Can you eat KFC when diabetic?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat KFC when diabetic, what is KFC, what is diabetic, is it healthy to eat KFC when diabetic, what is the risk of overeating KFC when diabetic and what is the healthier option at KFC to choose when diabetic. 

Can you eat KFC when diabetic?

Yes, you can eat KFC when diabetic but you need to choose the healthier options and skip the breaded and fried chicken. Chicken is an excellent option when you are diabetic and following a healthy diabetic diet but breaded and fried chicken adds to any calories and fats.

When you have diabetes you need to take care of your health and watch your weight and your glucose levels to prevent the side effects of this disease. 

What is KFC?

KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Is an American Fast Food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken. It is based in Louisville, Kentucky. It is the world’s second-largest restaurant sales according to their sales after Mcdonald’s. 

It is one of the first fast-food chain restaurants to expand internationally. By the mid-1960s the restaurant opened in Canada, UK, Mexico, and Jamaica. It became so popular because it was the first fast-food restaurant to challenge the hamburger and served fried chicken.

The original menu offered pressure-fried chicken pieces, seasoned with Sanders’s recipe. Larger portions of fried chicken are served in a bucket. The menu has expanded now and it serves other chicken products such as

  • Chicken Filet sandwich
  • Chicken wraps
  • Salads 
  • Side dishes such as french fries and coleslaw
  • Desserts
  • Soft drinks

KFC adapts its menu internationally to suit regional tastes. For example in the USA they also sell grilled chicken, in India, they sell halal chicken, and in Asia, they have a preference for spicy foods. 

What is a diabetic?

Diabetic means that you have a disease called diabetes. Diabetes occurs when your blood glucose or blood sugar is too high. Blood sugar is the main source of energy for our body and it comes from food, especially carbohydrates. 

Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that helps glucose or sugar to get into your cells so that it can be used as energy. When you are diabetic, insulin is not produced at enough levels or it doesn’t work well enough so glucose stays in your blood instead of going into your cells. 

High glucose levels in the blood can lead to fatal health problems. Diabetes has no cure and the best way to manage glucose levels is through diet and managing your weight. There are 3 types of diabetes and each has different management apart from diet

Type 1 diabetes

In this case, your pancreas does not produce enough insulin. Your immune system attacks the cells in your pancreas. It is normally diagnosed in children and young adults but it can appear at any age. The treatment includes taking insulin every day to stay alive and counting carbohydrates. Diet is very important. 

Type 2 diabetes

In this case, insulin is not produced in enough quantities or your body does not use insulin well. Type 2 diabetes can develop at any age. It is the most common type of diabetes and is usually correlated to high sugar diets. 

Gestational Diabetes

It develops in pregnant women after week 20 of pregnancy. It usually goes away after birth but if you have gestational diabetes there is a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life. It has been correlated to hormonal changes and genetics. 

Monogenic diabetes is very uncommon and is inherited. Cystic fibrosis-related diabetes occurs only in patients with cystic fibrosis. In both cases, management depends on the patient and needs to be specialized by a doctor. 

Is it healthy to eat KFC when diabetic?

No, KFC is not healthy but you can look for the best options on the menu. If you are really craving fried chicken go for it but don’t make it part of your regular diet. Look for grilled options and sides of salad. 

Sodium and MSG are other factors that KFC food faces. High amounts of sodium can lead to problems with blood pressure, swelling, and water retention. 

So bottom line, use your limits when it comes to eating at KFC or any other fast-food restaurant. Moderation is the key between craving and a healthy weight.

Use some balance and follow a healthy diet. Remember that your best medicine when a diabetic is your diet.  Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

  • Ideally, 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day
  • Increase your intake of whole grains and cereal foods. Choose high fiber options
  • Milk, hard cheese, and yogurt are great options because they are high calcium foods.
  • Choose low-fat options and good fats: fats from vegetable sources like almonds, olive oil, and avocado. 
  • Choose lean proteins and choose low mercury fish options. 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Always stay active
  • Avoid junk food whenever possible, it should not be part of regular meals
  • Check the labels before buying processed food to make the best option
  • Avoid buying canned food with syrup, look for canned food with plain/spring water or olive oil. 
  • Avoid pre-cooked or ready meals
  • Choose low-fat options 
  • Avoid food with added sugars
  • Avoid processed/undercooked meat
  • Skip fast-food restaurants, instead, try to do healthy meals at home 

What is the risk of overeating KFC when diabetic?

Overeating KFC or any fast food or junk food when diabetic can lead to health problems in the short and long run. Too much KFC can make you have high blood glucose levels that over time can lead to 

  • Increase heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Kidney disease
  • Eye problems
  • Dental disease
  • Nerve damage
  • Foot problems that can lead to amputation

You can take a step to prevent all these health problems if you choose a healthy diet low in carbohydrates and sugar. Follow this link for more information on preventing health problems in the long run from diabetes. 

What is a healthier option than KFC when diabetic?

The healthier option is to look for grilled chicken. According to Fast Food Nutrition the best two options to choose at KFC are: 

  • KFC grilled chicken wings which contain 70 calories, 1 gram of saturated fat, 3 grams of fat, and 180 mg of sodium.
  • KFC grilled chicken breast contains 210 calories, 2 grams of saturated fat, 130 mg of cholesterol, 7 grams of fat, and 170 mg of sodium. 

Try to skip french fries and choose a salad. Skip completely any sugary drink or desserts. 

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

Can raw chicken go bad in the fridge?

Can dogs eat boiled chicken?

Can you eat chicken with PCOS?


This article answered Can you eat KFC when diabetic, what is KFC, what is diabetic, is it healthy to eat KFC when diabetic, what is the risk of overeating KFC when diabetic, and what is the healthier option at KFC to choose when diabetic. 


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