There have been several articles making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter lately, giving people a look inside a chicken nugget. Spoiler alert: it’s gross.
It might not come as much of a surprise to you, but inside those fast-food chicken nuggets, there isn’t a whole lot of actual chicken.
Dr. Richard D. deShazo, MD, is a professor of pediatrics and medicine at Mississippi Medical Center. Along with his pathologist colleague Steven Bigler, MD, Dr. deShazo decided to dissect a chicken nugget to find out what it is about these oddly shaped bits of “food” that makes kids seem almost addicted to them.
Their findings ended up being published in the American Journal of Medicine, but here’s what happened, in a nugget shell.
These doctors took two random nuggets from two fast-food restaurants in Mississippi. Inside the nuggets, the doctors found blood vessels, fat, bones, cartilage, intestinal tissue, and organ tissue.
One of the nuggets was 56% fat, 25% carbohydrates, and 19% protein. The nugget from the second restaurant was 58% fat, 24% carbs, and 18% protein. (These numbers don’t take into account the breading of the nuggets, which is more salt, sugar, and fat.)
Chicken used to make nuggets usually comes from a carcass after the animal has already been processed for other uses. The remaining pieces of chicken on the bone are combined with the innards of the chicken, processed again with salt, sugars, and more fats, popped into a breading, and fried in more unhealthy fat.
There is no denying it, though—children do love those friendly-shaped nuggets. That, of course, doesn’t mean you should be buying them!
Buy your own chicken breasts and turn them into homemade nuggets. All you have to do to make nuggets at home is to simply chop your chicken breast into bite-sized pieces, dip them in a mixture of egg beaten into buttermilk or coconut milk with a bit of mustard for flavor, and then dredge them through seasoned almond flour. Give them a light misting of olive oil spray and cook them in a 400-degree oven until they are cooked through (roughly 20 minutes).
Serve with honey and raw veggies for a delicious and healthy Paleo chicken nugget meal!
PS–Want more great Paleo recipes? Subscribe to Dinner Answers today!
Most of us wouldn’t consider Chick-fil-A fast food. We all know the fast food nuggets she’s talking about here. If you break it open and it looks nothing like a piece of actual animal muscle then you should put it down and walk far away. 😉
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