Is fast food your jam? It’s okay if you raise your hand. We’re here to provide you with healthier options when you frequent fast-food restaurants, especially if you follow a low-carb diet. While someone with a nutrition certification might steer you away from fast food restaurants, they aren’t off the table completely. Low-carb fast food options will make your heart and stomach happy.
Explaining the Low-Carb Diet
People who follow a low-carb diet usually do it for weight loss purposes. A low-carb diet limits carbohydrates like soda, sugar, and anything that changes to sugar in the body. In its place, the diets add fat to replace the missing carbohydrates. People with health conditions like diabetes and heart disease benefit from low-carb diets.
The Ketogenic Diet
One popular low-carb diet is the Ketogenic diet or Keto diet. It’s a low-carb diet similar to Atkins and Whole 3o. The Keto diet replaces carbohydrates with fat to push your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis–hence the name. Ketosis occurs when your body burns fat instead of sugar. This metabolic state increases fat loss, lowers blood sugar levels, and promotes better energy levels in the body.
Other benefits of low-carb diets like the Keto diet include lower triglycerides (fat found in the blood) and higher levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. The combination of lower triglycerides and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol with high levels of HDL leads to better cholesterol levels and decreases the risk of heart disease.
Finally, choosing a low-carb option decreases appetite. Once your body is accustomed to ketosis, high-fat foods and protein help you feel full longer, so you’re not reaching for empty carbs and sugar. It’s a win, win!
Finding Low Carb Fast Food Options
Don’t get discouraged if you choose a low-carb diet but love fast food restaurants. There are plenty of delicious low-carb meals in your future. Follow our guide below for each fast-food restaurant to find the low-carb meal that best suits you. Whether you love Taco Bell, KFC, Mcdonald’s, or all three, there is a delicious low-carb meal at each location.
While KFC is known for its fried chicken, there are other things on the menu. Grilled chicken is significantly healthier than fried chicken due to the amount of trans fat that occurs in foods fried in oils at high temperatures. In addition to the KFC grilled chicken sandwich, other low-carb options include:
- Original Recipe Chicken
- Extra Crispy Chicken
- Nashville Hot Spicy Crispy Chicken
- KFC Fried Wings
- Green Beans
- Salads and dressings like blue cheese salad dressings
We hate to tell you, but avoiding french fries is a must at McDonald’s for those on a low-carb diet. However, many other options are low-carb friendly at this iconic fast food restaurant. For all of the sandwiches, you’ll need to hold the bun, but the inside of the hamburger is the best part, anyway. Get a low-carb meal at McDonald’s with any of the options listed.
- Steak and Egg sandwich
- Bacon and Egg
- Sausage Egg
- Regular Hamburger
- Big Mac
- Side salad hold the carrots and dressing
The nice thing at Chipotle is they are a fast food restaurant (without the drive-thru) that caters to low-carb diets. You’ll want to hold the sour cream, but there are multiple options to build your bowl as a low-carb option.
- Keto Salad Bowl
- Steak Burrito Bowl
- Beanless Burrito Bowl
- Build your salad with grilled chicken and vegetables
- Build your taco with grilled chicken and vegetables
What is a low-carb option at fast food establishments?
No matter what fast food establishment you frequent, there are low-carb options to help you stay honest with your Keto diet or another low-carb meal plan. Below are some options for a low-carb diet.
- Sub sandwiches minus the bread
- KFC grilled chicken
- Chipotle salads or low-carb bowls
- Lettuce wrapped burgers
- Panera Bread’s Power Breakfast Bowl
- Buffalo wings
- Bacon or sausage with eggs minus toast
What are some fast food options for the Keto Diet?
- Burgers wrapped in lettuce or without the bun. Check condiments, as some aren’t Keto-friendly.
- Sandwiches without the bread
- Burrito bowls
- Grilled Chicken
- Low-carb meals containing eggs
- Salads without heavy dressings
- Buffalo wings
Is KFC an option for low-carb?
As long as you steer clear of the fried food at KFC, visiting for a low-carb fast food meal is acceptable. The grilled chicken and KFC’s green beans are excellent options.
What low-carb fast food is available at McDonald’s?
McDonald’s offers several low-carb fast food options for those who cherish eating at this iconic fast food restaurant. From their grilled chicken club salad to burgers without buns to breakfast items like the Sausage McMuffin, low-carb fast food options at McDonald’s are prevalent.
Finding a Balance
We don’t condone eating out at fast food restaurants frequently, but it is nice to know that someone looking to lose weight can still find options at these establishments. We recommend checking out vegan options at these restaurants as many offer foods available to those who wish to eliminate all animal byproducts from their diet.
If you’re looking for other options on how to stay healthy, check out our blog on mushrooms. The Onnit supplement provides a Keto-friendly option, so your net carbs are low.
Kristen holds a bachelors in English from Louisianna university. With a longstanding passion for fitness, she owns and operate her own gym and is a certified jazzercise instructor.