Flickr: Steve Baker

The 6 Worst Things on the Church's Chicken Menu

Church's Chicken is a Texas-based chicken restaurant known for its down-home Southern food. For a Southern-style fried chicken meal, this is the place to go, right up there with KFC and Chick-fil-A. However, some items on this fast-food restaurant's menu aren't worth the calories and sodium that they contain. Here are 6 items on the Church's Chicken menu to avoid consuming ridiculous amounts of calories, sodium, and fat!

1. Big Tex Tender Sandwich

Church's Chicken makes a juicy, delicious Big Tex Tender Sandwich, but it's just not worth the food coma and excess of calories. Plus, you're probably getting it as a combo with a nice glass of Church's Chicken Sweet Tea and apple pie for dessert, which makes the calorie count go through the roof. With 590 calories and 1170 mg of sodium, go for the Original Chicken Sandwich with its 360 calories instead.

2. Fried Okra

Fried okra is a classic side in the south, the perfect greens to complement a meal of fried chicken or BBQ. You might choose okra thinking that it'll be the healthy choice- it is a veggie, after all. However, fried okra is far from its natural, low-calorie form, and a large side of Fried Okra has 740 calories. This is especially bad because it's a side, so when you combine it with your main dish, you're likely looking at around 1500 calories. Instead, go for the corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, or frosted honey-butter biscuit. Or, better yet, the jalapeño peppers only have 5 calories each!

3. Spicy Chicken Thigh

Church's Chicken's speciality is, of course, fried chicken. However, there are variations on the theme, and some are healthier than others. One Spicy Chicken Thigh is 380 calories, and 880 mg of sodium. This doesn't sound too crazy, but we know you're probably getting a family meal or some pieces of mixed chicken. 3 of these guys adds up to 1140 calories and 2640 mg of sodium! Instead, opt for a Boneless Wing or Spicy Chicken Tender Strip- 3 of those is only 360 calories.

4. Baked Mac n Cheese

Another classic side of Southern food is Baked Mac n Cheese, a delicious plate of cheesy, carby goodness. The main issue with this menu item is that it's a side, and is way too many calories to tack onto a whole main dish! The large mac n cheese has 650 calories, so if you combine that with some chicken pieces or a sandwich, you'll be way over 1000. If you're really craving cheese, get the jalapeño cheese bombers, which have 440 calories.

5. Sweet Potato Casserole

The Sweet Potato Casserole is in the sides section of the Church's Chicken menu, but it really should be considered a full meal. It doesn't come in a regular side size, only large, and has a whopping 934 calories! If you think you're being healthy because you're getting a vegetable, think again. Instead, check out the French Fries or Cole Slaw- they're not the healthiest choices, but around 500 calories, they're far better than the Sweet Potato Casserole.

6. Fanta Strawberry

This menu item may seem random on a list of things to avoid, but the Fanta Strawberry just isn't the cold drink you think you want. A large drink has 460 calories, similar to the Hi-C fruit punch at 420. Assuming you're slurping this up along with a meal of fried chicken and Southern sides, you probably don't want an extra 460 calories. Plus, the sugar content will surely put you in a food coma for the afternoon. Try the Diet Coke instead!