Yes, You Can Totally Order A Big Mac If You're Following The Keto Diet
If you're all about that keto lifestyle, you're probably a pro at meal prep and cooking at home. After all, it's much easier to follow the diet properly when you know exactly what you're putting in your mouth. What if you just want to pick something up at the drive-thru after an especially loooong day? Turns out you can get keto McDonald's food, as long as you know what modifications to ask for.
You know the keto diet is all about minimizing your carb intake to get your body to burn fat for energy, a state known as ketosis, Scott Keatley, RD, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy, previously told WH. Everyone has different nutritional needs, but this roughly translates into getting 60 to 75 percent of your calories from fat, 15 to 30 percent of your calories from protein, and five to 10 percent of your calories from carbs. This usually means consuming no more than 50 grams of carbs a day (some strict keto dieters opt for just 20 grams a day).
That's not a lot of carbs at all, but with a few tweaks, you can still enjoy fast food favorites like McDonald's without sacrificing all the progress you've made (you can pretty much make keto work at a number of popular restaurants!).
“Order through the app for further customization," suggests Leah Johnston, RDN, a nutritionist and consultant at SRW. "Ask for extra shredded lettuce and onions to any burger to make it more like a burger salad, and when ordering coffee, diet soda, or unsweetened tea, skip the cream or sugar to keep these beverages keto-friendly.”
Those are just a few examples of what you can do. Here're all the keto-friendly meals you can order at McDonald’s, according to registered dietitians.
Meet the experts: Amanda Baker Lemein, RD, is a nutritionist based in Chicago. Leah Johnston, RDN, is a nutritionist and consultant at SRW.
1. Sausage McMuffin With Egg Sans English Muffin
This is hands down one of the best items you can order while on keto. Keep the cheese and skip the English muffin to get to three grams of carb, says Johnston.
For an even more filling option, she recommends ordering two of these, ditching the muffins, and putting the egg and sausage patties together to make the ultimate keto breakfast sandwich.
Nutrition info: 3 g carbs, 27 g fat, and 15 g protein
2. Side Salad
Fine, the side salad at McDonald's certainly isn't a Big Mac. However, it's a valuable option for keto dieters.
“I always recommend at least half your plate be filled with non-starchy veggies for lunch and dinner—keto or not. This will add nutrients and fiber to any meal with very few carbs for those following a keto diet,” says Amanda Baker Lemein, RD, a nutritionist based in Chicago.
Nutrition info: 3 g carbs, 0 g fat, and 1 g protein
3. Sausage Burrito Without The Tortilla
Channel those south-of-the-border vibes with the sausage burrito sans the tortilla. “Without the tortilla, this breakfast item becomes sort of an egg and veggie scramble with cheese,” says Johnston.
Nutrition info: 3 g carbs, 13 g fat, and 9 g protein
4. Egg McMuffin Without The Bun
“The egg and Canadian bacon will provide plenty of protein, plus, Canadian bacon is lower in saturated fat than bacon or sausage,” says Baker Lemein.
Nutrition info: 3 g carbs, 11 g fat, and 12 g protein
5. Double Cheeseburger Without The Bun
“A hamburger will be lower in saturated fat than breakfast sandwiches, but not as filling. A burger definitely fits the bill for keto though,” says Baker Lemein.
Nutrition info: 4 g carbs, 20 g fat, and 20 g protein
6. Bacon, Egg, And Cheese Biscuit, Minus The Biscuit
Without the bread on this breakfast sandwich, the bacon, egg, and cheese combo fits the bill for a keto breakfast. Plus, the eggs add important nutrients like choline and vitamin D, says Baker Lemein.
Nutrition info: 4 g carbs, 13 g fat, and 14 g protein
7. Quarter Pounder With Cheese Bacon Sans Bun, Cheese, And Ketchup
This counts as a high-protein keto meal. “Without the cheese, it is only two grams of carbs. However, if you want to opt to keep the cheese, the total carbs equal five grams.” Chef’s choice!
Nutrition info: 2 g carbs, 25 g fat, and 24 g protein
8. The Big Breakfast Without The Biscuit And Hash Browns
This classic breakfast totally qualifies as keto if you skip the biscuit and hash browns to lower the carb count (essentially making it a scrambled eggs and sausage meal).
Nutrition info: 2 g carbs, 29 g fat, and 19 g protein
9. Big Mac Without The Bun
Yup, you can still eat a Big Mac when you’re on the keto diet, though it’s definitely not the healthiest keto option on the menu. If you're looking for an indulgence that still falls in the keto range, this is it.
Nutrition info: 5 g carbs, 25 g fat, and 18 g protein
10. Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese Without The Bun, Cheese, And Ketchup
If you're really hungry, you may want to order this burger. But this item is slightly higher in protein than fat, so it is not the perfect keto option, Johnston says. If you are in a pinch, though, it would work.
Nutrition info: 2 g carbs, 32 g fat, and 37 g protein
11. Sausage, Egg, And Cheese McGriddles Without The Bun
“The McGriddle may be the most exciting part of the McGriddle sandwich, but to make it keto, we have to put those aside,” says Johnston. The good news though is that it has almost double the fat than protein, making it a solid keto option.
Nutrition info: 4 g carbs, 27 g fat, and 14 g protein
12. McDouble Without The Bun And Ketchup
A value menu delight, the McDouble fits most keto diets when you ditch the bun and ketchup. You can even add extra shredded lettuce (this does not come standard on the sandwich) to make it more like a fun cheeseburger salad, Johnston notes.
Nutrition info: 3 g carbs, 18 g fat, and 17 g protein
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