How to Keto at Restaurants
There is almost always something you can find in any fast food place or restaurant for those who eat low-carb or keto diets. Plan for the future. Check out their menu and nutritional information online at home or using your smartphone before visiting a restaurant. Before being tempted by menu items you should not have on a low-carb diet, it’s always good to know the safe options.
To make it easier to find a fast keto-friendly alternative, I’ve compiled a list of several restaurants and fast food places and the things I’ve found to be the lowest (and most emotionally satisfying) choice. Not all of these are ideal solutions, but they will do in a pinch if you’re left with no other choices due to time or place constraints.
Fast-food places are required to post nutritional content is an enormous help. Every day, it becomes easier to follow the keto diet. The carb count I list is approximate and NET grammes are approximate.
Generally speaking, there is some option for salad wherever you are. Simply remove the bun at Burger joints, and many places now sell lettuce wraps. Chicken is not expected to have breading.
It helps to have a handy knife and fork in your car or pocket as a side note. Large, juicy burgers wind up on the table in tiny pieces of lettuce-or in your lap. Tiny, flimsy plasticware for fast food also makes eating difficult. Remove and enjoy your own robust utensils!
Now for the choice of food… Here are some very simple 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. Look 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 a good choice. Check the ingredient for items that are higher in carb content.
- Chicken – Choose grilled or sauteed. Stay away from any chicken that is breaded.
McDonald’s – Choose a burger (zero-g) or grilled chicken (2 g) with no bun and cheese, mayo, mustard, onions, etc. There’s no ketchup. Add a salad on the side (3 g). The Caesar grilled chicken salad or the grilled chicken fried bacon ranch salad is 9 g.
Burger King – Like McDonald’s burger info: burger (zero-g) with no bun and cheese, mayo, mustard, onions, etc. There’s no ketchup. Without the bun, the tender grill chicken sandwich is 3 g. BEWARE-maybe you think the veggie burger is small, but it’s 19 g of carbs, so it’s about a full day of keto carbs. Add a salad on the side (3 g). The garden salad of tender grill chicken is 8 g without dressing or croutons. There’s no option for the tender-crisp chicken salad. Don’t try it.
BONUS – dessert!?! – the fresh apple fries are not fried and are 5g net carbs WITHOUT caramel sauce.
Subway – Subway will definitely be missed if you can. All the buns and wraps are carbs-high. I guess you could just get them to put the ingredients in a wrapper without a sandwich, but that doesn’t sound appealing. I don’t have any information on what the carb count would be for every bunless sub, but you can probably figure it out-chicken or pepperoni is all right but is chicken “sweet onion” all right? There’s no idea. Stick to the salads, but remember that you only get lettuce from iceberg (4 g).
Carl’s Junior and Hardees – The chain sells “lettuce wraps”-your burger wrapped in a big piece of lettuce to eat conveniently at low carb. (As I said, I tried it and didn’t love it. Rather, I like having my own fork.) Bunless choices–Six dollar burger (7 g), 1/2 thick burger (5 g), charbroiled chicken club sandwich (7g/10 g at Hardee’s). Grilled, croutonless chicken salad is 10 g. The salad on the side is 3 g.
Jimmy John’s – The unwich-a lettuce-wrapped sandwich-fits here with the bill. Meats are perfect, just make sure they are not carb-rich ingredients.
Wendy’s – Again in a lettuce wrap or package, you can get your burger. Every topped burger. Mayo has a syrup of maize and is 1 g. The grilled fillet for chicken is 1 g. It can be ordered in the sandwich of the chicken club or the ultimate sandwich of the chicken grill. Best salads: chicken caesar (7 g), grilled chicken salad. Caesar side salads aer 6 g or 2 g.
Pizza Hut and other pizza places – You can get used to eating pizza without any crust. You need to eat twice as much, but if there’s a party or dinner out at a pizza place that you can’t avoid, just slip off the cheesy toppings and eat the big messy plate of cheese and toppings. A side salad is a beautiful addition. Otherwise, just choose to make low-carb pizza at home.
Mongolian Barbecue – Using chicken, shrimp, onion slices and mushrooms to fill your dish, then top with the Asian black bean sauce. I know beans have carbs, but the sauce label says 1 gramme per ounce of carbs (each sauce is clearly labelled). Add some garlic and wait for his work to be done by the griller. You miss the appetisers, tortillas, and beans, of course. Ask the wait staff not to bring them to the table.
Italian Restaurants – They take a bit of shrewdness, but they can be conquered! Ideas: how about Italian chicken Marsala? Make sure the pasta doesn’t come along. Replace broccoli or some other side dish that is keto-friendly-or a big salad. Chicken piccata is also an option.
Mexican and Chinese restaurants are the most difficult because the reason for going to the restaurant in the first place is not any low-carbon alternative. I like to get a huge burrito with no beans at a Mexican restaurant and spread the soft tortilla like a plate. Eat the ingredients inside and shake the tortilla.
If you MUST go to a Chinese buffet (I attended one of them at a funeral dinner), you will find choices, but they will certainly not be your beloved General Tso’s. How about the option of the salad bar? eggs? The inside of the eggrolls, and I even eat crab rangoons on the inside. Unfortunately, these ideas leave on your plate quite a pile of discarded shells and deep fried outside pieces and make it look like you’re really wasting food.
Wings anywhere – Standard buffalo sauce and parmesan garlic are usually OK
Convenience stores It can also be a good option! Packs of hard boiled eggs, cheese slabs, slim jims, almond and pork rinds are available from 7-11. Pork rinds come in the flavour of a barbecue and they are carbs from ZERO.
Remember to keep the pizza, potatoes, pasta, noodles, tacos, and tortillas whatever you choose. Then lookout for the chance of maize starch, crumbs of bread and other fillers. You can find healthy keto and low-carb options when dining out with proper planning and a good attitude, and adhere to your successful keto diet plan.
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