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Health & Wellness

Are Chicken McNuggets Bad For You and Why You Should Not Let Your Children Eat Them

One of the things I am thankful for (not just this month, but all the time) is that I have grown up on home cooked meals made with natural ingredients. I don’t have fast food cravings (chocolate is another matter), and I would rather starve than eat certain foods (yes, I am that bad). The main reason being that I  know they will provide zero nutrition to my body, and will only make me feel temporarily satisfied. Before I eat something, I always want to know what it is made of. If the ingredient list is too long and hard to comprehend, I just don’t eat it.

Do you like Chicken McNuggets? Is this your children’s favorite snack? Have you ever bothered to research what are they made of and what they can do to you? This is how McDonald’s promotes them:

Dip ’em, dunk ’em, share ’em 

Chicken McNuggets

Tender, juicy Chicken McNuggets made with white meat, wrapped up in a crisp tempura batter. Made for sharing, or, if you want ’em all to yourself, then that’s our little secret.

Looks tempting… but how is it made? (Photo: web)

Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Many of you eat Chicken McNuggets and feed them to your children, believing the words above. But are they really true? Here are some other opinions on Chicken McNuggets, based on facts:

“stripped down to the bone, and then ‘ground up’ into a chicken mash, then combined with a variety of stabilizers and preservatives, pressed into familiar shapes, breaded and deep fried, freeze dried, and then shipped to a McDonald’s near you.”

“a McFrankenstein creation of various elements not utilized by the home cook,”

This is what chicken McNuggets used to be made of… mechanically separated meat. In 2010 is has been announced that McDonald’s McNuggets no longer do contain “mechanically separated poultry” as defined by the federal government. Does this make them better for you? I will let you be the judge of it. (Photo: web)

McDonald’s now shares all nutritional information about their products, here is the chart I got from their website:

Chicken McNuggets® (4 piece)

Calories from Fat 110 Dietary Fiber 1g (2%) Calcium 8mg (0%)
Saturated Fat 2g (10%) Sugars 0g Iron 0.5mg (2%)
Trans Fat 0g Vitamin A 0IU (0%) Vitamin C 1mg (2%)
Cholesterol 25mg (9%)


At  first glance this nutrition information doesn’t seem too scary: 190 calories, 12 grams of carbs and 12 grams of fat. But consider that more than half of those calories (56 percent) are from fat—and protein accounts for a mere 19 percent. Add a whopping 360 mg sodium, and its image as “the more nutritious fast-food snack” fades away… McNuggets are low in nutrients everyone needs, such as calcium, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and healthy fats, so a steady diet of nuggets means missing out on the health benefits of those ingredients.

What exactly is in a Chicken McNugget?

You will be surprised, that out of a long list of ingredients, the Chicken McNuggets are primarily comprised of … corn. And other things that are not so good for you…

Below I copied the list of ingredients from McDonald’s website and added some descriptions to help you read them better.

“White boneless chicken (corn-fed) , water, food starch-modified (corn-derived), salt, seasoning [autolyzed yeast extract, salt, wheat starch, natural flavoring (botanical source), safflower oil, dextrose, citric acid], sodium phosphates, natural flavor (botanical source). Battered and breaded with: water, enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), yellow corn flour (corn-derived), bleached wheat flour, food starch-modified, salt, leavening (baking soda, sodium acid pyrophosphate(chemical), sodium aluminum phosphate (chemical), monocalcium phosphate (chemical), calcium lactate (chemical) (the latter four are antioxidants added to keep the various animal and vegetable fats involved in a nugget from turning rancid), spices, wheat starch, dextrose, corn starch (corn-derived).

Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ (it comes in to “help preserve freshness”; a chemical preservative the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: It can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause “nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.” Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill.”) and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane (a form of silicone also used in cosmetics; a suspected carcinogen and an established mutagen, tumorigen, and reproductive effector; it’s also flammable) added as an antifoaming agent.”

These are the facts, and now you can make up your own mind. The most important thing is to make informed choices. But before you decide whether to get a 4-piece or not, consider the fact that you lead by example. Sometimes, people need a really good visual to help them break certain addictions. Watch the video below:

Did it scare you and shock you a little bit? Good. Hopefully it also made you think.







I would like to thank Brandy Foss and Jamie Kuenzie for providing us with some of the information above. Brandy is a RN and a Juice Plus Representative. You can reach her at 1-800-942-1151 or bfossjp@charter.net. Jamie is an Occupational Therapist and a Juice Plus Representative. You can reach her at 314.276.4489 or visit her website  http://www.jkjuiceplus.comWant to contribute to “Health and Wellness”? Get in touch with me and share your ideas: slavabowman@yahoo.com

About Slava

I am a twenty-something Bulgarian girl in the USA, re-discovering the world through the lens.


7 Responses to “Are Chicken McNuggets Bad For You and Why You Should Not Let Your Children Eat Them”

  1. Another fantastic source for information is Jamie Olivers “Food Revolution”. SHOCKING!
    These thing I already knew, but thank you for making this info available to others!
    Happy Thanksgiving!


    Posted by Amy Lamb | November 21, 2012, 8:09 am
  2. I am never eating nuggets again!!!!

    Posted by Logan Dawson | September 23, 2014, 12:09 pm
  3. Thanks, I was legit about to eat a 10-piece I got in my fridge but I’ll give them away to someone who cares less lol

    Posted by T | December 13, 2015, 9:59 am
  4. I’m still gonna eat chicken nuggets..

    Posted by Victoria | November 21, 2016, 8:18 am

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