If you and your friends are heading out to a fast food restaurant and you are on the keto diet, you might be afraid there’s not really any options for you. Luckily, most fast food restaurants offer some kind of salad menu. Most of the time these salad options are safe to eat while on the keto diet.
Obviously, fast food restaurants are not really known for their salads, so if you’re actually looking for a decent salad you should probably go elsewhere. But if you find yourself in a fast food place in a pinch, they are a good option to eat something keto-friendly and just have a healthier meal overall.
Fast Food vs “Fast” Food
First of all, to get any confusion out of the way, when we talk about fast food, we are actually talking about fast food joints. We know some people might be looking for “fast food” to make at home. But for that, you should just apply the basic rules of eating keto.
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This article will list a few of your options when actually going out to eat to a fast food place and looking for a keto approved salad.
Rules to live by when making a Keto Salad
The keto “rules” to keep in mind when making a salad. come down to the basic rule of keto, which is low carb. Of course, a salad by definition has greens or lettuce as the main ingredient, which are (in most cases) low carb. So the most important thing to keep your salad keto-friendly is to avoid bread,pasta or rice and other fillers that you would possibly include with your salad.
As we mentioned above, most greens and any meat, chicken or fish are all fine. Dressings, on the other hand, are a special case. Some dressings are completely fine to eat on a keto diet. Other dressings contain a lot of sugar and sauces that are high in sugar content have a lot of carbs, so they are not keto approved. That said, if you want some specific dressing that you really like but you’re not sure if it’s keto, you can find a lot of recipes online to create a keto variant of almost any popular dressing.
One note, though. When you’re making a salad at home (or looking for a salad somewhere else) is that you should be wary of some vegetables. Not all greens are low carb!
Things like corn, green peas, sweet potatoes and raw carrots are actually quite high in carbs and should be avoided in any kind of keto salad or any kind of keto meal, for that matter. So be wary of high carb vegetables.
The best Keto Salads at Fast Food Restaurants
So with the basics out of the way, let’s take a look at your actual options for a keto fast food salad. Starting with the most famous fast food joint in the world: McDonald’s.
A nice choice at McDonald’s is the Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad with guacamole. It has some carbs, but not enough to take you out of ketosis. Also, it does contain quite a lot of protein and fat, so that’s that’s perfect for any follower of the keto diet.
Let’s take a look at Wendy’s next. Actually Wendy’s almost didn’t make this list, because a lot of their salads contain a lot of carbs, even though it might not seem that way. For example, their Apple Pecan Chicken Salad contains 52 grams of carbs, which is way too much to be keto approved. So this one should definitely be avoided. It’s just one of those cases where a dressing and some fruit quickly adds up to a high carb content.
Looking at Chipotle. Here you can order a nice salad bowl, with any kind of meat like steak or chicken. Add some lettuce or greens and add as much cheese and sour cream as you want. However, be careful with the salsa. The corn salsa has quite a high carb content compared to the tomato salsa. Again, this gives you a meal that is low in carbs, but has quite a lot of fat and quite a lot of protein. So it’s a perfect pick when looking for a keto fast food salad at Chipotle.
Then there’s Subway. It might be weird to find Subway on this list because by definition, subway is all about the sub sandwiches, which means bread and therefore is not keto friendly. However, you can actually order any of their sandwiches to be turned into a salad in which they replace the bread with some veggies and use the other ingredients that would have been on the sandwich in a salad bowl instead. They also have real nice portions where you’re ordering one of these salad bows, so you’ll definitely won’t be leaving hungry.
Besides the ones listed above, we think Five Guys deserves a special mention, because even though they’re not really about salads at all, they do have the option to order any of their burgers with a lettuce wrap to replace the bun.
You can barely speak of a “salad” in this case, But still, it’s a very nice option. We’d say this is one of the meals that comes closest to real fast food when looking for a keto fast food salad.
And that’s it! As expected, there’s not really that many options when looking for a keto fast food salad, as “fast food” and “salad” usually don’t go well together.
If you’re looking for a Meal Plan to help you stick to your Keto lifestyle and maximize your health benefits, take a look here!