When You Eat Too Many Chicken Nuggets, This Is What Happens To Your Body

Few people can resist the siren song of juicy, perfectly fried chicken nuggets. Whether you're someone craving the nostalgic deliciousness of your favorite childhood meal or a parent trying to feed a car full of hungry kids, the tasty bites seem like the perfect solution. And while there's nothing wrong with indulging your chicken nugget craving from time to time, too much of a good thing isn't always a good thing.

Chicken nuggets are one of those foods that are best enjoyed in moderation, the Food Network says, warning that your go-to drive-thru order offers little nutritional value. Not only do chicken nuggets contain some not-so-great ingredients like oil, sugar, and bleached wheat (via Boldsky), but they also have extremely high amounts of fat and sodium, depending on how the nuggets are prepared. Those things might make the meaty morsels taste good but they aren't as good for your body and overall health, especially if you're consuming them in large amounts on a regular basis.

The extra ingredients can lead to long-term health problems

Most chicken nuggets are made with pieces of white meat but unfortunately, they also contain a lot of other filler ingredients that aren't as healthy. While it varies from brand to brand (or restaurant to restaurant), many chicken nuggets are fried in hydrogenated oils and contain unhealthy ingredients and a shocking amount of preservatives. According to NBC News, not only do chicken nuggets have about half the protein of skinless chicken; they also have four times more sodium and fat than a plain chicken breast.

Those ingredients can have a lot of harmful effects on your body when consumed in excess. Not only can too much sugar or fat cause your blood sugar to spike and your blood pressure to increase, but it can also lead to long-term health problems, like heart disease or diabetes. Plus, consuming a lot of those artificial ingredients and oils can cause your body to store more fat, which can result in unwanted weight gain and even obesity. 

Too much sodium isn't good for your heart

Perhaps the worst offender when it comes to what's inside your chicken nuggets is the salt content. The Food Network reports that the average six-piece order of chicken nuggets from a fast food restaurant contains 230 milligrams of sodium, which is about a quarter of an adult's daily sodium needs (2,300 mg). That means that if you get a 10-piece box from McDonald's, you could be consuming almost half of your sodium (and calorie) requirements in one meal. 

Even more surprising, Web MD found that while some popular brands of frozen chicken nuggets could contain as little as 370 mg per serving, others had upwards of 500 mg. Morningstar nuggets, which might sound like a far healthier meatless alternative, had 600 mg of sodium. While salt is essential for your body, too much sodium can have negative consequences on your health, from causing unwanted water retention to raising your blood pressure. If over-consumed on a regular basis, it can also increase your risk of serious illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, and stroke.