McDonald’s Keto Diet: Does it Work?
McDonald’s is one of the most recognized brands in the world. It has more than 36,900 outlets and franchises that lay over 100 countries the world over. Therefore, no matter which part of the world you are in, it is rather difficult to avoid seeing or visiting a McDonald’s, especially when you are super hungry during a given point in the day and McDonald’s is your closest and only option.
However, if you are under the assumption that McDonald’s is just about the burgers and the fries, you might be missing some information. McDonald’s has meals and options that are okay for you to eat even when you are going through a keto diet.
Is a McDonald Diet Keto Friendly?
To spell it out for everyone, McDonald’s has a vast range of options that are very low in their carbs content and that makes them good enough to be keto friendly. Now with the introduction of options that can be customised as per your requirements. You can tweak all your orders to make them comply with your keto diet.
And apart from these, McDonald’s has also very recently introduced salads, fruits, fish and other healthier food options to meet the requirements of the public that is increasingly being attracted to healthy food items as a part of their daily diet.
Every person who advocates the keto diet will actively tell you to eat mostly homemade meals to keep in place with your food. But, all of us know that that is not always possible, especially if you have long work hours or travel daily. Therefore, trying to make use of the fast food centers that come at the lowest price and are closest to our location becomes quite essential. It is necessary to remain full at all times by doing a ketogenic diet.
This article will help you to make a well-informed decision about ordering keto friendly food items at your nearest McDonald’s at all times. The options that are given below all mostly have a net carb content of fewer than 10 grams per serving, and they contain a lot of good fats.
How to order at McDonald’s?
So, how do we make the best use of our orders to fit into our keto friendly meals at a McDonald’s?
- No High Carb McDonald Item for You
In cases like these, the first thing you need to know is what are the things that you can or cannot order while on a keto diet at an outlet like McDonald’s. You should know that anything with a high amount of carbs in it is off the menu. These include food items like buns, fries, biscuits, pancakes, hash browns and donuts. However, you can add a lot of proteins and fats in your diet. They include foods like eggs, meat, salads and more.
- No ‘Extra’
The next thing you need to remember is that you need to stay away from items that might make your food look great but have added amounts of carbs content in them. These food items include the different types of sauces, the dressings and any sort of beverages that can have added amounts of carbohydrates present in the form of extra sugar and starch.
Read carefully to help form an idea about things you need to avoid to remain in the state of ketosis. You can do your research online using the McDonald’s website or the app. You will get all your required nutrients information there.
- Go for the Right Meals
Now that you know the do’s and the don’ts, it is time to start ordering your food. Choose to go for either low carb-based meals that are already present in the menu or request them to customise your order and go bunless for all your orders.
Also, do not forget to give a miss to the fries and the soda. McDonald’s serve more than 70 million customers the world over, daily. There is a guarantee that you will not be the first or rather the only person to ask for bunless burgers.
The Top Food Items You Can Have at McDonalds While on a Keto Diet
Do not feel self-conscious while you are about to place your order. Let us have a look at what we can order at McDonald’s.
1. The breakfast menu that is egg-based
The breakfast section at McDonald’s is the best and should be your go-to while ordering at McDonald’s while on a ketogenic diet. You can order,
• Egg McMuffins:
If you skip the muffins, the meal adds up to about 200 calories, 12 grams of fat, 18 grams of proteins and about 3 grams of net carbohydrates. This is a good and filling option for you when you feel hungry and still, do not want to be kicked out of a state of ketosis.
• Bacon, egg and cheese biscuits:
Leave the biscuit aside, and you will get about 300 calories. You also get about 23 grams of fat, 18 grams of proteins and about 5 grams of net carbohydrates.
• Sausage biscuit with egg:
This food item is made with a sausage patty and eggs that are folded. This is a straightforward yet filling meal that comes at about 380 calories when you leave the biscuit alone. Along with this, you get about 30 grams of fat and 16 grams of protein.
• Steaks, eggs and cheese biscuits:
Again, skip the biscuit. But what you can actually eat is the fluffy folded eggs, the steak patty and the grilled onions. There is American cheese to go along with that. There are about 380 calories in this meal, and you get 30 grams of fat and 25 grams of proteins from it.
• Big Breakfast:
The name itself gives you the idea of a large and filling meal. Just let your server know that you do not want hash browns and biscuits with your food. What you get to eat are the scrambled eggs with the patty made of sausage. There are about 500 calories in this meal and about 50 grams of fat and 25 grams worth of protein.
Most often than not, the staff at McDonald’s will give you your food in a box, and there is a chance that they will provide you with lettuce leaves to replace the loss of your buns. If you feel that the amount of food is not enough, just order double your order to get more nutritional value.
2. The Bunless Burgers
McDonald’s is known all over the world because of their burgers which is famous for their crispy buns. These buns are usually made of artisan rolls, and they are topped with generous amounts of sesame seeds. However, one artisan role has about 28 grams of net carbohydrates, so you know you need to avoid the buns while you are undergoing a ketogenic diet. However, the good news is that McDonald’s like most of the other competitor brands have now started allowing their customers to order bunless burgers.
These food items are mainly served either in a box or very tightly wrapped in lettuce. If you end up ordering a bunless Big Mac, you end up consuming about 380 calories, 27 grams of fat and 25 grams worth of proteins. This falls under the purview of the ketogenic diet. Plus, the bunless Big Mac also gives you a right amount of calcium, iron and vitamin A. However, you can also order other varieties of the bunless burgers.
• Quarter Pounder with Cheese:
This burger has about 400 calories without the addition of the buns to the mix. It also has about 28 grams of fat, 31 grams of protein and 11 grams of carbohydrates. You can further lower the carb content if you leave the ketchup alone. You can eat the onions, the pickles and the mustard because they are a low-carb, condiment that is high on the nutrition value. Specific studies have also shown that mustard helps burn calories.
• Triple Cheeseburger:
If you are starving, then try having the McDonald’s cheeseburger that also, thankfully for you, falls under the purview of the ketogenic diet. The cheeseburger has about 490 calories, 28 grams of fat, 32 grams of proteins and about 7 grams of carbohydrates. Try and avoid the ketchup and go for the mustard sauce instead to consume lesser calories. There are three beef patties and two slices of cheese in the burger that is sure to get your taste buds tingling.
• Bacon McDouble:
Bacon is a gift from the gods and bacon burgers are merely the very best. One Bacon McDouble burger provides you with about 420 calories, 23 grams of fat, 28 grams of proteins and only a meager 6 grams of carbohydrates. Apart from the bacon, this burger has American cheese, pickles, onions and mustard in it!
If you are only slightly hungry, the McDonald’s Hamburger is sure to suffice you and meet your energy slumps. One portion/ serving contains only 240 calories, 8 grams of fat, 13 grams of proteins and 3 grams of carbs. This is great if you happen to be lactose intolerant because this burger does not contain American cheese.
In the case of a simple hamburger not being enough to fulfill your hunger and you want something more substantial, try the cheeseburger. It is a better version of the hamburger with a slice of good old American cheese. This cheesy layer adds about 80 extra calories to the hamburger.
There are many more options when it comes to the McDonald’s burgers that you will find in their menu itself. Only be sure to check that it does not contain the Big Mac sauce or fried onion strings, and you are good to go.
3. The options for healthy salads
McDonald’s does not only mean fast food that is sure to add extra calories to your diet. They also, in fact, offer a broad range of healthy options for salads. This is mainly targeted at their more health-conscious customers. These salads are a mix of various green veggies instead of merely having plain lettuce. They are quite high on the nutrition value and have a lot of antioxidants. Here is a list of salads that you can order at McDonald’s:
• Side Salad:
The best part about ordering a McDonald’s side salad is that it contains only 15 calories. They also have only 2 grams of net carbs per serving and ample amounts of vitamins A, C, folate and minerals like calcium and iron. This salad has a mixture of romaine, lettuce, baby spinach, kale and other varieties of greens. It also contains grape tomatoes. When you place an order, you can choose your choice of Newman’s Own Dressing.
• Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad:
If you want a healthy yet hearty meal, try going for this grilled chicken salad. It is high on nutrition values and contains 320 calories, 14 grams of fat and about 42 grams of proteins. This salad also has only about 7 grams of net carbs. Use Newton’s Own Ranch Dressing to increase the fat content. Many types of research have shown that high-fat dressings increase the amount of antioxidant absorption from the salads.
Many other salads are offered by McDonald’s at their stores that are very high on carbohydrates. The excess carbs come from the extra legumes, the high-carb sauces, the crispy chicken and the corn.
4. Their low carbohydrate-based drinks:
If you want to be a bit more refreshed, you might just want to order a low carbohydrate-based drink. McDonald’s does, unlike popular belief, offers you a few options for low-carb hydration while you are at their outlets.
• Diet Coke:
Diet coke has zero calories and no sugar in it. It does not provide you with any sort of nutrition. However, it does help you remain hydrated always. Diet coke is sweetened with the help of artificial sweeteners and has natural flavoring. However, please remember to limit your intake of diet coke because according to various studies, it has been seen that artificial sweeteners that are used in many drinks can be bad for your health.
• Bottled water:
Literally the most obvious listing here. Water is the best way to keep you hydrated. And it is low on the carbs! McDonald’s serve Dasani water that is manufactured by the Coca-Cola company. It basically taps water, but certain minerals are added to it to give it slight nutritional values.
• Sugar-Free French Vanilla Iced Coffee:
The Sugar-Free French Vanilla Iced Coffee is entirely in line with the ketogenic diet. It does contain 9 grams of carbohydrates so be sure to keep that in mind while ordering it. However, bonus points for this drink as it has 5 grams of fat in it.
Plain coffee is allowed in a ketogenic diet and McDonald’s offer freshly brewed coffee that is made with Arabica beans. Results suggest that this kind of coffee protect the skin from aging from the sun’s rays.
McDonald’s has a range of keto friendly teas. The flavours include Orange, Pekeo, Earl Grey, Peppermint, Green Tea and more. According to studies, it has been proven that tea drinkers have lower chances of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and other such diseases.
5. Their low-carb desserts:
Believe it or not, McDonald’s serve a dessert that will fit into your keto friendly lifestyle.
• Baked Hot Apple Pie:
This contains about 250 calories and 13 grams of fat. It has a sugar content of 13 grams. Its saturated fat content is just 7 grams.
• Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream Cone:
This decadent dessert from McDonald’s contains 170 calories. Its fat content is about 4.5 grams, and it also contains 20 grams of sugar. It has a saturated fat of 3 grams per serving.
• Chocolate Chip Cookies:
One of our favourite desserts of all time, these cookies contain 160 calories. Its fat content is about 8 grams, and it has about 15 grams of sugar. Saturated fat is about 3.5 grams.
• Oatmeal Raisin Cookie:
If raisins and oatmeal are your choices, then these cookies are bae. They contain about 150 calories per serving. It has about 6 grams of fat and 13 grams of sugar. Its saturated fat content is about 2.5 grams.
• Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait:
This is as yummy as it is healthy. It contains about 150 calories. Its fat content is about 2 grams, and it also has 23 grams of sugar. Its saturated fat content is about 1 gram only!
6. The low-carb range of sauces and other condiments:
This includes sauces and condiments like mayonnaise, tartar sauce, mustard, spicy buffalo sauce, creamy ranch sauce, and Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette. They are high on fats but low on the carb content which makes them ideal to be eaten on the sides with your bunless burgers. We will discuss the three main condiments here.
Who does not like mayonnaise? They make everything so much better. And the best part is that you can eat it and still remain in a state of ketosis. One pack of mayonnaise contain about 90 calories. They come from the fat- about 10 grams of it- that is great for the keto diet.
This taste great paired with beef patties and salads. They also have little calories and carbs in them. But they have anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory properties in them.
• Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette:
This contains about 4 grams of carbohydrate per serving and therefore must be used after some thought. However, this too falls under the purview of the keto diet.
The Top Food Items to Avoid at McDonalds While on a Keto Diet
So, what are the things you should not eat while on a keto diet from McDonald’s?
As is apparent, the list of things you cannot eat at McDonald’s grossly outweighs the stuff you can eat there while going through a ketogenic diet. However, we will keep I brief and give you an idea of things that you should not eat.
The crispy buns, for one, is something you must avoid for sure! Apart from that, certain condiments and sauces should be avoided so that you are not kicked out from the state of ketosis by the body. They include ketchup, honey mustard sauce, honey and their tangy barbecue sauce. This is because these condiments contain a large number of carbs that is not good for the body if you are trying to lose weight via the keto diet. However, each of these condiments has healthier and more keto-friendly alternatives so that you do not end up missing them too much in your diet.
However, with all that we have spoken about now and while McDonald’s keto-friendly range of options is an excellent choice in terms of both food and the cheap pricing that they have (which is about as little as $1), it still cannot provide all the benefits and help that a person who is practising the ketogenic diet needs.
Something that acts as a positive, however, in this case, is the availability of McDonald’s. The brand in general works because it is literally present in every nook and corner of the world and thus is in many cases the best option for people living in the poor areas or people who are looking for a quick and cheap meal.
However, unless you are craving a sort of cheat meal from McDonald’s really bad, it is always better to stick to homemade food that you know contains exactly all those ingredients that you need to remain in a state of ketosis for as long as you want.