Skip to content

What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Fried Chicken

That chicken sandwich may not be doing your body any favors.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Fried chicken is beloved by many Americans, however, it's not something that should be enjoyed regularly. Let's make one thing clear—eating fried chicken every once and a while isn't a big deal. But, if you eat it daily, that's when some complications can arise. Below, we outline a few immediate effects you could feel when you eat fried chicken regularly—as well as one long-term health scare you could face. Then, be sure to read our list of the 100 Unhealthiest Foods on the Planet.

You may become bloated.

woman bloated stomach

Fatty foods such as fried chicken are slow to digest, meaning they move slowly through your GI tract and as a result, can cause you to bloat. Fried foods are especially a culprit, as they boast a lot of saturated and trans fats, which are known to make you feel like you cannot zip up your pants. These symptoms are escalated if you have functional dyspepsia (FD), a common disorder that describes recurring signs and symptoms of indigestion that have no obvious cause.

You may gain weight.

woman eating fried chicken

If you're always opting for the fried version of your favorite fast-food chicken sandwich, then you could be running the risk of packing on some extra pounds. This is because fried chicken often contains more calories than its non-fried counterpart. Ashley Kitchens explained it best in This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Deep-Fried Foods.

"When foods are fried they become more calorically dense because the outer part of the food loses water and absorbs the fat [or] oil," she says. "The oils in which foods are fried can contain trans fat, which has been shown to raise your LDL."

For context, LDL is the harmful type of cholesterol that can clog your arteries and cause cardiovascular disease. Consider reducing your intake of fried chicken and other fried foods to avoid weight gain and future heart health problems!

You may feel sluggish.

plate of fried chicken
Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

Have you ever felt sluggish after eating a couple of fried chicken wings with French fries? As it turns out, about 95% of your body's supply of serotonin (the hormone that allows you to feel good) is produced by your gut bacteria. Not to mention, your GI tract is lined with millions of nerve cells called neurons that help you digest your food and even play a role in regulating your mood.

So, if you're eating a lot of fried chicken, you're essentially fueling your gut with inflammatory ingredients and causing more bad bacteria to grow. This can inhibit the number of good bacteria your gut produces and therefore, affect your energy levels and mood.

You may increase your risk of death.

four fried chicken wings on a white background

We know this sounds highly dramatic but trust us, science can back it up. A 2019 study published in the BMJ revealed that women who ate one serving of fried chicken at least once daily had a 13% higher risk of death from any cause, compared to those who didn't eat any fried foods at all.

For more, be sure to read We Tasted 10 Chicken Noodle Soups, and This Is the Best.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the former news editor of Eat This, Not That! Read more about Cheyenne
Filed Under