While I don’t hit up too many fast food restaurants these days, I like to reminisce about when I was brand spanking new to a ketogenic diet. It’s not that I’m nostalgic of a time when I weighed 100 pounds more than I do today. And I certainly don’t want to remember what it was like to struggle with a low-carb diet either.
At the same time, I’ve successfully followed low carb for over 8 years. Where I’m currently at in my journey won’t help you. This is especially true if you’re just beginning the change from a life of endless fast food options to making better choices in order to lose weight.
I want to help you where you’re at. Telling you to stay away from fast-food restaurants at the start of your new healthy lifestyle probably isn’t the right spot. Well, I’m guessing that’s true since you found this blog about the best KFC options for a low carb diet.
So can you find any KFC keto options? Keep reading to find out if KFC is a good choice for keto.
Does Kentucky Fried Chicken Have Low Carb Menu Items?
If referring to KFC as Kentucky Fried Chicken is confusing, I assure you that we’re both thinking of the right place. Keeping up with KFC’s menu is as confusing as keeping up with its name. Both the name and menu have gone through several changes.
While there are several rumors as to why KFC switched names from Kentucky Fried Chicken, one rumor is the popular fast food chain wanted to let the public know they serve more than just fried chicken. It’s even possible they wanted to publicize low-carb options, like KFC Grilled Chicken with a side of green beans.
Recently there are rumors that KFC is changing its name back to Kentucky Fried Chicken. Could this be due to the fact that they no longer offer different options in most of their restaurants, like grilled chicken?
KFC’s Current Menu:
Glancing at the menu, KFC only lists fried chicken. This includes breaded chicken wings and breaded chicken tenders that are both fried.
Even the side dishes don’t include many keto-friendly options. While the KFC near you may have a different menu, the healthiest option listed on the side dish menu items is coleslaw. After glancing at the nutrition facts on KFC coleslaw, I quickly changed my mind since coleslaw contains a whopping 30 grams of carbs per cup.
Turns out, KFC said goodbye to serving green beans long ago. This low carb side dish would be your best bet with only 2 grams of net carbs per serving.
It’s unfortunate in a time where it’s vital for so many to seek healthier options, KFC is headed backwards by removing nearly all low carb options from their menu.
Is KFC Fried Chicken Keto Friendly?
Since Kentucky Fried Chicken no longer has grilled chicken options, at least on a national level, the next question to ask is if you can find healthy keto KFC chicken at their restaurant. There are a few different variables to consider before determining if KFC chicken is a good idea while following keto.
KFC Nutrition Information:
Let’s start by looking at the nutrition information of a standard original recipe chicken breast. One KFC fried chicken breast contains:
- 360 calories
- 21 grams of fat
- 11 grams of carbs
- 34 grams of protein
If you’re more of a leg man (or woman – no discrimination here), one original recipe KFC fried chicken thigh contains:
- 250 calories
- 17 grams of fat
- 7 grams of carbs
- 17 grams of protein
Let’s say you follow a strict keto diet. If you eat a high-fat diet with less than 20 grams of carbs each day, you can conclude that eating one piece of fried chicken will add a dent into your daily carb limit. Since you will want more than just one piece, this puts you even closer to your total carb limit for the day.
However, most who follow strict keto don’t incorporate too many fast food meals into their plan. If you decide to follow lazy keto instead, you might be able to get away with a few pieces of fried chicken and stay within your daily carb intake.
Is KFC Fried Chicken OK for a Keto Lifestyle?
Beyond basic nutrition facts, there’s other info to consider. One big reason KFC fried chicken isn’t the best choice on a keto diet is right there in the name – fried chicken.
While nutritional information is important when it comes to sticking to keto, a proper keto lifestyle includes avoiding highly inflammatory foods, like vegetable oils.
Whether you choose a traditional breast, or even if you go with a lower carb chicken drumstick (with a carb count of 3 per drumstick), the fact is fried fast food chicken will never be a healthy choice because of the vegetable oils used.
It’s true following the low carb guidelines of the keto diet is important. However, even if a food boasts 0g net carbs on the nutrition label, you still need to pay attention to the ingredients used. You could eat zero net carbs all day, every day and still struggle with weight loss if you continue to include the inflammatory foods you should avoid on a keto diet.
How to Order at KFC:
I don’t want to end this blog in a negative space. While I believe you can always find a better option than fried chicken, sometimes you just want a cheat day. Whether you’re on a road trip and need a quick bite, or you’re sick of keto-friendly burger meals – let’s talk about a few ways you can make KFC fit into a low carb diet from time to time.
Back when I still used fast food as part of my weight loss plan, I ordered a few KFC original recipe chicken breasts. To make the chicken more low carb, I picked the skin off. While the chicken still may not be zero carbs, removing the fried skin helps you fill up on protein, while limiting carbs.
You could order chicken thigh pieces, but there won’t be as much meat. You’ll need to order more chicken pieces in order to fill up with just chicken.
Since we already determined KFC got rid of keto-friendly sides in most restaurants, check for salad options. While the salad dressings offered will be jam-packed with inflammatory vegetable oils, a side salad is still your best option over other high carb side dishes.
Ranch dressing is your best bet, as most ranch dressings only have 1 gram of carb per serving.
Skip diet soda and order water with your meal.
Even though diet soda boasts zero calories, therefore zero carbs, it also leads to more cravings on a low carb diet. There are studies that show overweight people who switch to diet soda actually gain more weight.
KFC Keto Options Wrap Up:
While sometimes fast food is a necessary evil, don’t allow fast food stops to become too frequent in your routine. When you keep this as a general rule, you’ll not only lose weight with keto more easily … but it also becomes an easier lifestyle to stick with long term.
You’re hearing this from a girl who previously depended on fast food for most meals. I’ve definitely learned a thing or two about what works, and what keeps you stuck in endless yo-yo diets.
- Making keto friendly chicken nuggets at home = works!
- Frequent stops for low carb fast food meals = not so much.
Next time you’re in a pinch, keep this blog handy so you understand how to turn KFC fried chicken into a low carb meal.
But save fast food stops for times they’re really necessary, as fast food is addictive and doesn’t promote a healthy lifestyle in any form.
Always remember to check an online nutrition calculator before you order. You may think something like coleslaw sounds low in carbs, but bam! There goes another 30 carbs on a day you plan to eat less than 20 carbs.
Make Keto Easy:
While quitting your fast food habit is one way to find success on a keto diet, there’s still plenty of other things you need to know. Why not learn everything all in one place in the Keto Quick Start Course?
This is the same course hundreds of women just like you used to get started with a successful keto plan – even after other low carb diets failed.
Since you need more than just good luck and conflicting keto information to succeed, get the same info that finally helped me quit yo-yo diets for good! Oh … and losing more than 100 pounds in the process isn’t too shabby either.
KFC Keto Options
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