Although chicken is a low-fat food that can be nutritious, not all products made from chicken are particularly healthy. Chicken tenders, for example, are made with low-fat chicken breast meat but are covered in oil and bread crumbs, which adds a significant amount of fat, carbohydrates and calories. Baking rather than frying tenders can limit the amount of fat and calories added.
Baked chicken tenders are high in calories, as a 100-gram chicken tender contains 280 calories. That amount constitutes 14 percent of the daily recommended intake of 2,000 calories, and it is more than twice the amount that a 100-gram grilled chicken breast provides, which is 110 calories. Thus, baked chicken tenders are not ideal for dieting.
Baked chicken tenders are a calorie-dense type of food because they are high in fat. One 100-gram chicken tender contains 15 grams of total fat, with 7 grams of saturated fat. Consuming too much saturated fat can encourage a higher risk of heart disease, so the American Heart Association recommends limiting your daily intake to less than 16 grams. The AHA suggests a daily intake of 50 to 70 grams of total fat.
Because grilled chicken tenders are made with chicken, they are rich in protein. Each 100-gram chicken tender contains 21 grams of protein, which is 3.5 times the amount in an egg. Protein is vital for your health, as it supplies your body with amino acids it needs to build and repair body tissues.
Although chicken is naturally free of carbohydrates, the breading on chicken tenders adds carbohydrates. Each 100-gram chicken tender contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, which are nutrients that act as your body's primary source of energy.
Grilled chicken tenders are low in one vital type of carbohydrate, dietary fiber. Each 100-gram serving contains only 1 gram of fiber. This nutrient promotes a healthy digestive tract, aids in regulating blood sugar levels and can help provide feelings of fullness after meals.
Baked chicken tenders are relatively high in cholesterol, with 60 milligrams in each 100-gram tender. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends limiting your daily intake of cholesterol to less than 200 milligrams to reduce your risk of heart disease.
Baked chicken tenders are high in sodium. Each 100-gram serving contains 800 milligrams, or 35 percent of the daily suggested intake of 2,300. Consuming a high-sodium diet may increase your risk of high blood pressure.
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Chicken Tender (Chicken Express)
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Chicken Breast (100g) (Kroger)
- American Heart Association: Know Your Fats
- LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate: Calories in Eggs
- Colorado State University Extension; Dietary Fiber; J. Anderson, et al.; December 2010
- Cleveland Clinic: Nutrition - Cholesterol Guidelines
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.