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Fast Foods for Low-Carb and Keto Diets

If you’re on a keto or low-carb diet, you might feel like your fast food options are limited. It might not be wise to indulge in most traditional fast food fare, but there’s still a variety of healthy food options to choose from when grabbing something on the go. This list of keto friendly items on fast food menus will help you stick to your low-carb diet and make healthier choices when you need to eat on the fly.

Grilled Chicken

Fried food is notorious for being unhealthy and has been linked to greater risk of heart disease, cancer, and other issues. Grilled chicken is a great low-carb alternative when eating at fast food restaurants. Popular chains like Chick-Fil-A and KFC are beginning to offer grilled chicken nuggets, which don’t have the breading or extra fat of their classic counterparts. A 12-piece order of grilled chicken nuggets at Chick-Fil-A only has 3 grams of carbs—it’s an excellent way to treat yourself without breaking your diet. Tip: Dipping sauces are full of sugar, so use them sparingly to avoid extra calories.

Protein Bowls

Building your own taco or salad bowl at a quick service restaurant is the perfect way to control exactly what you’re eating. Fill up your bowl with nutritious protein and grilled vegetables to make it low-carb friendly. Leaving out the taco shell lets you enjoy your favorite ingredients in a salad bowl without the added carbohydrates from a flour or corn tortilla.

The Mexican fast food chain Chipotle is a popular pick for healthy food on the go— a bowl with chicken, vegetables, salsa, and guacamole can satisfy your cravings with only six grams of carbs. Leave out high-fat dressings when you are trying to eat fewer carbs.

Bunless Burger

The most popular fast food chains all have something in common: burgers. If you’ve had to resist the temptations of big, juicy burgers while dieting, you’re in luck: Most burger restaurants offer the option to get your order in a lettuce wrap rather than a bun. Leaving off the bread turns your favorite burger into a virtually carb-free option.

The California burger chain In-N-Out offers a “protein style” cheeseburger that comes in a lettuce wrap, with 8 grams of carbs and 18 grams of protein. You can also customize your burger with low-carb toppings—cheese, mustard, mayo, onions, and tomatoes all have less than one gram of carbs per serving.

Eat Smart on the Go

Life gets busy, and sometimes stopping by a fast food chain for dinner is inevitable. It’s important not to deprive yourself while on a low-carb diet. Instead, find healthy alternatives that still satisfy your cravings. Keep these keto-friendly options in mind when dining out so you can still enjoy your favorite fast food spots without breaking your diet.