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Is Chick fil A’s New Southwest Salad Actually Good for Diabetics? – Review

by Karyn Michelle Wofford

Chick fil A has rightfully become one of the biggest players in the fast food world. They understand the delicate balance between making food tasty and healthy. I do have a few issues with them, like the High Fructose Corn Syrup in the ketchup, Splenda in their diet lemonade, and some artificial stuff in the sauces, but overall, I can count on them for a healthy meals on the go.


On to the SouthWest Salad

The Southwest Salad is a refreshing addition to the Chick fil A salad line up. You won’t find any elaborate, overindulgent or sweet toppings. A dark green spring mix, black beans, cherry tomatoes, grilled peppers, lime Pepita seeds and  corn tortilla strips are topped with the new, spicy grilled chicken. I’ve had my fingers crossed in hopes spicy grilled chicken would be introduced. The southwest salad dressing is creamy and caloric so I like to stick with my old favorite, light Italian.


The combo is perfect, a little crunch, very slight sweetness from the corn, and a variety of well balanced veggies and spices. It hands down beats the old Southwest Salad on Chick fil A’s menu a few years ago. I have had three salads so far and all have been crisp and fresh.

The Downside

Chick fil A is doing a great job compared to most fast food places. The decor is nice, facilities are clean, food is fresh and staff is friendly. But….they have some sneaky ingredients. As I mentioned, their dips have a lot of not so good things in them.

Back to the salad…The tasty tortilla strips that come on the side are blue and light yellow/tan. Consumers will likely assume that those blue strips are from blue corn. Wrong. Blue food coloring is one of the listed ingredients, along with corn syrup solids. Many people will argue that corn syrup is natural. Maybe so, but it’s much sweeter than sugar, meaning it’s more fattening and addicting. And if that corn syrup isn’t organic, it’s loaded with some of the most central nervous system damaging pesticides out there. I shake my head when companies cut corners like this, it is so pointless.


I still stand by the salad. It’s a better choice when eating out. The carbohydrates come from beans and corn, making it glycemic friendly. Leave off the corn chips and stick with the tasty seeds that come with it. Chick fil A is super accommodating, so ask for two packs of seeds instead of chips. Again, I recommend light Italian dressing because it isn’t overloaded with fat or sugar. Some vinaigrette dressings are crazy sweet. If you want to drink something other than water, go for the unsweet tea. If blood sugar is stable, you can always add a splash of the non diet lemonade.

A Note to Chick fil A

Please remove artificial ingredients from your sauces. You have gained the trust of the health world…don’t blow it! Secondly, Splenda is a harmful sweetener with proven adverse side effects. Diabetics are constantly being forced toward artificial sweeteners which can worsen their condition. Natural sweeteners, like stevia are inexpensive and would allow more people to enjoy a cold glass of lemonade this summer!

Otherwise, thank you for providing a well balanced menu that diabetics can enjoy too!