Tyson chicken nuggets seem to be quite healthy at first glance. They are made with 100% natural ingredients and the brand claims they are minimally processed. They also don’t contain antibiotics. But how healthy are they actually? In this article, we look at their ingredients and nutritional information to see whether they are good or bad for you.
Tyson chicken nuggets – Ingredients
First of all, it’s worth mentioning that Tyson sell a few different types of chicken nuggets, such as:
- Air Fried Chicken Nuggets
- Breaded Chicken Nuggets
- Fun Nuggets
- Tyson® Panko Chicken Nuggets
They also have gluten-free chicken nuggets but for the purpose of this article, we are going to focus only on the most popular Tyson chicken nuggets here.
Here is how they compare in terms of their ingredients:
|Type of Tyson Nuggets||Ingredients|
|Air Fried Chicken Nuggets||Boneless, skinless chicken breast with rib meat, wheat flour, water, contains 2% or less of the following: brown sugar, caramelized sugar, corn starch, extractives of paprika, garlic powder, maltodextrin, natural flavors, onion powder, palm oil, salt, soybean oil, spice, sugar, tapioca maltodextrin, wheat gluten, yeast, and yeast extract.|
|Breaded Chicken Nuggets||Chicken, water, wheat flour, contains 2% or less of the following: brown sugar, corn starch, dried garlic, dried onion, dried yeast, extractives of paprika, natural flavor, oat fiber, salt, spices, wheat starch, white whole wheat flour, yellow corn flour. Breading set in vegetable oil.|
|Fun Nuggets||Boneless, skinless chicken breasts with rib meat, water, whole wheat flour, wheat flour, contains 2% or less of the following: corn starch, dried garlic, dried onion, dried yeast, flavorings, natural flavor, chicken broth, paprika extract (color), salt, soybean oil, spice, sugar, yellow corn flour. Breading set in vegetable oil.|
|Tyson® Panko Chicken Nuggets||Chicken breast with rib meat, wheat flour, water, contains 2% or less of the following: dextrose, dried yeast, extractives of paprika, garlic powder, natural flavor, natural sea salt, onion powder, salt, soybean oil, spices, sugar, torula yeast, wheat gluten and yellow corn flour. Breading set in vegetable oil.|
If you don’t like to eat chicken nuggets made of various parts of the chicken then you need to read the ingredients list carefully.
Tyson don’t specify which parts of chicken they use for their Breaded Chicken Nuggets and this is the worst thing about these nuggets. It’s likely they are using a combination of different chicken parts such as chicken breast, skin, and even bones. It’s actually very clear they are not using only chicken breast as they have so many bad reviews on their website mentioning a weird colour of the cooked product. We suggest you avoid this type of nuggets.
To eat better quality chicken nuggets, look for “Boneless, skinless chicken breast” in the ingredient list. This is very specific so you know exactly what you are getting.
All Tyson chicken nuggets contain various flavourings and seasonings such as garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and salt.
There is also some sugar added to all Tyson chicken nuggets which is not a good thing as this just adds extra calories but no nutritional value. Interestingly, on the Tyson website, sugar is not disclosed in the nutritional information section for some types of chicken nuggets (you can see that in the table below).
White or whole wheat flour is found in all types of Tyson chicken nuggets as well as some kind of oil.
Air Fried Chicken Nuggets contain palm oil which many people like to avoid but other Tyson chicken nuggets normally contain soybean oil.
To see whether all these ingredients make Tyson chicken nuggets healthy or unhealthy we need to look at their nutritional information next.
Tyson chicken nuggets – Nutritional information
Here is how different types of Tyson chicken nuggets compare when it comes to nutritional values:
|Values per 100g||Air Fried Chicken Nuggets||Breaded Chicken Nuggets||Fun Nuggets||Tyson® Panko Chicken Nuggets|
|– of which Saturated Fat||1.2g||4.4g||3.2g||2.9g|
|– of which Sugar||2.4g||0g||0g||0g|
Tyson chicken nuggets – Calories
Tyson Breaded Chicken nuggets are the most calorific, containing 300 calories per 100g. This is 270 calories for a serving size of 90g (5 pieces). This means that one chicken nugget has around 54 calories.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that Tyson Breaded Chicken nuggets contain the most calories. They are made of various chicken parts including skin and this makes them higher in fat and higher in calories.
If you are looking for lower-calorie chicken nuggets you should try Tyson Air Fried nuggets which contain only 188 calories per 100g or 160 calories per 5-piece portion (85g). One Tyson air-fried chicken nugget contains only 32 calories.
Carbs in Tyson chicken nuggets
Tyson chicken nuggets contain between 13 and 18g of carbs depending on which variety you eat. Fun Nuggets have the least carbs (13g) while Air Fried Chicken Nuggets have the most carbs (18g).
All Tyson chicken nuggets have some added sugar but this is not disclosed for all the nuggets in the nutritional information section on Tyson’s website. There is about 0.5 teaspoon of sugar in Tyson’s nuggets per 100g.
Sodium content in Tyson chicken nuggets
According to the FDA, we should not eat more than 2,300 mg of sodium (or 5.75g of salt) per day. 5% of the recommended daily value (or less) of sodium per serving is considered low.
Tyson® Panko Chicken Nuggets have the lowest sodium content out of all Tyson chicken nuggets we are comparing here. However, it is still high according to the FDA’s recommendations. One serving of Tyson® Panko Chicken Nuggets (85 g) contains 380 mg of sodium. This represents 17% of the recommended daily value and means these nuggets are pretty high in sodium.
Other types of Tyson chicken nuggets are all considered high in sodium according to FDA standards as they have 20% or more of the recommended daily sodium intake in one serving.
Tyson Breaded Chicken Nuggets have the most fat, containing 18g of fat per 100g.
Air Fried Chicken Nuggets have the least fat and have only 4.7g of fat per 100g. This seems to be the best option for those watching their calories as well.
Are Tyson chicken nuggets processed?
Yes, of course, they are processed. Although the brand claims to use 100% natural ingredients, this doesn’t mean they have not been processed.
Do Tyson chicken nuggets have MSG?
There is no MSG listed in the ingredients lists found on Tyson’s website.
Can I eat Tyson chicken nuggets on keto?
Tyson chicken nuggets contain flour, starch, breading and sugar and this makes them unsuitable for the keto diet.
Are Tyson chicken nuggets good or bad for you?
Tyson chicken nuggets are not healthy for you as they are high in sodium. Some of them also contain various parts of the chicken, including skin which makes them high in fat and calories. All of the Tyson chicken nuggets contain some sugar which adds extra calories but no nutritional value.
Although Tyson chicken nuggets are not really good for you, you have an option to try their Air Fried Chicken Nuggets which have less fat and less calories. They are still high in sodium though so we suggest you only eat a few in one meal and not very often so that it doesn’t have a negative impact on your health.