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What’s Really in Your Chicken Nuggets?

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What's Really in Your Chicken Nuggets?

What’s in Your Chicken Nuggets?

By Divya Shree
Edited By Stephanie Dawson
Reviewed By Nima Shei MD

Do you ever think about what’s really inside your favorite chicken nugget? Experts suggest that most of the ingredients that these tiny chicken bites contain are used by industries and not in foods for human consumption. They contain other ingredients that are distinctly unhealthy, reading about them might make you reconsider your decision to eat chicken nuggets. Let’s have a more detailed look into such ingredients:

According to the official McDonald’s website their chicken nuggets contain hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ, citric acid for preservation, and dimethylpolysiloxane as an anti-foaming agent. These ingredients are all chemicals that are artificially synthesized for industrial use.

Dimethylpolysiloxane is a commonly used industrial agent in preparation of sealants. It’s made of silicone and used as an anti-foaming agent in caulking. It has various safety concerns associated with it. It is also used in breast implants as a filler and an important component in Silly Putty.



TBHQ is a petroleum derivative which is added to perfumes and oil field chemicals as a stabilizer. It can create tumors in the stomach. In experiments conducted on lab animals it was found that these ingredients, especially TBHQ, when given in high dosages cause severe damage to DNA. TBHQ is also linked with carcinogenic effects in various studies. Other problems that can be caused by TBHQ include nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, collapse, delirium, and feelings of suffocation. It may also lead to liver damage and hormonal imbalance.

Chicken Nuggets facts

McNuggets also contain sodium aluminum phosphate and baking powder. Research has associated these ingredients with Alzheimer’s disease because of the presence of aluminum. The soybean oil used to prepare chicken nuggets is altered chemically to make it more stable and has been associated with numerous heart diseases.

Canola oil and corn oil are also some of the more harmful ingredients in nuggets. These oils are extracted from some of the most widely genetically modified crops. The oils are heated at very high temperatures during manufacturing therefore cause inflammation and harm to the body.
Nuggets also contain ingredients like calcium sulphate which is used in plaster of Paris, it’s certainly not something that should be used in food items. Chicken nuggets do not decompose even after several days which makes it clear these are not real food but processed chemicals. Decomposition of wholesome real foods that promote health is inevitable. Studies find that only 50% of McNuggets is actual chicken, the other half is made of sugars, corn derivatives, synthetic ingredients, and leavening agents.

In an article by Dr. DeShazo and Dr. Bigler’s published in the American Journal of Medicine, the authors looked into Chicken McNuggets under the microscope and their findings were shocking. The majority of the nuggets are FAT rather than lean muscles and this product contains substantial amount of bone, intestine, skin, and nerve tissues.

chicken mcnugget under microscope
chicken mcnuggets microscope

The way of obtaining chicken by fast food giants has been highly debatable and various concerns have been raised regarding their production of chicken and ways of processing it. There are bitter truths associated with other fast foods such as French fries and hamburgers.
It is quite disturbing to know that toxic oils, harmful chemicals and genetically modified ingredients are part of chicken nuggets. All the information mentioned above is only about nuggets. It doesn’t say a word about the sauce that comes with it and its simple to make out how unhealthy they are. No matter how much you like them you need to say goodbye to them if you want to stay healthy and keep your children healthy.

Source: American Journal of Medicine
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