Among all of the diets out there, you always wonder—can I still eat at a fast food restaurant? If you are on a ketogenic diet, then the good news is yes! We decided to find out how simple it actually is to grab something quick and delicious. Read on to learn the best fast food keto options to pick up next at the drive-thru.
There are many conflicting views on how the keto diet can affect your health, but, according to a new study, the trendy keto diet could actually help fight cancer. Scientists in New York found that these diets help starve tumors of the glucose they need to grow. Experiments revealed that high-fat, low-carb meals also sped up a lethal wasting disease in pancreatic and colorectal cancer mice. Extreme weight loss, called cachexia, happens in some patients, leading to loss of appetite, fatigue, and immune suppression. The study authors explain that keto causes toxic blood fats called lipids to kill cancer cells. Replacing the depleted hormone with an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid meant keto still shrank tumors but didn’t kickstart cachexia or extreme weight loss.
On the other end, following a keto-like diet can lead to serious heart trouble, a new study warns. Eating less carbohydrates and high amounts of fat is associated with increased cholesterol levels and twice the risk of suffering heart problems such as blocked arteries, heart attacks, and stroke. Carbohydrates are one of the first sources the body uses for energy. Diets like the keto diet restrict the number of carbs you eat, forcing the body to break down fat for energy instead. The breakdown of fat in the liver creates ketones, chemicals the body uses as energy when there are no carbohydrates. People who advocate for a ketogenic diet often suggest limiting carbohydrates to 10 percent of your total calories. Instead, the focus is on getting 20 to 30 percent of protein and 60 to 80 percent of calories from fat. However, previous studies have linked a low-carb, high-fat diet to the highest LDL cholesterol levels. Doctors consider LDL the “bad” type of cholesterol that increases the risk of heart disease from atherosclerosis, a buildup of cholesterol in the coronary arteries.
Whatever reason you decide to try a ketogenic diet, consult your doctor to get the best advice. Once you’re cleared, you can count on StudyFinds to find the best fast food keto options for when you’re in a rush. Our list contains the top recommendations from ten expert sources. Did we miss your go-to? Let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best Fast Food Keto Options, According to Experts
Wendy’s doesn’t provide an online nutrition calculator but don’t fret. Compared to the modifications you make at Burger King or McDonald’s, you’re in the clear. Keto Logic says, “Individual Wendy’s restaurants may also provide sheets with nutrition facts that can help you make your decision. Without having specific details. Some high-fat, high-protein options you can modify are Dave’s Single, Double, and Triple, Cheeseburger, the Baconator, and the Grilled Asiago Club Ranch.”
What people love about Wendy’s is that their burgers are made with 100% pure beef. “Wendy’s beef has no fillers and hidden carbs. Check out these low-carb options: Breakfast Baconator (skip the bun) – Net carbs 5g, Fat 50g, Protein 31g. Parmesan Caesar Salad, entree – Net carbs 2g, Fat 14g, Protein 41g. Spicy Chicken Nuggets, 4 pieces – Net carbs 8g, Fat 12g, Protein 10g,” offers Perfect Keto.
Although Wendy’s menu has changed over the years, you still have to do the work of ordering your keto items. “It all comes down to how you order it. Of course, you’ll need to ask for no bun, which might sound like an odd way to eat a burger. However, you can either cut it up with a knife and fork or request the lettuce wrap version. And you do want to watch what condiments you’re using, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat a plain burger either,” says Tasting Table.
Chick-fil-A isn’t just any fast-food chain. It’s an elite chicken chain that has mastered the art of grilling chicken. “Chick-fil-A’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich doesn’t need much help to be an outstanding keto option. Just say no to the bun and consider adding mayo. That’s the extent of what you need to do. The grilled chicken breast is dripping with lemon, herb, and smoky flavors that you won’t soon forget,” explains Mashed.
Chick-fil-A has quite a few low-carb options if you go “bunless”. There’s always grilled chicken, but skip the sauces. “We know this is many people’s favorite fast food place, and we love it there too! The ingredients taste fresh and Chick-fil-A has the nicest employees by far! And a heads up: their buffalo sauce has 0g net carbs if you’re dying to dip!” says Keto Connect.
Chick-fil-A prides itself on its mostly healthy chicken options. They are also closed on Sundays for religious reasons and people seem to like that. Diet Doctor lets us in on some keto beverage options: “If you are ok using artificial sweeteners, the lemonade is very tasty. Personally, though, I could taste the artificial sweetener.”
Did you know there are about 10,000 more Subways than McDonald’s? Believe it or not, Subway is the most common fast-food chain in America. “If you decide to eat here, don’t plan on grabbing the 5-dollar footlong. Fortunately, many of their sandwiches can be turned into salads. Cutting tomatoes and onions is an easy way to reduce the carb count,” explains Keto Logic.
Subway is the best keto-friendly fast food if you love salads and never-ending veggies. “Are you on a high-protein keto diet? Don’t miss out on their steak and cheese salad that’s packed with 20 grams of protein. Plus, you can always request more cheese,” says Perfect Keto.
While you’re building your delicious salad, remember to avoid toppings covered in sweet sauces like teriyaki or meatball marinara. Diet Doctor fills us in on a successful keto order: “Even though the team member asked several times if I wanted bread with the salad and I had to stop him from adding croutons, it ended up tasting great. The reason it did was that Subway toss all their salads in a big bowl while assembling, so the whole salad is flavored. That makes a huge difference. A great choice, and it filled me up!”
4. Taco Bell
We know there are fast food keto breakfast items, but are there similar options for lunch? There sure are! “As registered dietician, Carissa Galloway told Well+Good, ‘Keto eaters have it pretty rough at Taco Bell because they can’t have rice, they can’t have beans, and they can’t have tortilla wraps or taco shells’. However, Galloway, as well as her fellow registered dietician Jessica Cording, both say, ‘Ordering a Power Menu Bowl without rice can help you create a keto-friendly meal’. In particular, they recommend choosing either steak or chicken, then adding toppings like lettuce, onion, extra cheese, and/or sour cream,” explains Tasting Table.
Corn and flour are big no-no’s when on a keto diet, so tortillas are out of the question. Eat This, Not That suggests some menu items, “Power Menu Bowl, remove the rice and beans; add extra lettuce and double the grilled chicken or guacamole, Fiesta Taco Salad, ask for it in a bowl instead of the fried tortilla shell, nix the rice and black beans, add more lettuce, a little extra sour cream, and cheese or a Cheesy Toasted Breakfast Burrito (bacon or sausage), ask for it in a bowl instead of a tortilla.”
“They have a naked taco on the menu that is a fried egg instead of the regular carb-filled taco shell. I had to give it a try. It was pretty good and if you make it a double order, it will do a good job of filling you up,” shares Diet Doctor.
You didn’t think that the Golden Arches would be skipping the list, did you? Your friends may not be there for you when you need them, but you can bet a McDonald’s probably will be. “If you get rid of the bread, getting enough protein and fat from McDonald’s menu is pretty easy. You’ll have to say no to French fries, hash browns, oatmeal, and breaded items like chicken nuggets, but there are still a host of good breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to keep your body in ketosis,” says Keto Logic.
On the main menu at McDonald’s the majority of the keto-friendly options consist of cheeseburgers. But, you can also modify their chicken sandwiches. “Most of the breakfast options can be made keto-friendly by removing the bun. Keto dieters can also try a keto McDonald’s breakfast by removing the muffin from an egg McMuffin or the bread from any other sandwich,” says Restaurant Clicks.
Known for its classic burger and fries, McDonald’s can still support keto-conscious eaters and keep them “lovin’ it.” Eat This, Not That offers some great combinations, “Try some of these keto-friendly McDonald’s orders: Egg McMuffin, hold the English muffin, McDouble, hold the buns or a side salad.”
You might also be interested in:
- Best Gluten-Free Fast Food Options
- Best Fast Food Breakfast
- Best Vegan Burgers
- Best Fast Food Coffee
- Keto Logic
- Restaurant Clicks
- Ditch the Carbs
- Daily Slick Deals
- Eat This, Not That
- Perfect Keto
- Tasting Table
- Keto Connect
- Diet Doctor
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.