Cheat Day: your Keto Fast Food Guide

If you’re following the keto diet and you’re looking to go out for some fast food or to a drive-through but you don’t really know what your options are or what you should look out for when ordering keto fast food, you’ve come to the right place. 

Obviously as a follower of the ketodiet you know it’s not always easy to find something keto friendly when eating out. Or if you’re just a beginner, you will soon find out. 

When it comes to keto fast food, it is actually even more difficult, as fast food is very high in carbs and/or high in sugar. This means it’s something you should generally avoid. However, some fast food is keto friendly, even if it means you have to make some just adjustments to the meal. 

Still, if you would go to a fast food restaurant looking for a keto meal and you’re not prepared, you might end up ordering something wrong or not ordering at all. Either way that’s not really a fun experience so in this article, we’ll try to help you plan out your next visit to the fast food joint, while complying to the basic rules of the ketogenic diet. 

Let’s take a look at the things you have to pay attention to when going out for a keto fast food meal. 

#1 Bunless Burgers

So first of all: burgers! When you think of fast food, a lot of people instantly think of burgers. And here’s our first problem, because a staple ingredient of a burger is the bun, and the bun is bread… which makes it not really keto friendly as it’s high in carbs. 

First rule: ditch any bun or sandwich or kind of bread. 

#2 Fried is bad

Secondly, avoid anything fried. This could, of course, mean KFC fried chicken, but don’t forget mozzarella sticks or any kind of fried fish (for example in a fish and chips meal). The breading and frying process adds a ton of carbs with which should be avoided. In the case of fried chicken, a good alternative could be grilled chicken, which they also offer at KFC and some other fast food restaurants.

Second rule: Nothing fried. Grilled can be an alternative. 

#3 Stupid Sides

Next, we have sides. Lots of fast food joints offer potato-based sides like French fries, tater tots, chips, etc.. Which contain a very high carb content and should definitely not be eaten while following the keto diet. This also applies to other popular sides like corn, rice, fried onion rings and stuff like that. Avoid at all costs. Except for a side salad, even though you still have to be wary of the dressing, as we’ll see in the next paragraph.

Third rule: Avoid (most) sides.

#4 Dangerous Dressings

Next up is dressings and sauces. To start off, not all sauces, dressings or condiments are evil, but quite a lot of them – especially at a fast food restaurant – have a very high sugar content. This means they are high in carbs as well. A very famous example of this is ketchup. Some people think ketchup is actually quite healthy, while it’s very high in carbs, and should therefore be avoided on a keto diet.

Fourth rule: Pay attention to the sauce. If it’s sweet, avoid it.

#5 Desserts

Last but not least, desserts! As you can see in this article, finding a keto proof dessert at a fast food restaurant is almost mission impossible. There are some options though, if you’re willing to eat a slight amount of carbs. In general, you should not really hope to find a keto fast food dessert. Your options are extremely limited, as both sweets/cookies and any kind of fruit is going to have a lot of carbs in it.

Fifth rule: Desserts are no-go


These rules list out pretty much what you should avoid when looking for some keto fast food. Still, that doesn’t mean you there’s nothing you can eat. As you apply these rules, you’ll see that there’s actually quite a lot of options left, like Bunless Burger or some kind of burrito bowl with some low carb ingredients.

Bon appetit!

Keto Fast Food Cheat Sheet

If you’re looking for a quick reference to see your options at a glance, you can download our printable Fast Food Cheat Sheet here!

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