Admittedly, Popeyes is not the place you go to when you’re on a diet. Don’t come here if you’re trying to lose weight, reduce your fat intake, or minimize your sodium intake. There aren’t all that many vegetarian options, either.
Still, the Popeyes brand is noted for their chicken, along with their biscuit. And sooner or later, you may succumb to the temptation. The siren call of these items is just too hard to resist.
The good news is that you can still reduce the damage by going with the healthiest items in the Popeyes menu:
Red Beans and Rice, with Coleslaw
This is perhaps the option you should consider first if you’re on a weight-loss diet, as it only comes with 247 calories. You get 5g of saturated fat, and 606mg of sodium. Things can be a lot worse, especially at Popeyes.
Pair this with a side of coleslaw with its 161 calories, and that won’t add up to too many calories in total. You’ve got yourself a meal that should conform even to vegetarian rules. It also helps that the red beans and rice comes with 6g of fiber, which should make you feel full.
It may seem a bit weird to come to Popeyes and not enjoy the chicken. But if the visit was because your buddies had the majority vote, then at least you have this go-to option.
¼-Pound Popcorn Shrimp Meal
You can get the Popcorn Shrimp dinner for $7.54, and it’s a great deal all around. It’s true that shrimp is a rather peculiar choice when you’re at a place renowned for the chicken, but Popeyes does the shrimp rather well. The shrimp pieces have that crunch you’re expecting with each bite. They’re juicy and tender, and they’ve been spiced perfectly.
But that’s not all you’re getting for your money, either. You also get 2 dipping sauces, a regular side, and the iconic biscuit.
The quarter-pound of shrimp only comes with 390 calories, which is great. You do have to deal with the 8g of saturated fat and along 1g of trans fat, along with 1,391mg of sodium. That this level of fat and sodium content still puts this meal among the list of healthiest items should also tell you something.
You can mitigate the damage by ordering a side of coleslaw, and by going with water (or seltzer) instead of soda.
Butterfly Shrimp Small Tackle Box
This isn’t always on the menu, but it’s always popular whenever it makes its appearance. The order includes 8 scrumptious pieces of the fried breaded shrimp, along with a dipping sauce, one side, and a biscuit.
It only totals up to 420 calories, which is quite astonishing. Who ever though you can enjoy this fried stuff when you’re trying to minimize your calorie intake? Of course, you do have to factor in the 9g of saturated fat, 1g of trans fat, and 1,100mg of sodium.
If you want to make it even healthier, you can replace biscuit with some coleslaw. That’s not always easy (some might even say it’s heretical), but just think about it.
Classic Chicken Sandwich Small Combo
You get to have your cake, and eat it too. It doesn’t really make much sense to some people to visit Popeyes and not have arguably the most delicious chicken sandwich in the world. You only get 699 calories, and zero trans fat.
It can’t be helped, however, that you also get 14g of saturated fat, along with 1,443mg of sodium. It does help, if you replace the fries with the coleslaw, and you stick to water. At least you can still enjoy this iconic chicken sandwich.
2-Piece Chicken Meal
Yes, it comes with 1,095 calories, 23g of saturated fat, and a whopping 2,132mg of sodium. Plus, you also get 46g of sugar. It’s still among the healthiest options in the entire Popeyes menu, which may just make you shudder when you imagine how the others are much worse.
But the damage to your diet isn’t all that bad, relatively speaking. Besides, you can just relish the taste of the tasty bone-in chicken, with a biscuit, your choice of side, and a drink. Replace the biscuit with the coleslaw if you’re feeling too guilty, but as is, it’s not overly horrible.
If you have rather strict diet limits when it comes to your calorie, saturated fat, or sodium intake, you really should think twice about visiting Popeyes too frequently. There are just too many tempting options here that will wreck your diet.
But you don’t have to absolutely avoid Popeyes for all time. You can visit the place every now and then when you schedule a cheat day in your schedule, and stick to the menu items we’ve listed here. That way, you can enjoy the sublime Popeyes experience without too much guilt!