The Best Chick-Fil-A Meal, According To A Dietitian

Bringing the United States better-for-you options for less has been a challenge that Chick-fil-A has tackled head-on. The chain has long been considered healthier than many of its fast-food competitors. In fact, according to a 2009 report from Nation's Restaurant News, Chick-fil-A was one of the first quick-service restaurants to add salads to its menu. But if you've ever wondered how to make the most out of the variety of high-quality options available at the home of the iconic chicken sandwich, wonder no longer.

Registered dietitian Summer Yule, MS, RDN, revealed to Mashed that she has created the perfect recipe for a satisfying and healthy meal at Chick-fil-A, from drink to main course to dessert. 

And while all of Yule's entrée suggestions include the chain's signature grilled chicken products, the dietitian still offers plenty of different ways for consumers to build their new favorite (and nutritious) go-to Chick-fil-A order.

A dietitian's advice for ordering the perfect Chick-fil-A meal

As with all good meals, we must start with entrées. Registered dietitian Summer Yule gives customers three different options for a protein-packed main course: the market salad with spicy grilled filet (which gives consumers 28 grams of protein at only 540 calories), the grilled Chick-fil-A sandwich (which comes in at 28 grams of protein and 380 calories, per the chain's website), and the grilled chicken nuggets (which boast 25 grams of protein and 130 calories if you order the eight-count). However, if you're looking for a low-sodium entrée item, you will want to stick to one of Chick-fil-A's lower-sodium foods: the grilled chicken nuggets.

The next step in making the best Chick-fil-A meal is picking a nutritious side. Yule recommends a fruit cup or an almond-dusted kale crunch salad. As for salad dressing, she suggests choosing "fat-free honey mustard dressing, light balsamic vinaigrette, and light Italian." 

For a drink with a small dose of sugar, Yule points fast-food goers to the diet lemonade. However, those on the hunt for a sugar-free beverage should opt for "unsweetened tea, bottled water, coffee, or milk." Finally, last but not least, for dessert, Yule suggests that while the Icedream cup is a low-calorie option, Chick-fil-A lovers should treat themselves to a sweet they truly adore.