Fast Foodies Rejoice: The Keto Diet and Fast Food
The Ketogenic plan is taking the dieting world by storm. This diet plan is commonly referred to as the “keto diet” or a “low-carb diet”. Despite its popularity, there are many questions around this diet plan. One of the biggest questions revolve around everyone’s favorite cheat meal—fast food! Many dieters find themselves asking “can you eat fast food on keto?” or “what fast food can I eat on a keto diet?” near the beginning of their journey. We’re here to help demystify fast food on the keto plan!
The keto diet works by limiting carbohydrates. By reducing carbs, the body’s production of glucose and insulin is lowered. As a result, the body goes into ketosis. This (very natural) bodily process leads to the production of ketones, which breaks down stored fats. Usually, ketosis is a result of starvation. The ketogenic diet helps encourage the body into ketosis through carbohydrate reduction rather than calorie starvation. As a result, the body experiences health benefits, weight loss, and increased performance.
This diet is difficult to pull off and can make day to day living seem impossible. We’ve all ended up stuck on the road between meetings with a grumbling stomach and a burger joint shining on the corner of the intersection. Maybe you’re been the friend scanning the menu again and again for a low-carb option at the restaurant with your friends. While eating fast food isn’t ideal on the keto diet, it’s certainly doable.
Here are some good guidelines to stick by.
Don’t assume salads are safe.
Many of the greens, berries, and croutons of traditional salads can be loaded with carbohydrates. Try to stick with simpler salads that include meats, like grilled chicken salads. Pick out any ingredients that are too carb-heavy.
Stay with vegetables, meats, and cheese.
Many fast food chains try to jam carbohydrates and sugars into every possible ingredient on the list. By sticking with the basics, you’re intaking the fewest carbohydrates possible.
Avoid breaded meats.
Chicken wings, fried chicken, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and fritters are coated in a carb-heavy batter to enhance the frying process. Avoid these foods! If you have no other options, try to remove as much of the breading as possible.
Ditch the bun.
It’s no secret that one of the biggest sources of carbohydrates comes from sandwich and burger buns. Many restaurants offer bun alternatives, such as lettuce wraps. Some may allow you to exchange buns for toppings, such as avocado or sauces. Bunless is better!
Check your condiments.
Dressing and sauce can be a great way to add flavor to an otherwise bland dish, but it can also add plenty of sugar. Try to avoid sweet-tasting condiments. Instead, try for fatty ones. Good salad dressings with minimal sugar include ranch and caesar.
Check online fast food guides.
The blog Healthline lists out keto-friendly menu items at popular restaurants. One of their more recent blogposts reviewed options at fast food restaurants including KFC, Chipotle, Panera Bread, Subway, and McDonald’s.
By keeping with these guidelines, you can ensure your fun night out doesn’t break your keto diet. Remember to always diet safely and consult a doctor if you have any health concerns!