KFC's Double Down Lives On ... And So Does the Salt

Cynthia Dermody

kfc's double down
Flickr photo by kslee
A few weeks ago, when I wrote about KFC's Double Down sandwich as not the healthiest food choice, people got really mad at me. They told me to stop talking about calories in food, that no one cares. They said a lot of other mean things, too, which I won't repeat, because that's just life on the web.

I never actually had a chance to try the sandwich, as much as I admit I wanted to. Crunchy chicken, bacon and cheese are three of my favorite things. Why would I not want to?

Now I'll get my chance, as KFC will NOT discontinue the Double Down as it had originally planned. Quite the opposite, the bunless sandwich was the fast-food chain's most successful sandwich launch ever, according to KFC, so they will continue to serve it up as long as customers want it. And, oh boy, do they want it.

And that includes the slightly healthier grilled version. Confession, I didn't know there was a grilled version. So here I go again with the nutrition. Please stop reading now if you find this morally offensive.

The Original Double Down is 540 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 1,380 milligrams of salt.

The Grilled DD is 460 calories, 23 grams of fat, but sodium rises to 1,430 milligrams.

Calories are not my big issue with the sandwich. In the scheme of things, a 500 calorie meal is not horrible. The high fat is another matter. But the thing that really keeps me from trying the sandwich is the salt, which pretty much meets the recommended daily limit in just that one meal.

Maybe if people like me who actually care what I look like in pants and want to live past my 60s continue to beat the health drum, KFC will look for ways to work on that.

I can offer a few suggestions, which are probably pretty obvious.

One slice of bacon contains 185 milligrams of sodium. One slice of reduced sodium bacon has 82 mgs.

Now the cheese.

Each slice is estimated at about 150 mg of sodium a piece. A lower sodium version would cut that to just 4 mg a slice.

Just these little two little changes alone would lower the sodium content of the original sandwich to under 1,000 milligrams of salt -- still too much for one meal, but a move in the right direction.

And aside from the health angle, one of the biggest complaints I hear from people about the DD is that it tastes way too salty anyway. A salt tweak would make it healther AND taste better, and help KFC sell even more of them. I'd buy one.

Would you like the Double Down better if it was less salty?

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