Should You Upgrade Your Chicken Nuggets?

Nuggets and tenders are polishing their image. But some upgrades matter more than others:

Whole grain. You get all or mostly whole grain in Nature Raised’s delicious Whole Grain Breast Nuggets and Trader Joe’s Chicken Drummellas, and in FreeBird Whole Grain Popcorn Chicken. Bravo!

Despite the name, Banquet Whole Grain Chicken Breast Strips are a mix of whole and white flour. Ditto for “whole grain” (and higher-sodium) nuggets and tenders from Perdue, Pilgrim’s, and Tyson.

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Lightly Breaded. Get ready for fewer calories and less white flour. A 3 oz. serving of Tyson Lightly Breaded Chicken Breast Strips, for example, has 150 calories—40 less than the company’s Crispy Chicken Strips.

In contrast, many gluten-free nuggets and tenders don’t cut carbs or calories. They just swap wheat flour for rice and/or corn flour. If you don’t eat gluten, try Ian’s Breaded Chicken Tenders. Tyson Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Breast Strips have just a little too much saturated fat.

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