What You Should Know Before Ordering Popeyes' Chicken Tenders

Popeyes is known for its big, bold flavors and southern-style fast food. However, if you were hoping that eating at Popeyes might save you a few calories (after all, isn't chicken supposed to be healthier than red meat, ergo, my chicken strips are healthier than a burger?) you'll be sorely disappointed. This is especially true, if you were planning on ordering the chicken tenders.

Sure, Popeyes' chicken tenders are tasty — that's why they ranked well on our full ranking of every Popeyes menu item. From the mild chicken tenders to the handcrafted spicy tenders to the limited-edition voodoo tenders, these all-white breast meat strips are a delightfully crunchy, moist, dip-able dinner. But your health may pay dearly for this popular menu item. In fact, according to Eat This, Not That!, a registered dietitian called the chicken tenders some of the unhealthiest items you can order at Popeyes. Packed with sodium, trans fat, and calories, Popeyes' chicken tenders won't do you any favors.

Popeyes' chicken tenders — the crunchy, salty, greasy truth

When Eat This, Not That! asked the registered dietician to pick out the unhealthiest items on the Popeyes menu, one of the top picks was the 12-tender meal. The chicken meal comes with 2,847 calories (more than enough for your entire day), 738 grams of fat, and 9,480 milligrams of sodium. Even if you split the meal with a friend, you're still consuming far too much sodium and fat. The Cleveland Clinic recommends adults only consume 44 to 77 grams of fat per day, on a 2,000 calorie diet, with a recommended 0% of that fat coming from trans fat (the 12-tenders comes with 6 grams of trans fat). Similarly, the Mayo Clinic urges adults to keep their sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams per day. To put it another way, eating the 12-tender meal is the equivalent of chowing down on more than four teaspoons of salt.

So, you say, you won't order the 12-tender meal. No big deal. Unfortunately, the five-tender meal isn't much better. With its 741 calories, 34 grams of fat (including 2 grams of trans fat), and 3,035 milligrams of sodium, it still received a nod from Eat This, Not That! in a separate article for its high sodium content, which is 735 milligrams more than the government recommendation. In other words, before you order your next basket of Popeyes chicken tenders, maybe reconsider. Your blood pressure may thank you later.