Discover the 17 best low-carb McDonald’s keto options to keep you in ketosis when you’re out and about!

Staying in Keto when you’re on the run is a real challenge.

Fortunately, the world’s favorite fast-food restaurant chain has got your back.

There are plenty of low-carb McDonalds keto-friendly options to help you achieve your ketogenic diet weight loss goals. 

In this article, we’ll steer you past the carb-heavy french fries and hash browns in search of the 17 smartest keto diet-approved foods that are served up under the Golden Arches. 

Staying in Ketosis

Ketogenic diets are designed to eliminate glucose from the body. That means severely cutting back on your carbohydrate consumption. 

When you do, you enter into a state called ketosis. In this state, your body must switch from a glucose burning to a fat-burning energy system.

It will then start using your stored body fat for energy. The result is rapid and consistent weight loss.

To stay in ketosis, you need to keep your daily carbohydrate intake to between 20-50 grams, or 5-10% of your total daily caloric total.

To do that you have to watch everything that you eat!

McDonalds Foods to Avoid

Foods to avoid at McDonald's

When you walk into McDonald’s, you’re entering into the carb zone.

That’s dangerous territory for anyone following the keto diet. 

Sure, there are some great keto-friendly options at the world’s favorite fast-food restaurant. But there are many more that are overflowing with carbs. 

You’ll need plenty of discipline to remain low carb at McDonald’s – especially when you catch the odor of those carb-loaded french fries!

Here are the top 13 Keto averse McDonald’s foods to stay away from:

  • Buns
  • Tortillas
  • English muffins
  • French fries
  • Ketchup
  • Anything labeled ‘Crispy’
  • Hash browns
  • Apple slices
  • Croutons
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Milkshakes
  • Ice cream
  • Orange Juice

5 Best Keto Breakfast Foods

You can still start your day the low carb keto way when you’re on the go.

Whether you use the drive-thru or sit in-store, McDonald’s can fuel your day without throwing you out of keto – so long as you make wise food choices! 

Here are your five best keto McDonalds options for breakfast:

  • Triple Breakfast Stack McGriddle – 7g net carbs, 56.5g of fat, 32g of protein (Note: Ditch the griddlecake)
  • Sausage, Egg and Cheese McMuffin – 4g net carbs, 26g of fat, and 15 grams of protein (Ditch the muffin, ask for more American cheese)
  • Big Breakfast – 4g net carbs, 34.5g of fat, and 28g of protein (Ditch the hash brown and biscuit – add more eggs and bacon)
  • Sausage Burrito – 4g net carbs, 12g of fat, and 9g of protein (Ditch the tortilla strips)
  • Egg McMuffin – 3g net carbs, 11g of fat, and 12g of protein (Ditch the egg muffin)

Keto-Friendly Breakfast Drinks

It’s easy to forget about the high carb count of traditional breakfast drinks.

One cup of orange juice will smash through your entire carb allowance for the day.

Whole milk, with 12 grams of carbs in an 8-ounce cup, is also way too high in carbs. Even sugar-free coffee can be a problem – especially when it’s got added cream and milk.

So, what can you drink along with your keto-friendly McDonald’s breakfast?

Stick with either:

  • Water
  • Tea
  • Black coffee
  • Iced coffee without the cream or milk

9 Best Keto Burgers

Let’s face it; McDonald’s was built on burgers – and they taste great!

The good news for keto lovers is that you can still enjoy your favorite McDonald’s burger; just ditch the bun.

Many people are surprised at how many carbs are packed into that burger bun. 

Consider this:

  • A Quarter Pounder has 38 grams of carbs.
  • A Quarter Pounder without the bun has 3 grams of carbs.

Imagine what a couple of double quarter pounders would do to your keto diet!

That’s the difference between getting kicked out of ketosis and staying in the fat-burning zone.

It’s simply a matter of removing the bun!

Here are the 9 best keto-friendly bunless burger options on the McDonald’s menu:

[ninja_tables id=”1513″]

More Low-Carb Fast Foods

You can find a wide range of low-carb foods on the McDonald’s Menu, that you can eat to stay in ketosis.

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Bottom Line

Staying low carb while you’re out and about is easy when there’s a McDonalds’ in town. But it requires a combination of discipline and smart choices.

This article has given you the essential knowledge to make the smart keto low carb choices. The discipline is over to you! 

Show CommentsClose Comments


  • Avatar
    Bobbie Evavold
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:05 am 0Likes

    Actually, you can ask for a round egg, which means it will be poached hard like they use on their Egg McMuffins, served plain, and they’ll even top it with cheese if you want. I usually order two round eggs and a sausage patty.

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted November 24, 2018 at 10:31 am 0Likes


    Thank you for stopping by and for your valuable input!
    Two round eggs and a sausage patty sounds like a great way to go!
    Thanks for sharing it with us!


  • Avatar
    Deborah Bedard
    Posted December 2, 2018 at 2:32 pm 0Likes

    Your article says “no fried food” then you list fillet of fish. I’m confused.

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted December 2, 2018 at 7:12 pm 0Likes

    Hi Deborah,
    Thank you for the comment and bringing this up. I should have been more clear.
    Many “Crispy chicken” types of fast food items are high in carbs due to their thicker, more excessive breading.
    Filet-o-fish’s breading is thinner, making it far less carb heavy.
    It can be confusing and hard to distinguish which fried food is completely off limit.
    To be safe, it may be a good idea to stick to “no fried food”.

    Hope this helps.

  • Avatar
    Posted December 4, 2018 at 12:21 am 0Likes

    Thank you for the article I’ve ordered keto friendly there sometimes but your article gave me so many more choices!
    Thanks a lot

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted December 4, 2018 at 8:10 am 0Likes

    Hi Jeeti,

    Thank you for the comment!
    Glad to hear you found it helpful.
    You can actually order quite more items there by sticking to the similar ordering rules: no buns, no ketchup, no crispy items, etc..

    Thanks again for stopping by:)

  • Avatar
    Elaine Levine
    Posted December 4, 2018 at 4:02 pm 0Likes

    How many carbs would be in a Happy Meal burger, no bun, fries and Diet Coke? Thanks.

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted December 4, 2018 at 7:41 pm 0Likes

    Hi Elaine,

    Thanks for visiting!
    The short answer is 16 grams.

    Let’s break it down, so we can see each item individually.

    Happy Meal Burger no bun & no ketchup: 90 calories, 6g total fat, 1g total carbs, and 7g protein.
    Happy Meal Fries: 110 calories, 5g total fat, 15g total carbs, and 1g protein.
    Small Diet Coke: 0 calories, 0g total fat, 0g total carbs, and 0g protein.

    All three items above combined: 200 calories, 11g total fat, 16g total carbs, 8g protein.
    If you add 1 serving of ketchup (I don’t recommend this) to your meal, it would up your total carb consumption by 2g, so 18g in total carbs for the meal.

    Fries by far have the most amount of carbs.

    Hope this helps!

  • Avatar
    Posted December 5, 2018 at 2:24 am 0Likes

    What wrong with the bacon in the bacon smoke house burger why did u say leave it out?

  • Avatar
    Posted December 6, 2018 at 8:49 pm 0Likes

    She said without the “bacon onion sauce” which is full of sugar. Bacon is fine.

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted December 6, 2018 at 11:32 pm 0Likes

    Hi Tam,

    Thank you so much for leaving this comment.
    Yes, the warning is not on the actual bacon but the sauce.
    Always be wary of the dressings, dipping sauces, and condiments. They can be full of sugar.
    It’s best to omit it if their carb count is not easily accessible at the time of ordering.

    Thank you again for clarifying this and helping out the keto community here.


  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted December 6, 2018 at 11:36 pm 0Likes

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for the comment!
    It’s not the bacon you need to omit. It’s actually the sauce called “bacon onion sauce”.
    It’s loaded with sugar…

    Hope this helps!

  • Trackback: How To Eat Keto At McDonald's | MuscleHack by Mark McManus
  • Avatar
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 5:36 am 0Likes

    Try going to McDonalds and ordering the food item Just as you listed and they will laugh you out the door.

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 12:53 am 0Likes

    Hi Tibbs,

    They certainly will lol, but it’s worth it. Haha. Hopefully, they don’t get irritated with ou of the norm orders!!


  • Avatar
    Posted December 22, 2018 at 5:14 am 0Likes

    Actuslly you will find more snd more restraunts are becoming familar with keto goers and have no issues you can even go in taco bell and order a bunch of sides to make a keto friendly meal

  • Avatar
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 3:08 am 0Likes

    I know Hardee’s has a low carb option where the wrap your burger in lettuce instead of using a bun. But I also work at McDonald’s and they are supportive of my decision and make sure I stick to it. This article is basically what I’ve been doing since I started this diet. Thanks for the article.

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 7:48 pm 0Likes

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for the comment. You are absolutely right.
    Many restaurants including fast food chains are becoming more familiar and aware of different diets including keto, and there are ways to order to get keto-friendly meals like ordering sides.


  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted December 26, 2018 at 7:57 pm 0Likes


    That’s awesome to hear that McDonald’s been supportive of your diet choices.
    I wish more fast food chains actually put lettuce wrap on their menu too.
    We don’t have Hardees’s where I live, but when I travel and come across one, I’ll be sure to check it out!

    Thanks for stopping by, Alaina.


  • Avatar
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 5:11 pm 0Likes

    Just order the 1/4 pound patties alacart zero carb and cheaper than ordering burgers no bun

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted January 1, 2019 at 8:03 pm 0Likes

    Hi Tim,

    That’s so clever!
    I don’t know why I’d never thought of ordering it that way.
    Now I wonder if McDonald’s lets you order a slice of cheese ala cart too!?
    Thanks for sharing!


  • Avatar
    Posted January 8, 2019 at 2:11 am 0Likes

    While some of these options are great, theres some that are questionably low carb, let alone keto.
    Low carb can be a general thing that differs from person to person but keto is pretty clear on its limit of carbs and the importance of fat. How do you figure adding things like the cappuccino or the McChicken to the list with keto in the title?

  • Avatar
    Posted January 21, 2019 at 12:33 pm 0Likes

    What about the english fish…. you know when you go to your favorite restaurant it has a batter also

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted January 22, 2019 at 6:04 am 0Likes

    Hi Cheryl,
    I know.. I hate that they add a batter.
    I’m actually more of a fish eater than a meat eater, so my first choice is always fish.
    The downside of it is that most places use a batter to keep the meat of the fish intact during the cooking.
    If it’s a really light batter and your carb count that day allows it, you may be able to get away it with it but it really depends on the item and your macro allowance.

    I wish there are more grilled fish burgers out there.

    Thanks for the comment!

  • Avatar
    Sadie Numata
    Posted January 24, 2019 at 8:14 pm 0Likes

    Being someone who works at mcdonalds I constantly have customers who replace certain breakfast items with just egg white. Or customers who do order food without buns, a la carte items and even lunch/ dinner foods lettuce wrapped. All are options at mcdonalds, we wont laugh you out the doors its pretty common.

  • Avatar
    Posted January 31, 2019 at 3:16 pm 0Likes

    Hi Tina! Would two sausage patties with cheese be okay? No bun, of course.

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 1:04 am 0Likes

    Hi Samm,

    Yes. Nutrition info of the order, two sausage patties with 1 slice of cheese would be below:
    430 calories, 40g fat, 3g total carbs, 17g protein

    Just be mindful of your calorie intake and sodium intake when you double up your patties.
    There is one thing to be compatible with keto and stay in ketosis, and there is another to keep your nutrition and calories in check.
    But if you ask me if that order would be keto, I would say yes.

    Hope this helps!

  • Avatar
    Rita Kay Martin
    Posted February 4, 2019 at 3:16 pm 0Likes

    Thanks for this info !! I go to McDonalds with my granddaughter and I order the smokehouse burger with just the meat,cheese and bacon, and they will give you a small salad in place of the fries and bottled water instead of the soda and they NEVER laugh at me. !! Lol But this article has given me even better ideas. THANK YOU !

  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted February 6, 2019 at 12:34 am 0Likes

    Hi Rita,

    Thank for stopping by and reading my blog.
    I’m glad you are making a healthier choice with your granddaughter!
    Water instead of the soda alone can make such a positive difference.
    Keep up the great work!!


  • Avatar
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 3:09 pm 0Likes

    Good day. I just started the keto diet. I eat 2 round eggs and 1 sausage patty amd small pineapple mango smoothie for breakfast. For lunch i have 1 whole apple i stick of cheese and about 6 grapes. And dinner i have a chicken salad with grill chicken. Just wanted to know if this is correct food to eat or what do i need to change


  • Tina Alexandre
    Tina Alexandre
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 7:02 pm 0Likes

    Hi Ayanna,

    Thanks for reading my blog and for your comment!
    Most of your choices sound on point, but I would watch out for the pineapple mango smoothie and the apple.
    They can add too much carb and sugar to your diet and easily blow your keto macros.

    I would also pay attention to your fat intake to see if it’s high enough.

    Hope this helps,

  • Trackback: 20 Easy and Delicious Keto Lunch Ideas for Weight Loss
  • Avatar
    Posted July 8, 2019 at 10:03 pm 0Likes

    McDonalds doesnt advertise it…but you can asked for scrambled eggs as a side alone. Its pretty good too..they have it on their pancake platter so I took a chance on day and they let me order just for scrambled win!!

  • Avatar
    Diana Morak
    Posted August 30, 2019 at 2:14 am 0Likes

    My Mother -in-law works at Burger King.. she said you can always order your sandwich “low carb” ..and they will remove the bread for you. They have a veggie burger but she said it may be phased out soon and possibly replaced with the new Impossible Burger. You can also ask for the lettuce wrap as well as extra veg if need be.
    You can certainly order a burger patty by itself at McD’s.. as they put it in a box and give you a fork( we did this on a road trip for our dog’s …so I am sure they would prob sell you a slice of cheese. Most seem to accommodate as much as they can.. they just don’t really advertise. It really is one of those .. “you gotta ask”.. things. Worse they can do is say no.. so I would just order regular and remove what you don’t need. .. ( My kids usually give me the
    Thanks for this list.. I appreciate your efforts in helping us with so many options.

  • Avatar
    Posted October 22, 2019 at 5:31 pm 0Likes

    There are always hungry birds in the parking lot of the fast food places. Order your food and take the buns off and throw them out for the birds to eat.

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