It’s not easy to go out and order a low-carb meal in fast food restaurants because most options contain breads, muffins, fries, pizzas and other high-carb foods.
When you’re following a low-carb ketogenic diet, your meals should be as keto-friendly as possible.
Here are the lowest carb choices for breakfast, lunch and even dinner you can try when eating out at popular places:
Table Of Contents
- #1. McDonald’s
- #2. Starbucks
- #3. Subway
- #4. Taco Bell
- #5. Chick-Fil-A
- #6. Wendy’s
- #7. Burger King
- #8. Dunkin’
- #9. Panera Bread
- #10. Chipotle
- #11. KFC
- #12. Arby’s
- #13. Jack in the Box
- #14. Popeyes
- #15. Whataburger
- #16. Jimmy John’s
- #17. Hardee’s
McDonald’s offers breakfast sandwiches that you can get and toss the bun. You can do the same to any cheeseburger, too.
An egg McMuffin without the English muffin contains 160 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of protein.
Or try a quarter pounder with cheese and bacon (no bun or ketchup) for 310 calories, 22 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs, and 24 grams of protein.
What to order: an egg McMuffin breakfast sandwich minus the bun or a cheeseburger minus the ketchup and bun.
Most people head to Starbucks for coffee, but they also sell food here.
Keep it low-carb by ordering a bacon, Gouda, and egg sandwich and tossing the bread. It contains 370 calories, 18 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, and 18 grams of protein. However, you can eliminate almost all of the carbs by asking for no bread.
What to order: a bacon, Gouda, and egg sandwich minus the artisan roll and a black coffee (or coffee with cream).
Subway has subs and salads. We recommend going with a salad, which contains everything a sub does but without the bread!
Try the rotisserie-style grilled chicken salad. It contains 373 calories, 5 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbs (7 grams net carbs), 4 grams of fiber, and 23 grams of protein.
If you order it with red wine vinegar and oil dressing, it will contain 391 calories, 15 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs (8 grams net carbs), 4 grams of fiber, and 23 grams of protein.
What to order: a rotisserie-style chicken salad with oil and vinegar dressing. Hold the chips and all other sides.
#4. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is a very popular place for people to enjoy Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and other high-carb foods.
Because most dishes include taco shells, tortillas, corn, rice, beans, and other flour-based shells, it’s not low-carb friend.
A Power Menu Bowl has grilled chicken, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, Pico de gallo, avocado ranch sauce, lettuce, beans and rice. Without black beans and seasoned rice, you’ll get 250 calories, 15 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber or just 5 grams of net carbs.
What to order: ask for a Power Menu Bowl without rice and beans.
Chick-Fil-A offers baked chicken nuggets, which are much lower in carbs than traditional breaded wings.
An eight-count contains 130 calories, 3 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs, and 25 grams of protein.
What to order: the grilled nuggets with a low-carb dipping sauce, such as buffalo sauce or ranch.
Wendy’s has a wide variety of burgers you can get without the bun and sauce.
Try a big bacon double classic, which has a half-pound of beef, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, mayo and onion.
It contains 880 calories, 57 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, and 54 grams of protein. However, you can get this meal down to one or two carbs by holding the bun and ketchup.
What to order: a big bacon double classic without the bun or ketchup and no fries or onion rings.
#7. Burger King
Burger King is a fast-food restaurant with lots of burger options that you can get without the bun and sauce.
If you’re really hungry, then try a triple stacker king. Without the bun and sauce, it contains 1040 calories, 79 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, and 77 grams of protein.
What to order: a triple stacker king without the bun, sauce, and fries or onion rings. You can also get a double stacker or a single stacker if you want fewer beef patties.
Dunkin’ Donuts or just Dunkin’ is an American donut and coffeehouse. Since donuts and bagels are very high in carbs, everything you order should exclude these items.
A sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich without bagel should contain around 380 calories, 33 grams of fat, 25 grams of protein and 1 gram of net carbs.
What to order: Go with Sausage, Egg and Cheese sandwich without the muffins, wraps or croissant.
#9. Panera Bread
Panera offers a good variety of sandwiches that you can get without the bread or sauce.
Go with a heritage ham and Swiss sandwich. This contains 610 calories, 26 grams of fat, 53 grams of carbs, and 42 grams of protein.
You should be able to eliminate most of the carbs by holding the bread and maple mustard sauce. Also, hold the chips, apple, or baguette that comes with your meal as a side.
What to order: a Heritage ham and Swiss sandwich without the bread and sauce. Hold all sides.
Chipotle makes a keto salad bowl that you can order. It comes with carnitas, romaine lettuce, tomatillo red chili salsa, guacamole, and Monterey jack cheese.
One bowl contains 590 calories, 42 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbs (5 grams net carbs), 8 grams of fiber, and 32 grams of protein.
What to order: the keto salad bowl or make your own bowl with meat, cheese, and guacamole.
When talking about KFC, what usually comes to your mind? Crispy-fried chicken? Well, besides all the deep-fried foods which are breaded and not keto-approved, you can ask for grilled dishes too. They even have a grilled chicken sandwich (feel free to order without the bun!)
For example, Kentucky grilled chicken breast has 210 calories, 7 grams of fat, 38 grams of protein and 0 grams of carbs. This is a perfect high-protein snack or quick meal.
What to order: Go with grilled chicken breast or drumsticks.
Stay away from the crispy chicken sandwiches at Arby’s and order a market fresh sandwich instead. Turn the grilled chicken club sandwich into a grilled chicken club salad!
Arby’s has a roast turkey farmhouse salad!
The roast turkey, ranch, and bacon sandwich minus the bread contains 410 calories, 28 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbs (6 grams net carbs), 1 gram of fiber, and 32 grams of protein.
If you hold the ranch, it will reduce the net carbs to 4 grams.
What to order: a roast turkey, ranch, and bacon sandwich minus the bread (and ranch, if you want).
#13. Jack in the Box
Jack-in-the-Box is a fast-food restaurant that serves just about everything, including breakfast, burgers, salads, and tacos. Keto friendly fast food is usually an oxymoron, and at Jack-in-the-Box, its no different!
Try the buttery Jack, which features a ¼ pound beef patty with melted herb garlic butter, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, and mayo.
It contains 860 calories, 58 grams of fat, 51 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 37 grams of protein. However, you can reduce almost all of the carbs by holding the carbs and bun.
What to order: a buttery Jack burger minus the bun and ketchup. Also, hold the fries or onion rings.
Popeyes is a fried chicken restaurant, but they doo a good job and can be the best keto fast food restaurant if you stick to the naked grilled chicken tenders that are not breaded.
The website doesn’t list the nutritional information for these, which means we don’t know how many carbs are in them.
However, Popeye’s indicates that they are gluten-free, so we assume these are not breaded and contain very few (if any) net carbs.
What to order: naked grilled chicken tenders with a low-carb diet dipping sauce, such as ranch.
Whataburger is a fast-food chain restaurant that serves burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Checkout these keto fast food options:
You can get a mushroom Swiss burger without the bun and signature sauce. It contains 660 calories, 48 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, and 45 grams of protein.
What to order: a mushroom Swiss burger without the sauce or bun. Hold the fries and drink.
#16. Jimmy John’s
Jimmy John’s is a sandwich and sub shop with delivery services available. You can make any sandwich an “unwich,” which is JJ’s term for a lettuce wrap.
Try a J.J. B.L.T. unwich. It contains 300 calories, 26 grams of fat, 3 grams of carbs (<2 grams net carbs), <1 gram of fiber, and 57 grams of protein.
What to order: a J.J. B.L.T. unwich. Hold the chips and cookie and go with a jumbo pickle as your side.
Hardee’s allows you to “low-carb it” and order any burger with a lettuce wrap.
Go for the ⅓ pound low-carb thickburger without the ketchup. It will contain 268 calories, 36 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and 22 grams of protein.
What to order: a ⅓ pound low-carb thickburger without the ketchup in a lettuce wrap.
For more keto friendly fast food and fast casual restaurants, check our keto restaurant guide.
Disclaimer: we use the nutrition data provided by the restaurant websites and third party data. Some of these restaurants don’t show nutrition facts for customized meals, so we tried our best to estimate the macros of a meal, therefore, the actual results might vary. Just remember, eating fast food at fast food restaurants isn’t the best choice when on a low carb diet – keto fast food once in a while is okay, but try not to make a habit out of it.
If you prefer a more convenient way to follow keto diet by having keto food delivered to your door, check these keto meal delivery companies.
*Photo by Engin_Akyurt
Recommended For You
- Fish and seafood.
- Low-carb veggies.
- Nuts, seeds and healthful oils.
- Plain Greek yogurt and cottage cheese.
The Takeaway — Is There One Keto Carb Limit? In general, restricting your carb consumption to less than 35 grams of total carbs and 25 grams of net carbs is what we recommend for the best results. This carb limit is ideal for almost everyone on the ketogenic diet.Can you stay in ketosis with 20 net carbs? ›
To achieve and remain in ketosis, you need to keep your total carb intake around the 30g mark, and your net carb intake around 20g. Net carbs are the carbohydrates in food that your body can digest and use for fuel.Can you be in ketosis with 60 net carbs? ›
Since ketosis can often be achieved by staying under 60 grams of carbs per day, you may not need to do a strict low carb diet to see substantial results. Athletes and highly-active people may even be able to tolerate more than 60 grams of carbs per day.