11 Things You Might Want To Reconsider Ordering At Chick-Fil-A
Chick-fil-A has been around for years, and the fast-food restaurant has earned a reputation for serving up better quality chicken than some of its competitors. The company, once known as Dwarf House, has been around since the mid-40s, and the first Chick-fil-A store opened in the late-’80s in Atlanta, Georgia. Since even before the first store, the carefully created signature chicken sandwich, which came to fruition after trying hundreds of variations, has grown in popularity and become a household name in the fast food world.
However, through expansion and the need to compete with similar businesses, the menu inevitably grew to include much more than the signature chicken sandwich. Everything from breakfast to dessert can be found on the menu and it can be slightly overwhelming in the checkout line. If you’re new to the restaurant or simply want to make a few healthier and more satisfying choices when ordering, then you might want to steer clear of a few items on the menu. According to Medical News Today, fast food in general often contains high levels of sodium, sugar, and fat, which means it quickly affects your system. Items that are particularly high in these ingredients might fill you up and satisfy your cravings, but they can also cause your blood sugar to spike quickly and leave you feeling drowsy. Here’s what you should reconsider ordering at Chick-fil-A if you want to stay healthy, satisfied, and get more bang for your buck.
1. Hash Brown Scramble Burrito
First on our list of foods to reconsider on the Chick-fil-A menu is a breakfast item. Whether you’re late for the office and stopping for a quick and easy breakfast, or you just don’t feel like cooking, the Hash Brown Scramble Burrito might tempt your taste buds. However, this menu item is somewhat lacking in terms of protein and taste. This Hash Brown Scramble Burrito consists of a warmed flour tortilla with basic scrambled eggs and some cheddar cheese melted over traditional hash brown rounds.
This might seem like a filling breakfast choice, but it’s actually a heavy, high-carb breakfast that may just make you want to go back to sleep after eating. Not to mention the high amounts of fat in the meal, a whopping 40 grams. According to Healthline, a healthy diet no longer focuses so much on low-fat foods and the overall understanding of fats in our diets has really changed. However, the new recommendation for how much fat we should consume is still in the range of about 50 to 80 grams per day, depending on a few factors.
A burrito such as this one could be tempting because it is easier to eat on the go and it’s likely to fill you up, but as a breakfast option, it doesn’t provide much nutrition. This heavy meal, with carbs from the tortilla and potatoes, isn’t exactly refreshing or rejuvenating and could start your day off in slow motion.
2. Sausage, Egg & Cheese Muffin
Speaking of breakfast, another item you might want to reconsider from the early morning menu is the Sausage, Egg & Cheese Muffin. This sandwich has all the ingredients for a high-protein jumpstart for your morning, but the execution falls flat. The multigrain English muffin could get a nice crunch when it’s toasted; however, if it’s microwaved, it quickly becomes chewy with a less-than-desirable texture. On the sandwich are a sausage patty, an egg patty, and melted cheese. The concept of this sandwich is great; however, the muffin tends to be soft, the sausage overcooked and a bit dried out, and overall, it probably won’t be hot enough to melt the cheese.
Passing on this will save you from an extremely dry, unsatisfying sandwich that could’ve been great. The muffin is in desperate need of some butter or other sauce to make it less dry. In addition, the slice of American cheese makes this another option that is high in fat. According to Reader’s Digest, just one slice of American cheese is enough to account for about 25% of the saturated fat that the Food and Drug Administration recommends for the entire day. If you are going to order this sandwich, you might want to specifically request that they toast the muffin and make sure to grab a few extra butter, hot sauce, or ketchup packets to add.
3. Mac & Cheese Tray
If you’re a fan of piping hot, melty mac and cheese, you are probably familiar with Chick-fil-A’s delicious side dish. The regular side of mac and cheese can be a filling and satisfying addition to your meal when you’re not in the mood for traditional french fries. However, avoid being tempted by the Mac & Cheese Tray just because you are a fan of the side dish. This larger portion can be used as a side dish for dinner or brought as an easy addition to any potluck or dinner party; however, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
The Mac & Cheese Tray is available in two sizes, small and large, and is made up of traditional macaroni pasta and three different types of cheese. The end result is a filling, gooey, and hot addition to your meal. However, the tray simply doesn’t travel well. Considering the size of the dish, you are more than likely ordering it for a group as take out or you’ll have leftovers. The pasta is usually so hot when it comes out of the oven that it will continue to cook and get mushy, not to mention the cheese isn’t as gooey when you attempt to reheat. Overall, the dish tends to lose its appeal if it is not eaten right away. On top of that, it requires two hours of advanced notice. So don’t attempt to stop by on a moment’s notice or you’ll be disappointed.
4. Cookies and Cream Milkshake
If you’re gravitating toward something sweet while you’re in the drive-thru or waiting at the counter, you might think a fluffy, cold, Cookies & Cream Milkshake is a no-brainer. The flavor is slightly more exciting than the other options with chocolate cookie pieces that are hand spun and mixed into crisp vanilla ice cream. On top, you’ll find a small mountain of whip cream and a classic maraschino cherry, which all sounds delectable, except for the exorbitant amount of sugar in this cold treat.
This particular option at Chick-fil-A has extremely high levels of sugar with approximately 84 grams in one serving. According to The President and Fellows of Harvard College, about 24 to 36 grams of sugar is the suggested amount for adults per day. This means that the Cookies & Cream Milkshake is about three times the amount of sugar for one day in just one meal. A sweet treat is great every once in a while, but this is an excessive amount of sugar that just feels unnecessary, especially compared to other desserts on fast food menus. For example, a junior frosty at Wendy’s has less than 30 grams of sugar.
Even without the whipped cream or cherry, this sugary sweet drink is over the top. Another reason to skip the milkshakes at Chick-fil-A is the lack of options. There’s only one size available and you can’t move down for a more reasonable treat even if you want to.
5. Chick-fil-A Lemonade
Refreshing and tart, a Chick-Fil-A Lemonade seems like the perfect drink for a hot day. However, how much of this refreshing drink are you actually getting? The problem with restaurants that do not allow you to self-serve when it comes to drinks is that they are loaded up with ice beyond reason. I’m sure we’ve all seen the Starbucks trick that entails ordering a small drink and a cup of ice to avoid the crazy upcharge for a larger size that is mainly frozen water. At Chick-fil-A, the lemonade is behind the counter and served with heavy ice. At almost $3, there’s no bang for your buck here. If you’re craving a lemonade, try ordering the beverage with no ice or at least light on the ice to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.
In addition, this beverage is another option that is just loaded with sugar. A Chick-fil-A large lemonade contains approximately 74 grams of sugar, despite being advertised as a healthier option that is made from real juice. This is almost as much as the Cookies & Cream Milkshake! To put this into perspective, a large agave lemonade available at Panera Bread is approximately 40 grams of sugar. If you are dying for that tart and refreshing taste, you might want to consider ordering your lemonade somewhere else or order it with half water to cut back on the sugar and light ice to ensure you’re getting a drink that’s worth it.
6. 5 Ct Nuggets Kid’s Meal
The 5 Ct Nuggets Kid’s Meal is often enjoyed by adults, but it is geared toward little ones as an ideal, on-the-go option. The meal includes five nuggets with dipping sauce, and a choice of sides, such as mac and cheese, apple sauce, waffle fries, or a fruit cup, along with a small drink. This sounds like a well-rounded option for a kid’s meal or even an adult snack with a little protein and carbs to stop any grumbling tummies. However, just the nuggets alone are loaded with sodium.
Chick-fil-A is often considered a somewhat healthier option, compared to some other fast food restaurants, such as McDonald’s. However, there are 760 milligrams of sodium in the five-piece nugget meal from Chick-fil-A. In comparison, the McDonald’s six-piece nugget meal that’s also aimed at children contains 500 milligrams of sodium and that’s one more nugget than what’s served at Chick-fil-A. According to the Mayo Clinic Health System, it’s recommended that children between the ages of four and eight should only have approximately 1,500 milligrams of sodium throughout the whole day, which means one trip to Chick-fil-A could account for about half of their daily sodium. If you add on any other treats, such as french fries or lemonade, you could potentially be serving up the amount of sodium recommended for a day in just one meal.
7. Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich
Chick-fil-A is known for a few standout items on its menu, such as its creamy signature sauce, and the famous signature Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich. Therefore, you might be surprised that this sandwich makes a list of items to reconsider buying. However, the fact is that the sandwich is simply lacking. With just a buttered bun, pickles, and a boneless chicken breast, it may just leave you wanting more. This option is simply screaming for added lettuce and tomato and other toppings to cut through the extremely salty flavor of this sandwich.
Although the mixture of seasonings that go into the breading on the chicken is quite tasty, there is simply too much of it for this sandwich. The salty flavor of the breading, which also lacks a bit of that desired crunch from a chicken sandwich, is only interrupted by a few tart pickles. It just needs something else to round out the flavors. If you’re craving a chicken sandwich, you might consider ordering the classic sandwich or the spicy classic sandwich but add the extras that are available. The sandwich fairs much better with a few fresh vegetables such as lettuce and tomato, which also goes great with a bit of ranch dressing to get a little more flavor other than salt.
8. Strawberry Milkshake
Another favorite menu item at Chick-fil-A tends to be the milkshakes. With just a few options and one size, the flavors make an impression and can quickly become a favorite among buyers. The Strawberry Milkshake is a treat made of a mixture of hand spun ice cream and strawberries, with the option to add whip cream and a classic cherry topper. However, did you know that milkshakes that combine milk and fruit, especially fast food options, are just not a good combination for a happy gut?
According to Dr. Vasant Lad’s "The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies," via NDTV Convergence, the acidic nature of fruit and the protein in milk are handled and digested very differently in the body. Our bodies require different enzymes to process these two very different types of food, which can cause some unrest in the body. The digestive system struggles to break down both ingredients, which can lead to discomfort and problems such as indigestion and bloating. Both fruits and dairy can use up a lot of energy to break them down, and together it can be too much for your body, especially those with sensitive stomachs. In the end, the treat can feel heavy and overindulgent. Only available in one size, it’s difficult to not overindulge. This is also another high-in-sugar menu item, with approximately 87 grams in one serving.
9. Chick-fil-A Waffle Potato Fries
Waffle Potato Fries are another item on the Chick-fil-A menu that stands out among other competitors. The shape is exciting and something different; however, you might want to reconsider ordering a large side of these on your next lunch run. The deep-fried potatoes are satisfying, but high in carbs and not so high in protein. Although, that’s pretty standard for most.
Waffle fries are actually great when they’re made and served fresh, but they simply don’t travel well or even remain fresh for that long. Waffle fries tend to become soggy very quickly and can be unappetizing even with their many tasty dipping sauces.
10. Cobb Salad with Nuggets
It might be hard to believe that a salad is on the list of Chick-fil-A items to reconsider, but this item’s presence on the list is more about the high cost and the lack of excitement found in the salad. For almost $10, one would expect more out of it. The Cobb Salad with Nuggets from Chick-fil-A is a combination of mixed greens, grape tomatoes, roasted corn, two types of cheese, pieces of bacon, and hard-boiled eggs. Served on top of the salad are sliced, pressure-cooked chicken nuggets. Apart from those ingredients, there aren’t many extras available to spice up the salad.
The Cobb salad has the potential to be great, but the chicken nuggets served on top tend to wilt the lettuce and vegetables, leaving it soggy. This along with the price tag puts this item low on the list of favorites.
A salad like this might tempt you as a healthy, refreshing option for your lunch, but it is surprisingly full of drawbacks. Masked by vegetables and greens, this is actually a hidden source of high cholesterol and sodium. According to The Regents of The University of California, the recommended amount of daily cholesterol is approximately 300 milligrams, and 200 milligrams if your cholesterol is already high. With 235 milligrams of cholesterol and 2,220 grams of sodium in this salad with nuggets, you might want to skip it. Opt for the Market Salad or Spicy Southwest Salad if you are craving vegetables and don’t mind paying.
11. Club Sandwich with Colby Jack Meal
The final item on the list is the Club Sandwich with Colby Jack Meal. At a glance, the meal has a great balance of flavors with marinated grilled chicken, fresh veggies, a bit of cheese, and a nice added crunch from a few bacon strips. The toasted multigrain brioche bun offers a filling and flavorful carbohydrate to add to the mix. With a side of fries and a nice cold drink, you might be imagining the perfect lunch or dinner after a long day.
And yes, this meal might curb your hunger, but the price is much higher than the other meals available on the menu. Coming in at almost $12 with fries and a drink, this isn’t exactly your typical fast-food price tag. Finally, the chicken is marinated in a lemon-herb mixture. Although some might love this flavor, it is a powerful one that is not typical on a grilled chicken sandwich. Some buyers might be unpleasantly surprised by the distinct flavor and the hefty price tag of this meal.