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Chicken Nuggets Contain Skin, Tissue, Blood Vessels and More: Study Finds [Video]

Oct 05, 2013 02:34 AM EDT
Chicken Nuggets
Chicken nuggets have skin, fat, blood vessels and connective tissue.
(Photo : wen_dyL/ Flickr Creative Commons )

Just what is in those delicious chicken nuggets?

A new study has found that only about 40-50 percent of it is meat, and the rest could be anything from blood vessels, fragments of bones, fat to connective tissue and skin.

Chicken meat is one of the best lean meats in the market and doctors often encourage patients to eat chicken. However, stuff like blood vessels and skin don't really make a good choice. Note that these extra things found in chicken nuggets are all edible, but are very unhealthy.

The latest study, conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, was based on laboratory analysis of chicken nugget samples from two major fast food chains.

Dr. Richard deShazo, UMMC professor of medicine, pediatrics and immunology said he was quite "floored" by the test results. The scientists have declined to name the fast food companies.

"What has happened is that some companies have chosen to use an artificial mixture of chicken parts rather than low-fat chicken white meat, batter it up and fry it, and still call it chicken. It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat that is a very unhealthy choice. Even worse, it tastes great and kids love it and it is marketed to them," he said in a news release.

The study, "The Autopsy of Chicken Nuggets Reads "Chicken Little"," is published in the American Journal of Medicine.

DeShazo and team maintained that eating chicken nuggets once a while wouldn't cause major health problems. However, frequent consumption could lead to metabolic disorders such as obesity.

They add that their research was conducted on samples from just two fast food chains and therefore it may not apply to all the fast food outlets.

"My concern is that these constitute a large part of people's diets. Particularly children," he said. "When you fry any food, you've got a problem because you add a lot of calories to it. And we eat high-fat foods like chicken nuggets rather than fresh fruits and vegetables."

The Other Not-so-Yummy Things Added in Food

Fillers and additives in the food industry aren't new. "Healthy snacks" and breakfast cereals often contain cellulose .A beaver anal secretion goes into strawberry and raspberry ice-creams as natural additive.

One recent article had reported that Chicken McNuggets from McDonald has dimethylpolysiloxane, which is used as an anti-foaming agent made of silicone. Other ingredients in these nuggets include tertiary butylhydroquinone, corn derivatives, sugars and leavening agents.

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