Fast Food and Chain Restaurants When on a Low Carb Diet

Most people associate fast food with burgers, chips, and coke. However, fast food chains are changing their menus to offer healthier alternatives and foods with less sodium, sugar, and other simple carbohydrates.

Some Tips

IMG_1906It is a good idea to read the nutritional information to find the amount of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. As a rule, dressings are packed with carbohydrates while drinks are laden with sugar. Fat-free versions should be avoided because they contain added sugar. Good choices include the Light Italian, Creamy Caesar, and Ranch Dressing. Avoid mayo that contains corn syrup. If you want to have a sandwich, order without the bun. Some buns include as much as 30 grams of carbs. You can have an omelet sandwich, for example. Another option is to have the filling wrapped in lettuce. Many chains offer this option. While burgers contain no carbohydrates, the extras and condiments do. Onion, tomato, and cheese are good choices as they are low in carb content. Ordering fish is a bit tricky. In some fast food chains, fish fillets are breaded so fish has to go. The same goes for crispy and home style chicken patties as well as chicken fillets.

Salads, Sides, and Drinks

Salads are always a great healthy choice, but watch for certain ingredients. Avoid salads with tortilla strips and croutons and opt for versions with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, hearty greens, walnuts, and sugar-free dressings. Avoid salads that contain breaded chicken. Most salads offered by chains such as KFC contain breaded chicken. When it comes to low carb sides, there isn’t much of a choice. You can have cole slaw or green beans, for example. There are some low carb drinks such as diet soda and unsweetened iced tea but some chains offer sweetened ice teas that are loaded with sugar. Coffee and water are safe choices.

Alternatives to Fast Food Chains

If you don’t have the time to cook and love ready made foods, go to the convenience or grocery store. The salad bar is one option to consider. Or you can buy pre-made salads and deli foods. And you can always have meal replacement bars between meals. Check the label for sugar alcohols when buying snack bars. Some products contain maltitol which is a sugar substitute. The problem is that maltitol contains carbohydrates and has a negative impact on blood sugar levels. It has a high glycemic index value. When it comes to fruits, consumption depends on your diet plan. Some diets allow low-sugar fruits while others ban them during the introductory stage. Low-sugar fruits include blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and others. Check the ingredients if buying a ready made fruit salad.

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