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What’s in Burger King’s Cheetos Chicken Fries?

In this new series, “Eating out: What’s in it?” we will be going over how you can figure out for yourself if something is unhealthy. Today we are taking a trip to Burger King.

 

1. Check the menu

In more and more urban and developed cities, some nutrition information is being publicly displayed on the menu. Look for numbers or symbols next to the menu item.

Examples:

  • “S/M 150/320 cal”     — this could be found right after a soda, indicating that the small portion is 150 calories, while a medium is 320.
  • “GF,” “V,” or “DF”     — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free)
  • “15g prot”     –there are 15 grams of protein in your food

 

These indicators are convenient and effective ways of narrowing down choices.

 

2. Go online

If you are eating at a chain restaurant, you can almost guarantee they will have the nutritional info on their websites. Some even have ingredients, and most include a common allergen guide.

In this case we have an extensive amount of information online for all of Burger King’s products.

 

  1. Go to their website
  2. On the main menu select “Food”
  3. In the food subcategory select “Chicken & More”
  4. Find the Cheetos Chicken Fries and click “Info & Nutrition
  5. Here you can view/download the nutrition facts and ingredient lists for every item on the menu.

 

 

Summaries- Nutrition:

  • 280 calories

This may be high or low for you, depending on the circumstances.

 

  • 14g of protein, 890mg of sodium, and 35mg of cholesterol

The protein and cholesterol are not all too surprising considering it is chicken. However, to be honest, the sodium content is pretty terrible. As we mentioned here, that’s 2/3 of the sodium a healthy individual should be consuming in a DAY. In a couple of fries.

 

  • 16g of carbohydrates, 0g of which are sugar

That would be the breading / cheeto- 100% starch.

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts

 

  • 18g of fat, 3.5 of which is saturated, 0 grams trans fat

Hey, at least there is no trans fat. The saturated fat isn’t great, but thankfully there isn’t too much of it. The bad thing is just the fat content in general, not necessarily the types of fat. 18 grams is not great when it comes from sources like “modified butter,” “modified cheese,” and vegetable oil.

 

This product could be misleading, since most people consider chicken a “good source of protein.” In reality, here is our calorieA unit commonly used to measure the amount of energy that is... More breakdown:

 

21% protein, 25% carbs, 54% fat, give or take a couple percent.

See also: What’s on the Nutrition Label?

 

Summaries- Ingredients:

The format they show you the ingredients can be daunting, so I divided it up into a layout that is hopefully easier to understand.

The actual ingredients are in blue, the headings are in black to avoid counting items twice.

 

1. Chicken breast with rib meat CONTAINING:

  1. Up to 19% of a solution of water
  2. Seasoning
    1. Whey
    2. White cheddar and blue cheese
      1. Milk
      2. Salt
      3. Cultures
      4. Enzymes
    3. Salt
    4. Nonfat milk
    5. Sour cream
      1. Cream
      2. Cultures
      3. Lactic acid"Lactic acid, the chemical 2-hydroxypropanoic acid, occurs n... More
    6. Buttermilk solids
    7. Cultured nonfat milk
    8. Citric acid"Citric acid is the compound 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarbo... More
    9. Maltodextrin
    10. Enzyme modified butter
    11. NaturalThis term, to be honest, does not mean much. It simply means... More flavor
    12. Flavor
  3. Modified food starch
  4. Salt
  5. Isolated oat product,
  6. Potato starch
  7. Sodium phosphates
  8. Monosodium glutamate

 

2. BATTERED WITH

    1. Water
    2. Enriched wheat flour
      1. Enriched with
        1. Niacin, ferrous sulfate"Ferrous sulfate heptahydrate is prepared by the action of s... More, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid
    3. Yellow corn flour
    4. Modified wheat starch
    5. Salt
    6. Maltodextrin
    7. Enzyme modified cheddar cheese
      1. Cultured milk
      2. Salt
      3. Enzymes
    8. Modified corn starch
    9. Monosodium glutamate
    10. Leavening
      1. Sodium acid pyrophosphateAlso known as disodium phosphate, it is a leavening agent, s... More
      2. Sodium bicarbonate
      3. Lactic acid
      4. Sorbitol
      5. Xanthan gum"The additive is a polysaccharide gum derived from Xanthomon... More
      6. Milk
      7. Gum arabic
      8. Natural flavors
      9. Yellow 5 lake, yellow 5, yellow 6

 

3. BREADED WITH

  1. Enriched bleached wheat flour
    1. Enriched with
      1. Niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid
  2. Salt
  3. Sugar
  4. Yeast
  5. Monosodium glutamate
  6. Yellow 6

 

4. PREDUSTED WITH

  1. Enriched wheat flour
    1. Enriched with
      1. Niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid
  2. Modified wheat starch
  3. Salt
  4. Monosodium glutamate
  5. Maltodextrin
  6. Enzyme modified cheddar cheese
    1. Cultured milk
    2. Salt
    3. Enzymes
  7. Modified corn starch
  8. DextroseA form of glucose, a basic sugar.
  9. Lactic acid
  10. Sorbitol
  11. Xanthan gum
  12. Milk
  13. Gum arabic
  14. Natural flavors
  15. Extractives of paprika
  16. Breading set in vegetable oil

CONTAINS: WHEAT, MILK

See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients

 

Breakdown:

  • We have sorbitol, a sugar alcohol
  • Several food colors
  • The thiamine, niacin, folic acid, etc. are just the micronutrientsSomething we need in very small amounts to stay alive. The e... More that make wheat enriched
  • Watch out for maltodextrin, an artificial sweetener.
  • Natural flavor is quite ambiguous (more here)
  • Notice the dreaded MSG
  • Lots of salt

 

Hope this eating out tutorial / walk-through helps! More coming soon.

 

Thanks for reading!

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