For those who eat low-carb or keto diets, there is typically something you can eat in every fast food place or restaurant. Make plans. Before entering a restaurant, check out their menu and nutrition information online at home or utilizing your smart phone. It’s always good to know the safe options before being tempted by menu stuff you shouldn’t have on a low-carb diet.
In order to help you to locate a quick keto-friendly option, I’ve compiled a summary of several restaurants and fast food places and those items that I’ve found to get the lowest carb (and most emotionally satisfying) choices. These are generally not all perfect options, however, when you’re tied to hardly any other choices because of time or location constraints, they’ll do in a pinch.
It’s a huge help that fast-food places have to post nutritional content. It gets easier to adhere to the keto plan every day. The carb count I’m listing is approximate and it is NET grams.
In general, there is usually some salad option anywhere you might be. At Burger joints, just eliminate the bun, and many places offer lettuce wraps instead. Chicken shouldn’t have breading.
Being a side note, it helps to possess a knife and fork handy in your car or purse. Big, juicy burgers in tiny pieces of lettuce find yourself on the table – or in your lap. Small, flimsy fastfood plasticware also makes for difficult eating. Grab your very own sturdy utensils and enjoy!
Now for that food choices… here are some pretty obvious general rules to follow:
Skip the bun or wrap
Skip the pasta, potato, or rice
Salads – no croutons. Stick with low sugar dressing options – Caesar, Blue Cheese, Ranch, Chipotle. Glance at the name which may give you a clue, things like “honey” in the honey dijon or “sweet” in the dressing name – these are usually not the ideal choice. Check the ingredient for items which are higher in carb content.
Chicken – Choose grilled or sauteed. Avoid any chicken that is breaded.
McDonald’s – opt for any burger (zero g) or grilled chicken (2 g) minus the bun and topped with cheese, mayo, mustard, onions, etc. No ketchup. Put in a side salad (3g). The Caesar salad with grilled chicken or perhaps the bacon ranch salad with grilled chicken are 9g.
Burger King – same burger info as McDonald’s: burger (zero g) minus the bun and topped with cheese, mayo, mustard, onions, etc. No ketchup. The tendergrill chicken sandwich with no bun is 3g. BEWARE – you might think the veggie burger is low, yet it is 19g of carbs, so that’s regarding a full day of carbs on keto. Add a side salad (3g). The tendergrill chicken garden salad is 8g without dressing or croutons. The tendercrisp chicken salad is not really a choice. Do not attempt.
BONUS – dessert!?! – the fresh apple fries are certainly not fried and therefore are 5g net carbs WITHOUT caramel sauce.
Subway – Probably should skip Subway in the event you can. The buns and wraps are high in carbs. I assume you could just have them throw the ingredients in a wrapper sans bun, but that doesn’t sound appealing. I have no information on what the carb count would be for every bunless sub, however you can probably figure it all out – chicken or pepperoni is fine, but is “sweet onion” chicken okay? Not a clue. Stick for the salads, but realize you’ll only get iceberg lettuce (4g).
Carl’s Junior and Hardees – This chain offers “lettuce wraps” – your burger wrapped in a large part of lettuce for convenient low carbohydrate eating. (As I’ve said, I used it and don’t enjoy it. I like to hold my very own fork instead.) Bunless options – Six dollar burger (7g), 1/2 thick-burger (5g), charbroiled chicken club sandwich (7g/10g at Hardees). Grilled chicken salad without croutons is 10g. Side salad is 3g.
Jimmy John’s – The unwich – a sandwich wrapped in lettuce – fits the bill here. Meats are fine, just ensure the ingredients usually are not carb-rich.
Wendy’s – Again, you can get your burger in a lettuce wrap or even a box. Any burger with toppings. Mayo has corn syrup, and is also 1g. The chicken grill fillet is 1 g. It can be ordered inside the chicken club sandwich or the ultimate chicken grill sandwich. Best salads: chicken caesar (7g), blt chicken salad with grilled chicken. Side salads aer 6g or 2g for Caesar.
Pizza Hut and other pizza places – It really is possible to become accustomed to eating pizza without any crust. You have to eat double the amount, but when there’s a celebration or dinner out that you can’t avoid with a pizza place, just slide the cheesy toppings off and consume the big messy pile of cheese and toppings. A side salad is actually a nice addition. Otherwise, just go for making pizza in your own home using a low-carb crust.
Mongolian Barbecue – YES! Load your bowl with chicken, shrimp, onion slices, and mushrooms, then top with the Asian black bean sauce. I know beans have carbs, but this sauce label says 1 gram of carbs per ounce (each sauce is plainly labeled). Give a bit of garlic and wait for a griller to accomplish his work. It is going without proclaiming that you skip the appetizers, tortillas, and rice. Ask the wait szwtzs not to bring them to the table.
Italian Restaurants – These have a little cunning, however they can be conqurerd! Ideas: think about chicken Marsala in an Italian place? Ensure it doesn’t have pasta. Substitute broccoli or some other keto-friendly side dish – or even a big salad. Chicken piccata is also a possibility.
Mexican and Chinese restaurants are the most difficult, because any low carbohydrate choice is not the reason to visit the restaurant in the first place. With a Mexican restaurant, I tend to acquire a large burrito without beans and spread the soft tortilla out like a plate. Consume the inner ingredients and toss the tortilla.