It's Not Always a Lean Alternative

Despite their reputation as a healthier alternative to burgers, "chicken or fish won't always help" to reduce fat content in a fast-food meal, Consumer Reports states in its August issue.

The fat and calorie content of chicken varies dramatically depending on how it is prepared, the New York-based magazine reported. "In fact, the skin and dark meat of KFC's Rotisserie Gold chicken helps make it one of the fattiest foods we tested."

Nutritional data provided by restaurant chains shows that chicken served without the skin is lower in calories and total fat than that with the skin still on. But nutritionists note that skinning chicken before cooking further reduces fat content.

Consumer Reports' new study did not include fast-food meals at El Pollo Loco, Boston Chicken or Kenny Rogers Roasters.

The magazine reported last year that consumers can find poultry products that are "especially low in fat." The bottom line, Consumer Reports says, is that "if, like most Americans, you prefer the standard foods, you'll probably sacrifice nutrition to taste."

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