Are you wondering which low carb fast food combinations can help you lose or maintain your current weight? You are determined, but you probably can’t imagine life without your favorite fast foods. Could there still be hope for you?
You might think it is impossible. And you are probably right if you are not ready to make some adjustments. For instance, you will need to take a little more interest in what you eat. Also, realize that you may need to leave out parts of your favorite meal. If you are ready to take this route, there is no reason why you won’t move towards your goals.
But which low carb fast food will provide you with your daily nutrient requirements so that you still maintain sound health?
Which is low carb fast food?
What is a Low Carb Fast Food?
According to the American Diabetes Association, a low-carb diet provides 130 grams or fewer of carbohydrates. According to NHS-UK, you should get a little over 1/3 of your daily food in the form of carbohydrates.
If your aim is to consume 2000 calories daily, you will need to eat a total of 225 - 325 grams of carbs. But you will still need to eat enough nutrients and minerals to help your body remain healthy. In choosing these low carb foods, we have concentrated more on real foods as opposed to snack items.
How to Choose Low Carb Fast Food Salads And Dressings
While you can get a general idea about low carb fast foods from the information provided by fast food outlets, note that such information might leave out critical sources of calories. These include salad dressings and soda. And since these can add tens of grams of carbohydrate equivalent to your meal, you must take them into consideration when choosing a low carb meal.
Here are tips on improving the chances of building and eating a low carb meal
- Take sauces and dressings into account as they can contain high amounts of sugar. Stay away from them, including requesting restaurant staff to not serve these for you.
- Opt for grilled, roasted or broiled foods in place of fried, battered or breaded options.
- If you order a burger, request that they wrap it in lettuce instead of the bun. This way you will reduce your carbohydrate intake.
- Go for low carb dressing sides.
- Beware of the empty calories. These can stack up calories which you are working hard to reduce.
- Avoid soda, or take a diet soda if you have to take it, and save yourself from 200 calories or 55 grams carbs equivalent. You can also opt for healthier alternatives such as water, sparkling water, tea or coffee.
- Avoid fries and save about 340 calories (16grams fat, 44grams carbohydrates and 4grams protein).
- Beware of side dishes, especially salad dressing which can provide 90 - 220 empty calories.
- Avoid toppings by removing the mayo from a burger and save yourself from consuming 60 calories and 6grams of fat.
Top 6 Low Carb Fast Food Choices
To come up with these recommended low carb fast food options, we went searching for the information wherever it was available. We also consulted the USDA Nutrition facts in addition to the National Chicken Council, for comparison with information from other sources. It is worth noting that what we have here is a sampling of low carb fast foods as there are many other options available.
The key to eating low carb is to follow the tips above. Specifically, leave out the bread or bun, in addition to dressings. And if you take the dressing, go light on it.
We can promise you that after trying out some of these low carb fast foods, you will realize that there is minimal difference between taking them and taking the regular options.
Here now are some of the best low carbs fast food choices:
1. Protein Artisan Snack Plate
Remember that after resting for hours on end during the night, your body needs fuel even as you want to keep your diet low on carbs. You also need protein to keep you feeling full for longer, and vitamins to help maintain your overall health. Eating a breakfast comprising of hardboiled egg, multigrain muesli, slices of apple, grapes and honey-peanut butter will provide you with your nutrient needs in just the right proportions.
The protein artisan snack plate available from Starbucks contains 370 Calories, 36 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams fat, and 13 grams protein.
2. Grilled Chicken with Green Beans
Grilled chicken with green beans is a real low carb. For this reason, it’s an excellent choice for dinner. After all, you don’t need lots of energy to sleep. Besides being a rich source of protein, chicken flesh contains tryptophan, a precursor of the sleep-inducing hormone known as melatonin. And when eaten skinless, chicken contains almost no fat.
Also, chicken is a good source of vitamin B6 and minerals like selenium, zinc, copper, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. Usual servings of chicken with green beans will provide your body with 240 calories, 4 grams total carbs, including 1 gram sugar and 2 grams fiber, and 41 grams protein. You can get it from Kentucky Fried Chicken among other outlets.
3. Protein Style Hamburger with Onion
Of course, you know that bread and buns contain a lot of calories. For this reason, you should avoid them whenever possible if you are determined to eat low carb meals. But you can still enjoy a burger without the extra calories.
By substituting lettuce wraps for the buns, your burger will shed about 28 grams of carbohydrates and 150 calories. It’s no wonder that a bun-less burger makes it to this low carb fast food list. Eating it without the dough will not negatively affect its nutritional value.
The burger contains about 240 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrates, and 13 grams of protein. There is more good news in that you can get a bun-less or protein style burger from most fast food outlets.
4. Small BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad
If you are looking for the great barbecue flavor which is low in carbohydrates and fat, a little BBQ ranch chicken wrap is just what need. The small size packs less of everything but is healthier. And of course, you will need to leave out the dressing and instead do with the vegetable ingredients.
However, if you are still adamant about getting the usual dressing, go easy on it. This way, you will still have a reduced carbohydrate meal. The small BBQ ranch chicken available from most outlets including Wendy’s and Quiznos contains about 210 calories, 17 grams carbs, 8 grams of fat and 20 grams of protein.
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5. Garden Fresh Pizza
There is no reason you can’t have some pizza for a low carb fast food. A one-sixth of a thin crust pizza can rival a lot of other low carbohydrate meals at 140 calories. At Papa John’s, the toppings on the garden-fresh pizza include green peppers, olives, onions and portobello mushrooms.
The combination produces a nutrient-rich meal that you will enjoy as much as your usual slice of pizza. But take care, the great flavor and pizza feel can tempt you to have more. No big deal, though: because two slices will add up to only 280 calories. One slice at Papa John’s contains 140 calories, 19 grams carbs, 4.5 grams fat and 5 grams protein. Also, you may also be interested in low carb foods that are eaten with pizza.
6. Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with Light Drizzle of Oil
Here is more chicken for you. And no matter how it sounds, this meal of chicken, apples, oil and vinegar combines beautifully. It offers a mix of flavors that affirms the richness of the ingredients. It is important that you find out which oil the eatery uses.
Extra virgin olive oil is the best, and as you have chosen low carb fast food, having healthier oil enhances the accruing benefits. Besides, olive oil helps to raise the serotonin levels in your blood, which keeps you feeling satiated for longer. Also, the veggies are high in water and fiber.
The oven-roasted chicken salad from the Subway contains 270 calories, 19 grams carbs, 13 grams of fat and 19 grams of protein.
Recommendations for Low Carb Fast Food
In conclusion, there are many low carb fast foods and your choice will depend on the foods you like. However, always bear in mind the guiding principles in making your choice. And remember that bread, buns, soda, dressings and sauces contain substantial amounts of calories. Avoid them or take small amounts or lighter alternatives.
Also note that, although fast food is easy to eat and aesthetically pleasing, its abuse leads to many health and weight problems.
Thank you for having come this far with me. And now, what is your verdict about low carb fast foods? Have something else you would like us to cover on the subject? Please tell us in the comments.
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