Keto at Mcdonalds – The Best Low Carb Options
Low Carb Options at McDonalds
Preparing your own food while following a keto diet makes it easier to track your macros, but that doesn’t mean you need to go hungry if you’re out and about. When it comes to fast food, you’ll need to be a little more vigilant for hidden sugar and carbs, but it’s still possible to stay in the keto zone. As a general rule when eating out, stick to simpler foods: meat, veggies, and cheese. There can be a lot of hidden sugars and carbs in condiments, and you definitely want to pass on the bun.
You won’t struggle to find fat and protein at McDonald’s, but since their meat does not have a reputation of being of the highest quality, it should not be a regular feature in your keto diet.
Low Carb Breakfast at McDonald’s
Egg McMuffin – (1-3 net carbs) Ditch the muffin and you’re down to just 3 net carbs, 11g fat and 12g protein. Skip the cheese and there’s only 1 net carb, 7g fat and 10g protein. Add sausage for extra fat (29g) and protein (16g).
Sausage Biscuit with Egg – (1-2 net carbs) Lose the biscuit and it only has 2 net carbs with the cheese and 1 without. Fat: 23g. Protein: 12g.
Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit – (2-3 net carbs) Nix the bread and you have only 3 net carbs, 13g fat and 14g protein with the cheese, 2 net carbs without (+ 9g fat & 11g protein).
Sausage Burrito – (2-4 net carbs) The filling only has 4 net carbs, 11g fat and 9g protein with cheese, 2 net carbs without (+ 8g fat & 6g protein).
Low Carb Lunch and Dinner at McDonald’s
Burgers – In general, skip the bun and most of the burgers will be okay. Even a triple burger with no cheese or ketchup only has 2 net carbs. The ingredients list on some of the sauces can be as long as your arm, so skip ’em for a healthier pick. If allergies are a concern, stick with a plain patty. Sauced up versions can contain gluten, dairy and/or soy.
Big Mac – (2-6 net carbs) Removing the bun alone brings the net carbs down to an acceptable 6g (25g fat and 18g protein). Skip the sauce and you’re down to 4 net carbs, 16g fat and 18g protein. Lose the cheese too and you’re left with only 2 net carbs, 12g fat and 15g protein.
Quarter Pounder with Cheese – (4 net carbs) Peel off the bun and request no ketchup for a total of 4 net carbs, 25g fat and 25g protein.
Low Carb McDonald’s Sandwiches
The “grilled” versions are going to be your best bet. “Crispy” means “breaded.”
Garlic White Cheddar with Artisan Grilled Chicken – (5 net carbs) Without the bun, this is a decent pick with only 5 net carbs, 17g fat and 34g protein.
Pico Guacamole with Artisan Grilled Chicken – (4-7 net carbs) Only 7 net carbs without the roll (18g fat and 34g protein). If you skip the pico sauce and cheese, you can get it down to 4 net carbs (7g fat & 30g protein).
Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad – (6 net carbs) Only 6 net carbs in the whole shebang. Be sure to ask for grilled chicken as the “crispy” version contains significantly more carbs.
Side Salad – (2 net carbs) No fat and only 1g of protein, this would be a good addition if the rest of your meal is heavy on the meat.
What to Drink
For beverages, stick with water, unsweetened iced tea, coffee, or, if you must, diet soda, but artificially sweetened beverages should not be a regular part of the keto diet because they can mess with blood sugar and ketosis.
We’re lucky to live in a time when special requests such as “hold the bun” probably won’t even raise the pierced eyebrow of your server. Even better, you don’t have to guess how many carbs are in that bun. McDonald’s has a great interactive nutrition calculator that allows you to customize your choices. You simply deselect it and the program automatically updates the information about the macro- and micro-nutrients in the item. Doesn’t get much easier than that.
It’s important to remember that, even though these choices are acceptable for the keto diet, fast food isn’t optimal for any healthy eating plan. It should be considered as an occasional treat, not for daily consumption. That said, going hungry or feeling deprived shouldn’t be part of your keto diet either. Consult this list or use the online nutrition info and you’ll be able to stay on track.