Calorie Guide for KFC

by William McCoy

A single piece of KFC chicken can contain hundreds of calories.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When you're in public and catch the scent of fried chicken wafting through the air, you might soon find yourself in line at Kentucky Fried Chicken. The fast food restaurant, which has more than 15,000 locations globally at the time of publication, is known for its crispy, fried chicken. If you find KFC's food irresistible, be wary of its high caloric value. Frequent consumption of fast food can lead to health issues.

Choose Grilled Over Fried

Many of KFC's chicken selections are high in calories, but it's possible to find some lower-calorie options. The lower-calorie chicken items on the menu are of the grilled variety, rather than fried. Grilled breasts and thighs have 220 and 170 calories, respectively. A piece of breast or thigh meat coated in KFC's Original Recipe breading contains 320 or 290 calories, respectively. When you opt for an extra crispy breast or thigh, your selection contains 490 or 370 calories, respectively. Regardless of the variety, wing and drumstick meat is lower in calories than breasts and thighs. For example, extra crispy wings and drumsticks have 210 and 160 calories.

Sandwiches Pack a Caloric Punch

If you don't favor a traditional KFC bucket of chicken, you might enjoy one of the restaurant's chicken sandwiches. The caloric content in KFC's sandwiches ranges between 210 and 610 calories. At the lower end of the spectrum are the Chicken Little without Sauce and the Chicken Little, which have 210 and 310 calories. The Honey BBQ sandwich has 320 calories, making it the third-lowest sandwich in terms of calories. Eating a Crispy Twister or Double Down, increases your caloric intake by 610 or 600 calories, respectively. The Colonel's Original Sandwich has 430 calories.

Some Sides Better Than Others

Among side dishes, the green beans and corn on the cob have the lowest number of calories, at 25 and 70. Mashed potatoes without gravy and sweet kernel corn are also relatively low in calories, at 90 and 100 calories. Coleslaw, at 170 calories, has a moderate caloric content. High-calorie sides include potato wedges, with 290 calories, and baked beans, potato salad and the cornbread muffin, with 210 calories.

For the Sweet Tooth

If you want to keep your caloric intake as low as possible during dessert, choose a cookie. Oatmeal raisin cookies contain 150 calories, and chocolate chip, sugar and double fudge calories have 160 calories each. On the higher side are the apple turnover, which has 230 calories, and a slice of chocolate chip cake or peanut butter pie yields 300 or 310 calories. If you wash down your meal with a soda, expect to increase your meal's caloric content by 200 to 800 calories, depending on your serving size.

Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.