Can you eat KFC when pregnant?

In this article, we will answer whether you eat KFC when pregnant, what KFC is, is it healthy to eat KFC when pregnant, what is the risk of overeating KFC when pregnant, and what is the healthier option at KFC when pregnant. 

Can you eat KFC when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat KFC when pregnant but you need to limit your intake. Large amounts of fried food can significantly increase your risk of serious complications during your whole pregnancy, delivery, and life of the baby.

Chicken is a very nutritious food but you need to look for other cooking methods than fried chicken as in KFC. 

If you already have some complications like high blood pressure, hypertension, pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, or problems with your weight, you need to stay away from junk food. It can have serious consequences in your life and your baby’s life. 

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. 

Is it healthy to eat KFC when pregnant?

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. All of these symptoms can worsen in the last trimester. 

MSG has not been proven to be harmful to mother and baby and it can be found in a lot of processed food, not only in KFC chicken. 

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 healthy eating. 

Use some balance and follow a healthy diet so you can enjoy some cravings. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. A few nutrients need special attention during pregnancy, like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids. 

  • 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 pregnant?

KFC sells fast–food that is full of calories, fats, sugars, and sodium and it can lead to rapid weight gain. If you eat just once in a while there should be no problem but moderation is the key. 

The consumption of more fast food than healthy food can be fatal to pregnant women because it can interfere with proper fetal development. If you gain too much weight during pregnancy there are several complications mom and baby can suffer.

  • Gestational Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Complications during birth
  • Baby health 

Gestational Diabetes

You can develop gestational diabetes, a condition where glucose or sugar in the blood is way too high and insulin can’t work correctly. You may need to take medication and the mother can develop diabetes even after the baby is born. 

High Blood pressure

You can develop eclampsia and preeclampsia. Both can lead to mother and baby complications and even death. 

Complications during birth 

If you gain too much weight it’s more likely that you end up in cesarean because vaginal birth tends to be more difficult with excess weight. Also, babies of mothers who gain too much weight are usually bigger. It can also lead to premature birth. 

Baby health 

Moms that gain too much weight tend to have babies with high birth weight and these babies have more risk of being obese and developing diabetes when older. The lack of nutrients in junk food can interfere with proper organ development. 

Babies of moms that didn’t follow a healthy diet during pregnancy have more risk of behavior disorders like depression, attention deficit disorder, and poor learning. Also, a lack of nutrients in a mother’s diet has been connected with autism. 

What is the healthier option at KFC when pregnant?

The healthier option is to look for grilled chicken at KFC or do it at home to assure the ingredients are of the best quality. Here is a copycat KFC original-style chicken recipe

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. 

Other FAQs about Chicken that you may be interested in.

Can you cook chicken at 170 degrees?

Can you cook chicken at 120 degrees?

Can you cook a chicken at 100 degrees?

Conclusion

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

Citation

​​https://pregnancyfoodguide.com/kfc

https://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy/diet-and-fitness/your-best-fast-food-options-during-pregnancy_10396623#:~:text=Fast%20food%20usually%20isn’t,to%20be%20a%20nutritional%20disaster.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.