Following and sticking to a low-carb keto diet can be challenging when eating out.
This is especially true when dining at a fast-food restaurant.
This is because 99% of the items on the fast-food menu are high in carbs. Let alone finding restaurants with a keto diet menu is quite an impossible task.
Most popular fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and even Starbucks offer menus that are all about buns, tortillas, and English muffins.
Obviously, avoiding them to stay in ketosis is one option, but at times, the need to grab a quick meal is inevitable.
It may be that you need to make a quick run for a family dinner before your kid’s soccer practice or you are on a road trip with limited options.
Or just maybe, you may be having a massive craving for a weirdly satisfying quarter pounder or burrito bowl that only fast food restaurants know how to deliver.
Thankfully, many fast-food restaurants are adaptable and offer keto-friendly options on their menu.
In fact, ordering a fast, low-carb meal at those joints is actually quite hassle-free. It’s so easy that we might as well start calling them keto-friendly restaurants.
Granted, they don’t have a menu specifically catered to low-carb dieters. In other words, there is no actual keto menu with low-carb options.
But by ordering them the right way, they can provide keto-friendly meals that are fast, cheap, and low-carb.
Before we hand you over 15 of the best fast-food keto options, we added in a section on what you can eat on a keto diet. For anyone new to this low-carb diet, it’ll serve as a base when ordering your next McDonald’s keto meal or Subway sandwich.
What Can You Eat on a Keto Diet?
A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that’s designed to induce ketosis.
It’s a metabolic state where your body switches from burning carbs for fuel to burning fat. It’s a diet known to be quite effective for both weight loss and fat loss. Some also find its medical implications beneficial to their health.
On this low-carb diet, you need to mainly focus on 2 things. Cut carbs drastically and eat more fat. It’s a low-carb, high-fat diet with a macro ratio of 5% fat, 20% protein, and 75 % fat.
When followed closely to their keto macros, this low-carb diet can bring many awesome health benefits.
To cut your carb intake to just 5% of total calories, you need to cut everything from rice, sugar, beans, bread, and even some vegetables.
If it’s easier to track with grams, this 5% comes to be about 50 grams of carbs per day.
Dressing, sauce, and ketchup type of condiments is a no-go if it contains sugar.
Keto’s strict guideline puts sweets like cookies on the ‘not to eat’ list of keto foods too. When you are starting out on keto, you may need to keep track of your carbs per meal to make sure you don’t go over your limit.
As for protein, luckily, meat is allowed. So are poultry, seafood, and dairies like egg and cheese. But don’t go on meat rampage. Be sure to keep its intake to just 20% of your overall calories or so to stay in ketosis.
What you’ll be eating most on a ketogenic diet is fat. Whether it’s extra sour cream on top of low-carb burrito bowl or extra cheese on bacon egg sandwich without the bun, you need to find ways to add fat on your meals.
Even with your fast-food options for the keto diet, it’s essential you find places to add fat to your meals.
Good fat options include butter, avocado oil, cheese, coconut milk, and nuts. But don’t let fatty dressings like ranch dressing fool you. It may be sour cream-based or mayonnaise-based, but it may be full of sugar that can kick you out of ketosis.
So at the very least, when you order a meal at a restaurant, be sure to order no bun, no rice, and no French fries. And yet, Panera bread and chicken nuggets are off-limit too.
As for the protein, go for grilled chicken, beef patties, bacon, and cheese. Sausage egg wrapped in lettuce would make a nice low-carb breakfast. So is grilled chicken salad bowl with your own keto dressing would be a fine choice for keto lunch.
So, are you ready to dive into what fast-food meals you can eat on a low-carb diet?
Here are some of the restaurants you can eat a keto-friendly meal at.
What Fast Food Places Can I Eat on Keto?
There are literally more than a few dozen places I can think of that you can grab your low-carb quick meals on the go from Burger King to In-n-Out Burger. But here are everyone’s top favorites. And many are introduce on our list of 15 low-carb meal options too.
- Burger King
- Taco Bell
- IN-n-Out Burger
- Jack in the Box
In one way or another, these restaurants can accommodate your keto-friendly meals.
If you are ready to grab a fast food keto meal at one of those keto restaurants, make sure to take this ultimate keto fast food survival guide with you.
It shows you what, how, and where you can order your fast food low carb meal on the go.
Here are 15 low-carb fast food options that are keto-friendly.
On a side note, not all may have enough fats to fully satisfy your fat intake requirement and keep you in ketosis. I suggest you bring fatty snacks handy to enjoy with your low-carb meal.
15 Low-Carb Keto Fast Food Options
|Joint||Food||Calories||Fat (g)||Protein (g)||Carb (g)|
|1||KFC||1 Original Fried Drum Stick||130||8||12||4|
|2||KFC||1 KFC Grilled Drum Stick||80||4||11||0|
|3||Chipotle||Steak Salad (Romain Lettuce, Steak, Tomatillo-Green Chili Salsa, Sour Cream, Cheese)||390||23||29||9|
|4||Chipotle||Burrito Bowl (Chicken, Fajita Vegetables, Romain Lettuce, Sour Cream, Cheese)||425||24||41||9|
|5||Burger King||Double Quarter Burger (No bun + Ketchup)||890||67||68||4|
|6||Burger King||Whopper Sandwich (No bun + ketchup)||410||36||20||3|
|7||McDonald’s||Double Cheese Burger (No bun +ketchup)||280||20||20||4|
|8||McDonald’s||Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich (No bun)||160||4||29||2|
|9||McDonald’s||Big Mac (No bun)||330||25||18||7|
|10||Subway||Tuna Salad (No tomato)||300||24||14||8|
|11||Wendy’s||4pc Chicken Nuggets||170||11||9||10|
|12||Popeyes||1 pc Bonafide Chicken Thigh||280||21||14||7|
|13||Popeyes||5 pc Handcrafted Tenders & Nuggets||283||3||43||3|
|14||Starbucks||Sous Vide Egg Bites: Bacon & Gruyere||310||22||19||9|
Surprisingly, it’s quite easy to have your favorite fast food meal made to fit your ketogenic diet.
All you need is a bit of smart ordering. Asking for no bun is no brainer, but also skipping croutons and ketchup can knock off hefty carbs. Low-carb options like a side salad and lettuce wrap are good options elsewhere and the rules remain the same at these fast-food joints too.
If available, be aware of your meal’s net carbs to stay on top of your keto macros as it can also be as easy to break your carb budget with one meal.
While there are so many restaurants to choose from, keto McDonalds has been my favorite. Especially their all-day breakfast menu is full of keto-friendly options. Bacon egg and cheese sandwich with no muffins is a cheap, fast, and repeat-ready. Keto KFC is also a hidden gem you might want to take a look at. You can go for a grilled chicken sandwich (no bun) or chicken salad with no dressing (bring your own!).
All these options can be low-carb and be a fit for your ketogenic life.
With that said, we’re not suggesting eating McDonald’s, Chipotle, or Taco Bell every day is a good idea. At the end of the day, you need to still make nutritious choices that support your help.
But all in all, it’s good to know what you can order at those restaurants in case you need to make a quick run.