If you think you know what chicken nuggets are made of, you're probably wrong, according to the lead researcher of a study involving the popular fast-food snack.
Yes, there's white meat in nuggets, as generally advertised. But Dr. Richard deShazo, of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, said the typical fast-food nugget has only about 40 to 50 percent of that white meat, according to a university news release.
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The rest, according to deShazo's study, published in the American Journal of Medicine
in September, consist of fat, skin, connective tissue, blood vessel, nerves and even bone fragments.
Researchers selected the nuggets randomly from two different major fast-food chains. The samples were fixed in formalin, sectioned and stained for microscopic analysis. The conclusion was that customers eat more fat than white meat.
"I was floored," said deShazo, a distinguished professor of medicine, pediatrics and immunology. "I had read what other reports have said is in them and I didn’t believe it. I was astonished actually seeing it under the microscope."
DeShazo advised that consumers should eat fast-food chicken nuggets sparingly.
"This is about people having the knowledge and resources to make healthy choices," deShazo said. "We’ve got to learn how to distribute our calories across a diet that includes lean protein, fresh fruit and green vegetables. We’re literally eating ourselves to death with obesity. We have to learn to eat a balanced diet where it’s not all carbohydrates and fat."
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