Can KFC Make You Fat & Cause Weight Gain? (+FAQs)

At the end of a long hard day, what pleasures in life compare to having a steaming hot bucket of crispy fried chicken?

Savory, delicious, and oh-so-finger-lickin’ good, KFC’s fried chicken is the yummy answer to all your hunger queries.

But what are you supposed to do about the nagging voice in your head that tells you that KFC is unhealthy?

Let’s look at some facts!

Does Fried Chicken Make You Fat?

Not necessarily! When we talk about body weight, it’s important to know that a balanced diet is key to a balanced life.

When you consume a balanced diet of fats, carbohydrates and proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy dietary fats, and other lean proteins, and incorporate some form of movement into your day, you’re going to get the most of your nutrition and stay on top of your health.

The problem occurs when you eat more calories than you need because your body builds up excess energy stores as fat deposits.

Which is just the human body’s way of preparing for survival (if it cannot find food in the future). This means you are in a calorie surplus.

If you want to shed some pounds, fad diets, high-intensity workout boot camps, and sporadic investments in “detox teas” will not help you lose weight.

The only surefire way to do that is to be in a calorie deficit and get consistent regular physical activity.

However, it’s important to know the kinds of fat that are present in fried chicken so you can be mindful of your eating habits.

A regular fried chicken thigh carries around 300 calories and 14 grams of fat.

If you have standard weight with a recommended daily allowance of 1000-2000 calories per day, and you have a few pieces of chicken, it will not be too bad for your health.

But if you add extra pieces, extra sides, or extra drinks, you have the perfect ingredients for a 1000+ calorie meal, full of saturated fats that threaten to clog your vessels until you decide to get regular exercise.

In short: a piece or two of fried chicken won’t make you gain weight. Just don’t eat the full bucket alone!

Can You Get Fat Eating KFC?

Let’s be honest, all fried chicken is good, but it’s better when it’s KFC! Dusted with eleven secret herbs and spices, crispy and tender inside and out, each bite of KFC is simply perfect!

What makes it taste so good?

The answer is that over time, KFC has perfected the chicken frying process.

According to their off-patent recipe, the chicken is initially cooked at about 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and the fat is cooled down by the chicken.

Then, it’s cooked under pressure so that water boils at well over 212 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes the center taste fried rather than boiled. And oh, so finger-lickin’ good!

And what about the special herbs and spices that give it that signature taste?

Well, KFC remains hush-hush about the exact formula, but loyal customers attempting to recreate the recipe have landed on the following eleven ingredients:

  1. Paprika
  2. Onion salt
  3. Celery salt
  4. Rubbed sage
  5. Garlic powder
  6. Ground allspice
  7. Ground oregano
  8. Chili powder
  9. Black pepper
  10. Basil leaves
  11. Marjoram leaves

Does that make you feel hungry? You bet!

If you’re not ready to defy your loyalty to Colonel Sanders, let’s try a change of perspective. To answer if KFC makes you fat or not, it’s important to address the question below:

Is KFC Healthy to Eat?

That completely depends on what you define to be good for your health. Remember, moderation is key.

For example, if your body mass index (BMI) falls in the overweight category, you’re not regular with exercise, you don’t consume a balanced diet.

AND you’re looking to lose weight, then most items on the KFC fried chicken menu are not good for your health as they are calorically dense (carry more calories for the amount you eat) and are high in fat.

Let’s break it down more simply:



Fat (g)

Saturated Fat (g)

Trans Fat (g)

Cholesterol (mg)

Sodium (mg)



Sugars (g)

Protein (g)


































Whole Wing











Excess sodium and fat are high-risk factors for obesity, heart disease, and cholesterol deposition.

Fat carries flavor in undiluted concentrations, and mixed with the eleven herbs and spices that make the chicken at KFC so irresistible, it can really do a number on your health.

And if one is not mindful of their eating, it can get tricky to undo its harmful effects on the body.

So How Can You Eat Healthier at KFC?

The answer: fried chicken is not the only thing on the menu! Yes, it may be your favorite, but give your tastebuds a chance to try something new.

The delicious chain also offers a variety of leaner options such as grilled chicken, Rice n Spice bowls, and yummy chicken wraps.

Another tip that works for many people is portion control.

When dining alone, make your meal by ordering two separate pieces of fried chicken and get your sauces on the side to help with sodium and portion control.

When dining with people, empty the bucket onto individuals’ plates first so you can visualize your meal before you eat it, and avoid tempting yourself by reaching back into the bucket for more!

Hopefully, all of this information helps you out on your next KFC spree!

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