aware of this!

And to make it worse, I thought the chicken salad sandwich was about 350 calories. It’s not. It is almost 500 calories, and 19 grams of fat. And I am pretty sure they use the leftover fried chicken to make these sandwiches. Nasty. I guess I won’t be getting that again. If you want to know true nutrition facts on a restaurant food, go directly to the restaurant website. Don’t trust these various calorie reporting websites except for which has some “verified” calorie listings.

Anyway, Chick-fil-A is pretty sneaky and smart because they use a bunch of additives that help to enhance the flavor of their chicken and food like disodium inosinate, for example. The best options are the side items, and the grilled chicken salad and sandwich aren’t terrible.


  1. says

    Wow. This is a real bummer b/c I love chick-fil-a. I’ve always liked their family friendly attitude as well but, unfortunately, this doesn’t sound very “family friendly”.

  2. Ashley says

    I would just like to say that there is no such thing as “healthy chicken salad.” That’s not chickfila’s fault, that’s just the food. The fact that you said you would get one to be health is ridiculous.

    • says

      Of course there is such thing as healthy (insert any food here)! Everyone has the ability to create their own unique recipe that is tasty and healthy. Maybe you mean fast food. Because it is hard to find a healthy chicken salad at a fast food place. There we have to sacrifice quality for ease of time and prep.

  3. says

    I wouldn’t be too hard on them. In comparison to other fast food places, Chick-Fil-A is far ‘healthier’ (I don’t really look at fast food as healthy) and they use real chicken for their sandwiches and chicken nuggets. They don’t use parts of heavily processed chicken meat taken from everywhere and make them into a goo and then form them into chicken as the majority of fast food restaurants do. I personally applaud them for that. :)

    • says

      You are right about that. I still go to Chick-fil-a because I see it as the healthier option when compared to the other fast food restaurants. They have these new grilled nuggets that are minimally processed–just pieces of chicken breast!

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