How to Eat Low Sodium at KFC

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Helen Foster
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If you’ve decided to keep a closer eye on your sodium, you’re probably wondering what you can and can’t eat at your favorite fast-food restaurants. Today, we will show you what you can order at KFC if you follow a low-sodium diet plan. Plus, we’ve found the options that also combine low sodium with fewer calories, less sugar, less saturated fat, and more.

Whatever your healthy eating plan, we’ve found the best options – so let’s get started!

Illustration of three pieces of fried chicken. a purple oval above them reads Best Low Sodium Choices at KFC

The Absolute Lowest Sodium Option in KFC

One reason why it’s hard to sort this out yourself is that on the face of it, everything in KFC looks low sodium – but then you realize that’s for one piece, without sides, and most meals don’t come like that – so with that in mind, the lowest sodium main menu item at KFC is the Chicken Little Burger which has 620mg of sodium.

If you want to order a side with that, pick one of the corn-based sides, as these are sodium-free.

The Lowest Sodium Combo at KFC

From this point on, things get a bit trickier because you’re looking at combos, which means maths.

But, we can tell you that the lowest sodium combo at KFC is the two-piece Chicken Combo with Drum and Thigh – choose grilled chicken, sweetcorn as your side, and a small Pepsi for your drink. Including the biscuit that comes with this, you’ll consume 1210mg of sodium.

This is a little over half the amount the American Heart Association suggests someone without health issues should consume in a day, but if you’re under the care of a medical team, possibly more than they might suggest you consume – see below for a little trick to cut it by almost half though.

How the Different Types of Chicken Stack Up

You might think chicken is chicken, but unfortunately, it is not. Picking the wrong type of chicken at KFC can more than double your sodium intake. Here’s how the pieces stack up, from lowest to highest

TypeWingDrumstickThighBreast
Grilled180mg220mg420mg710mg
Extra Crispy340mg390mg700mg1150mg
Super Crispy350mg420mg720mg1100mg
Spicy Crispy350mg420mg720mg1100mg
Original380mg430mg910mg1190mg
Nashville Hot450mg510mg900mg1390mg

Six Low Sodium KFC Sides

Choosing the right chicken is just one part of the picture when cutting sodium at KFC – the side dishes will also make a big difference to your combo. These are the best six to choose from…

SideSodium Count
Sweet Kernel Corn0mg
Corn on the Cob0mg
Coleslaw180mg
Cornbread Muffin240mg
Potato Salad290mg
Macaroni Salad290mg

The Best Way to Cut Sodium at KFC

Say No to the Biscuit: It comes with most combos but contains 520mg of sodium – nearly half the amount in our suggested combo. If you lose the biscuit, you could upgrade to a 3-piece Grilled Chicken Combo for less sodium than a 2-piece!

Other Ways to Keep Things Low

Always Pick the Dark Meat Combo – whatever type of chicken you choose, a thigh and a drumstick will be lower in sodium than the breast and a wing.

Go Sauce Free: Even the lowest dipping sauce – Honey Mustard – adds 120mg of sodium to your meal.

Pick Pepsi: It has just 30mg of sodium in a regular serving.

Choose Nuggets: A portion of 5 Kentucky Fried Nuggets has 700mg of sodium, but because they don’t come in a combo, you can choose the lowest sodium sides – and not be tempted by the biscuit!

So, that’s what you need to know if you’re just watching sodium – but if you’re adjusting your diet in other ways as well, here’s what you should pick.

Portions of fried chicken on a white plate

The Lowest Saturated Fat, Lowest Sodium Choice

If one of your primary goals is to consume less saturated fat and sodium, the best thing you can order at KFC is the Kentucky Fried Nuggets.

The 5-piece nuggets at KFC contain 700mg of sodium and 0 grams of saturated fat – pick a 5-piece portion of nuggets and a side of corn on the cob, and add no extra fat or sodium. 

The Lowest Calorie, Lowest Sodium Choice In KFC

The lowest calorie option will be the 5-piece Kentucky Fried Nuggets if you want to keep both calories and sodium low – the nuggets have 35 calories each, making a whole portion just 175 calories. Add our old friend Corn on the Cob, and you have a meal for just 245 calories – a bit too low for a main meal – the minimum should be 400 calories.

A better choice would be to pick the Chicken Littles sandwich (300 calories) and add that to a side of Coleslaw. This adds up to a more substantial 470 calories with 800mg of sodium – just 100mg more than the nuggets.

The Lowest Sugar, Lowest Sodium Option At KFC

KFC’s lowest sugar, lowest sodium menu items are the Kentucky Fried Nuggets (700mg of sodium for five nuggets).

If you want something less processed, pick the 2-piece Chicken Combo with Drum and Thigh with Sweet Corn Kernels as your side dish and a diet Wild Cherry Pepsi – this adds up to 1210mg sodium and just 1g of sugar.

The Lowest Sodium Vegetarian/Vegan Option

According to the latest KFC nutrition guidelines, no vegetarian or vegan options are currently available on the main KFC menu. They have trialed Beyond Chicken in some branches, but note that this is fried in the same fryers as the chicken.

Beyond Chicken is also not a very low-sodium product.

The Lowest Sodium, Gluten-free Choice 

Unfortunately, KFC isn’t a great place to eat if you follow a gluten-free diet. Every main menu item contains gluten, and only a few side dishes and side salads are gluten-free – but KFC does not have a separate kitchen, so they point out that cross-contamination is possible.

Thanks for reading this low-sodium KFC post. Hopefully, we’ve helped you plan your next order. 

If you have any other questions, feel free to leave them in the comments!

What to Read Next

If you’re a fried chicken fan, we’ve also looked into the lowest sodium choices at Popeyes.

A chicken dish is also one of the lowest sodium options at Panda Express. So, check out our post on eating low sodium at PE to find out what it is.

Who is The Wellness Nerd?

My name is Helen Foster, and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail, and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.