Sticking to a low-carb diet when dining out can be hard, especially at fast-food restaurants.
That’s because these meals are often based on bread, tortillas, and other high-carb items.
Still, most fast-food restaurants offer some good low-carb options, and many items can easily be modified to fit your lifestyle.
Here are 14 delicious fast foods you can eat on a low-carb diet.
Submarine sandwiches are very high in carbs. A typical sub has at least 50 grams of carbs, most of which come from the bun.
Ordering your sub “in a tub” (in a bowl or container), rather than on a bun, can save you more than 40 grams of carbs.
The carb counts for sub-in-a-tub options may look something like this:
- Turkey breast and provolone: 8 grams of carbs, 1 of which is fiber
- Club supreme: 11 grams of carbs, 2 of which are fiber
- Chicken salad: 9 grams of carbs, 3 of which are fiber
- California club: 9 grams of carbs, 4 of which are fiber
Although the term “sub in a tub” originated at Jersey Mike’s, you can order your meal this way from any sub sandwich shop, including Subway.
Just request that it be prepared as a salad with olive oil and vinegar for the dressing.
Fried chicken isn’t a healthy choice. For starters, the chicken absorbs a lot of oil during frying.
Heating vegetable oils to high temperatures produces harmful compounds that may increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, and other health problems (1, 2).
In addition, fried chicken contains about 8–11 grams of carbs per medium-size piece.
Grilled chicken is a much better option and available at many Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchises. Each piece of grilled KFC chicken has less than 1 gram of carbs.
As for side dishes, green beans contain 2 grams of digestible carbs per serving and are by far the best option. Coleslaw is next, at 10 grams of digestible carbs.
Click here for complete nutrition information for all of the chicken options and sides available at KFC.
Coffee and tea are carb-free beverages.
They’re also high in caffeine, which provides some impressive benefits.
Caffeine may improve your mood, metabolic rate, and mental and physical performance (3, 4, 5, 6Trusted Source).
If you like milk in your cup of joe, coffee houses and fast-food eateries often offer half-and-half. A single-serving container has about 0.5 grams of carbs.
Heavy cream is nearly carb-free and sometimes available. However, it contains about 50 calories per tablespoon (15 ml), compared to 20 calories for half-and-half.
Some coffee houses also offer soy or almond milk. Unsweetened versions of these milk substitutes provide minimal carbs per 2-tablespoon (30 ml) serving.