Who says you can’t enjoy McDonald’s while on a low carb diet? Believe it or not, McDonald’s offers a surprising variety of options that can help you stick to your diet without sacrificing taste. From breakfast items to burgers and salads, we’ve got the inside scoop on how to navigate the McDonald’s menu like a pro, so you can satisfy your cravings while staying on track with your McDonald’s low carb lifestyle.
In this post, we’ll explore the best McDonald’s low carb and low carb friendly options, including tips for customizing your order, mouthwatering breakfast choices, bunless burger bonanza, grilled chicken and salad selections, low carb friendly beverages and sauces, and smart snacking options. So let’s dive in and discover how to enjoy fast food without compromising your low carb goals!
⬇️ Jump to:
- Navigate McDonald’s low carb menu & customize orders with the app.
- Enjoy a range of low carb friendly egg, meaty breakfast, bunless burger and grilled chicken options.
- Satisfy cravings with smart sides and desserts - choose from salads, oatmeal without sugar or bring your own!
Navigating McDonald's Low Carb Menu
You might be wondering if it’s even possible to eat low carb at McDonald’s, considering their menu is loaded with carb-heavy items like french fries and burger buns. Fear not, fellow low carb dieters! With a bit of knowledge and planning, you can still enjoy a satisfying meal and hit your low-carb goals at this iconic fast food restaurant.
The key to navigating McDonald’s low carb menu is to avoid obvious carb-heavy items and focus on the hidden gems that can be easily modified to fit your low carb. With the right approach, you can stick to your diet while enjoying fast food on-the-go or when you’re in a rush.
Decoding the Menu
To successfully order low carb and low carb friendly options at McDonald’s, it’s essential to first understand their menu and identify which items can be easily modified. For example, burgers and breakfast sandwiches can be ordered without the bun, significantly reducing their carb count.
It’s also important to be mindful of the hidden carbs in certain menu items. While a quarter pounder with cheese might seem like an innocent choice, the carb count can add up quickly once you factor in the bun and other ingredients. By decoding the menu, you can make informed decisions and choose low carb options that fit your dietary needs.
Customizing Your Order
Now that you’ve decoded the menu, it’s time to master the art of customizing your order. One popular strategy is to go for bunless burgers or sandwiches and ask for extra lettuce to make it a lettuce wrap. This simple modification can turn a carb-heavy meal into a low carb delight.
Another tip for customizing your order is to use the McDonald’s app. Ordering low carb on the app allows you to get everything just right and score some sweet deals, making it even easier to stick to your low carb diet while enjoying fast food.
Remember, the key is to be proactive and customize your order to fit your dietary needs.
Low Carb Breakfast Choices at McDonald's
Breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day, and McDonald’s offers a variety of low carb breakfast options that won’t derail your diet. Some options include:
- Egg McMuffin without the English muffin
- Sausage McMuffin without the English muffin
- Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit without the biscuit
- Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle without the McGriddle cakes
- Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel without the bagel
From egg-based dishes to meaty morning delights, there’s something for every low carb enthusiast at McDonald’s breakfast menu.
Don’t be fooled by the carb-loaded breakfast sandwiches and griddle cakes; with a few simple modifications, you can enjoy a delicious and satisfying low carb breakfast at McDonald’s. Let’s explore some of the best low carb breakfast choices that will keep you fueled and on track with your diet goals.
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Low Carb Friendly Egg Options
Eggs are the ultimate low carb breakfast staple, and McDonald’s offers several egg-based options that can be easily modified to fit a low carb. One popular choice is the Egg McMuffin without the bun, which contains only 3 net carbs and 260 calories.
Another delicious low carb breakfast option at McDonald’s is the Sausage, Egg, and Cheese McMuffin with a sausage patty, without the muffin. This delectable delight has just 3 net carbs and 340 calories, making it a perfect choice for those following a low carb or low carb diet.
So next time you’re craving a McDonald’s breakfast, remember that you can still indulge in your favorite egg-based dishes, without the carbs.
Meaty Morning Delights
If you prefer a meatier start to your day, McDonald’s also offers several low carb meat-based breakfast options. One example is the Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit without the biscuit, which has only 2 net carbs and 180 calories.
For a more filling option, consider the Sausage Burrito without the tortilla shell and cheese. This hearty breakfast choice is packed with flavor and provides a satisfying low carb meal to kickstart your day. With so many meaty morning delights to choose from, you can enjoy a savory and satisfying low carb breakfast at McDonald’s without breaking your diet.
Bunless Burger Bonanza
Burgers are a classic fast food staple, and luckily for low carb, they can still be enjoyed at McDonald’s without the bun. Bunless burgers are a delicious and satisfying option that allows you to indulge in your favorite McDonald’s flavors while staying on track with your low carb diet.
By simply removing the bun and any high-carb sauces, you can transform a carb-heavy burger into a low carb delight. Let’s take a closer look at the various bunless burger options available at McDonald’s and learn how to order them to fit your low carb lifestyle.
Classic Hamburger and Cheeseburger
The classic McDonald’s hamburger and cheeseburger can be easily modified to fit a low carb diet. Simply order the burger without the bun and enjoy the beef patty, cheese, mustard, onions, and pickles in all their flavorful glory.
If you’re craving a heartier option, consider the Quarter Pounder with Cheese or the Double Cheeseburger. By removing the bun, you can significantly reduce the carb count of these delicious burgers and still enjoy the bold flavors that McDonald’s is known for.
McDonald’s specialty burgers, such as the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder, can also be modified to fit a low carb diet. To enjoy a Big Mac without the carbs, simply order it without the bun and Big Mac sauce, which brings the net carb count down to just 3 grams and 240 calories.
Similarly, the Quarter Pounder can be enjoyed without the bun, significantly reducing its carb count. For an even more indulgent option, try the Double Quarter Pounder, which has 4 net carbs and 520 calories when ordered without the bun.
With these clever modifications, you can enjoy McDonald’s specialty burgers without compromising your low carb diet.
Grilled Chicken and Salad Selections
Grilled chicken and salads are often go-to choices for those following a low carb diet, and McDonald’s offers a variety of options to satisfy your cravings. Some low carb options at McDonald’s include:
- Grilled chicken sandwich without the bun
- Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad without the dressing
- Caesar Salad without the croutons
- Side salad with grilled chicken
From flavorful grilled chicken sandwiches to fresh and delicious salads, there’s something for every low carb enthusiast at McDonald’s, including chicken nuggets for those who prefer a different option.
Let’s dive into the grilled chicken and salad selections offered at McDonald’s and discover the best low carb friendly options to keep you satisfied and on track with your diet goals.
Grilled Chicken Sandwiches
The Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich is a popular choice for those seeking a low carb option at McDonald’s. To make it low carb friendly, simply order the sandwich without the bun. This modification results in a meal with zero carbs, making it a perfect option for those following a low carb diet.
Another option to consider is the Pico Guacamole Grilled Chicken Sandwich, which can also be ordered without the bun. With just 6 net carbs, this delicious sandwich is a great choice for those looking to enjoy a satisfying and flavorful low carb meal at McDonald’s.
When it comes to salads, McDonald’s offers a variety of low carb friendly options. One popular choice is the Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad. To make it even lower in carbs, you can skip the ranch dressing and opt for a lower carb alternative, such as a vinaigrette.
Another low carb salad option at McDonald’s is the Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad. To reduce the carb count, simply remove the tortilla strips and opt for a lower carb dressing, like the lime glaze dressing. This modification brings the net carb count down to just 15 grams.
With these delicious salad options on the McDonald’s menu, you can enjoy a fresh and satisfying low carb meal at McDonald’s.
Low Carb Friendly Beverages and Sauces
Staying on track with your low carb diet doesn’t stop at food choices - it’s also important to consider the beverages and sauces you consume at McDonald’s. While some options might seem innocent, they can be loaded with hidden carbs that can quickly add up.
In this section, we’ll explore the best low carb friendly beverages and sauces available at McDonald’s, ensuring you can fully enjoy your meal without compromising your low carb lifestyle.
Low Carb Drink Choices
When it comes to low carb drink options at McDonald’s, you have a few choices:
- Water is always a safe choice and contains zero carbs.
- Unsweetened tea is another good option, as it also contains zero carbs.
- Diet sodas are low in carbs, with some containing zero or minimal carbs.
These options, including unsweetened iced tea, can help satisfy your thirst without adding unnecessary carbs to your meal.
It’s important to avoid fruit juices, milkshakes, and regular sodas, as these beverages are high in carbs and sugars, making them unsuitable for a low carb diet. By opting for low carb drink choices, you can quench your thirst without jeopardizing your diet goals. (1)
Navigating the sauce options at McDonald’s can be tricky when following a low carb diet. Some sauces, like the Creamy Ranch Dipping Sauce, are relatively low in carbs and can be enjoyed in moderation.
However, it’s important to steer clear of sauces with added sugar, such as honey mustard, sweet and sour sauce, and tartar sauce, as these can quickly increase your carb intake. By choosing low carb sauce selections, you can enhance the flavor of your meal without compromising your low carb diet.
Elevate your McDonald's dining experience by adding a personal touch - bring your own delightful accompaniments like a creamy spinach and artichoke dip to amplify the flavors of your meal.
Snacking Smart: Low Carb Sides and Desserts
Even when following a low carb diet, it’s natural to crave a snack or dessert from time to time. Fortunately, McDonald’s offers a few low carb side and dessert options that can help you satisfy your cravings without breaking your diet.
In this section, we’ll explore the best low carb side and dessert options at McDonald’s, so you can indulge in a tasty treat without feeling guilty about your dietary choices.
When it comes to low carb side options at McDonald’s, the side salad is a clear winner. Here’s why:
- It only has 3 grams of net carbs per side salad.
- It is fresh and delicious.
- It is a great accompaniment to your meal.
- You don’t have to worry about your carb intake.
Another low carb side option to consider is the Fruit & Maple Oatmeal without the brown sugar and dried fruit. This modification results in a relatively low carb snack, perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without going overboard on carbs. With these side options, you can make smart snacking choices while still enjoying the convenience of McDonald’s.
While McDonald’s traditional dessert offerings may not be suitable for a low carb diet, there are alternative options available. One option is to modify existing menu items, such as ordering a yogurt parfait without the granola or fruit, resulting in a lower carb dessert choice.
Another idea is to bring your own low carb dessert to enjoy alongside your McDonald’s meal. This way, you can still indulge in a tasty treat without compromising your low carb lifestyle. The key is to be creative and think outside the box when it comes to satisfying your dessert cravings on a low carb diet.
In summary, McDonald’s offers a surprising variety of low carb friendly options that allow you to enjoy fast food without compromising your diet goals. From breakfast items to burgers, salads, grilled chicken, beverages, sauces, and smart snacking choices, there’s something for every low carb enthusiast at McDonald’s.
So, the next time you find yourself craving fast food, remember that you can still indulge in your favorite McDonald’s flavors while staying on track with your low carb diet. With a bit of knowledge and planning, enjoying McDonald’s has never been more guilt-free.
Looking for different options? Also check some delicious and low carb meals at Chick-fil-A.
Frequently Asked Questions
What has the least amount of carbohydrates at McDonald's?
The Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin® with Egg have the least amount of carbohydrates at McDonald’s, both having only 3g Net Carbs. (2)
Are McDonald's chicken McNuggets low carb?
McDonald’s chicken McNuggets are not suitable for a low-carb diet due to their breading, which is high in carbs. Similarly, the crispy chicken sandwiches and Filet-O-Fish are also off-limits.
However, the Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich can be ordered without a bun for only 2 net carbs.
Is McDonald's Low Carb without the bun?
McDoubles are a great choice for a low carb diet, as long as you ditch the bun and ketchup. You can also add extra shredded lettuce to make it a cheeseburger salad.
What low carb drink choices are available at McDonald's?
At McDonald’s, you can enjoy low-carb drinks such as unsweetened tea and diet sodas.
What low carb side options can I find at McDonald's?
At McDonald’s you can find low-carb side options like salads and modified Fruit & Maple Oatmeal without the added sugar and dried fruit.
- Migala, J. (n.d.). 9 of the best keto-friendly drinks. EverydayHealth.com. https://www.everydayhealth.com/ketogenic-diet/diet/best-drinks-keto-diet/
- Lauren. (2023, May 2). The best low carb and keto options at McDonalds. Low Carb Nomad. https://www.lowcarbnomad.com/low-carb-at-mcdonalds/#:~:text=The%20Egg%20McMuffin%20without%20the%20muffin%20is%20a%20good%20keto,just%201g%20of%20total%20carbs.