When you are following a strict diet or eating pattern like the keto diet, the common belief is that you just can’t eat out. You might even feel like have to make all your meals at home to make sure you aren’t eating anything you shouldn’t.
You would think it would be easy to find foods that have no processed foods or carb-loaded ingredients but these are some of the most commonly-used ingredients in the restaurant industry.
Unfortunately, the idea of not being able to eat out could be a big problem for your social life. If you’re not a big fan of cooking, it also isn’t good news for your stomach.
Luckily for you, the reality is that you CAN eat out!
There are several options at fast food and chain restaurants that do fit within the keto diet, it’s just a matter of finding them!
Our website makes that easier for you. Most restaurant menus contain a ton of options that are not approved for the keto diet, so you spend more time scanning the menu and eliminating choices rather than deciding between the options you can actually eat.
At Dietmenus we remove the fluff and provide menus for all your favorite restaurants with ONLY the keto friendly options.
While we provide menus for most major restaurants, this article will review general guidelines for each cuisine type in case we dont have a restaurant covered yet.
These are a few key rules you can follow to skim the menu and identify keto-friendly options.
1. If the menu has a legend, see if there are any low-carb options. While low-carb isn’t necessarily keto, it may offer a good place to start.
2. Identify foods that have grains, bread, legumes, and starchy vegetables mixed into the main dish. These often include pastas, risottos, medleys, thick and even meatballs and some patties (since they use bread to make the ground meat stick together). If there are no substation options, eliminate this from the potential keto-friendly dishes.
3. Find protein-based foods that offer sides to choose from. For example, you can get the grilled chicken with a side salad (no dressing), and steamed broccoli with olive oil.
4. Find foods where you can easily separate the carb-loaded bits from the rest. For example, you can have a 100% beef patty, and ask for lettuce buns instead of bread buns, and request that they hold the sauces. Even if they don’t offer the option of lettuce buns, you can take them off and set them aside.
5. Always ask for the sauces on the side, or to hold the sauces all together.
6. Don’t look at the desert menu. These are likely chock-full of refined sugar. Even the “light menu” options, like fruit bowls and “light” puddings, are very often not keto friendly
Note that some keto philosophies also cut out dairy. In our menus, we haven’t cut out dairy because it does offer a great source of healthy fat for your keto diet. But if you are staying dairy free as well, double check for any cream, milk, cheese, or yogurt ingredients on menus as well.
If you know you are going out to eat, there are a couple of things you can do to alleviate your worries and be confident that there will be food that you can enjoy.
In addition to the menus we provide for you, if you still have doubts about a certain item, you can also call the restaurant but remember that they won’t likely know what you mean if you simply ask if they have keto options. Instead, you can ask them they offer low-carb options or, if you have an option picked out, you can ask if it has bread, grains, or sugar in the ingredients.
To give you a head start, here we have provided you with some general guidelines, tips and tricks for ordering at some of the most common fast food and chain restaurant types.
Click on the different categories to your left or scroll down to browse and click on the restaurant logos to see the keto-friendly options at that restaurant.