Low Carb Options at McDonald's: What To Eat & Avoid
Low Carb At McDonald’s

How To Order Low Carb at McDonald’s

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While we definitely don’t recommend eating fast food every day or even once a week, we understand that life happens and sometimes fast food is inevitable.

McDonald’s menu is always changing, but there are several staples you can always count on, such as a breakfast sandwich or a burger without the bun and sauce. 

In this article, we will show you how to eat low-carb at McDonald’s.

Tips For Eating Low-Carb at McDonald’s

Before heading to McDonald’s or any fast food place, keep in mind that there is a difference between eating something low-carb and eating a ketogenic diet.

Always remember that preparing your keto meals at home with keto-friendly ingredients is much better than getting something low-carb at a fast food restaurant.

If you’re in a pinch for food, then follow these tips for keeping it low-carb at McDonald’s.

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#1. Stick with breakfast if you can

McDonald’s used to offer breakfast all day. However, most restaurants stop serving breakfast after 10:30 am now and switch over to their lunch menu.

Try the Egg McMuffin without the bun, which has egg, cheese, and ham on it. Here are some other good breakfast sandwich options:

  • Sausage McMuffin with egg
  • Bacon, egg and cheese biscuit
  • Steak, egg and cheese biscuit
  • Bacon, egg and cheese McGriddles
  • Bacon, egg and cheese bagel

Note: You might have a hard time prying the cheese off the bread that it comes on, so ask to hold the biscuit or bagel entirely or you might end up with unwanted bits of bread in your sandwich.

#2. Use the nutritional calculator 

McDonald’s lists all of the nutritional information right on its website, so use this as a resource when making a decision. You can also use the nutrition calculator to determine your macros if you customize your order. 

Here are some of the lowest carb options at McDonald’s (and how to order them) based on the nutrition calculator:

  • Bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit (minus the biscuit): 200 calories, 15 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of protein
  • Quarter pounder with cheese bacon (minus the bun and ketchup): 430 calories, 33 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, and 30 grams of protein
  • Big Mac (no bun or Big Mac sauce): 250 calories, 18 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbs, and 18 grams of protein

You can check out their nutrition calculator here.

#3. Hold the sauce

McDonald’s has lots of sauces and dressings to choose from, which can be tempting. But let us tell you- there is nothing healthy or ketogenic about any of them!

Most dressings and sauces use refined sugar and sometimes even flour as a base. They also contribute to empty calories, which tend to add up quickly and can be the reason why you keep getting kicked out of ketosis.

While McDonald’s has a few options that seem OK on the ketogenic diet, like mayonnaise and vinegar salad dressing, keep in mind that these contain vegetable oils and refined sugar. 

#4. Stay away from the sides

McDonald’s doesn’t have much in the way of sides. You can choose from French fries or apple slices, and neither of these options are keto-friendly.

We noticed that McDonald’s doesn’t even have a salad on their menu anymore. However, you can always ask if they can make you one. If so, hold the croutons and dressing.

#5. Don’t blow it on a beverage

What you drink is just as important as what you eat. Don’t be tempted by a McFlurry, even if it is on the dollar menu. Stick with bottled water, unsweetened iced tea, or coffee with cream.

Related: How To Order Low-Carb at Burger King

What To Order At McDonald’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

We’ve put together a list of some of our top picks for eating low-carb at McDonald’s.

Keep in mind that you can use any of these options as a snack, too. Check them out below.

Breakfast Options

Order any of these sandwiches without the bun, bagel, or biscuit. Or you can simply take it off once you get the sandwich, but keep in mind that peeling the cheese off the bread might be hard.

Low-carb breakfast options:

  • Egg McMuffin
  • Sausage McMuffin
  • Sausage McMuffin with egg
  • Bacon, egg and cheese biscuit
  • Sausage biscuit
  • Sausage biscuit with egg
  • Steak, cheese and egg biscuit
  • Bacon, egg and cheese McGriddle
  • Sausage McGriddle
  • Sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle
  • Bacon, egg and cheese bagel

Burgers 

For all burgers, hold the bread and sauce. Also, hold the fries and all sides. 

  • Bacon smokehouse burger (minus the bun, onion rings, and sauce)
  • Double bacon smokehouse burger (also minus the bread, onion rings, and sauce)
  • Big Mac
  • Quarter pounder with cheese (no sauce)
  • Double quarter pounder with cheese (no sauce)
  • Triple cheeseburger
  • McDouble
  • Double cheeseburger
  • Bacon McDouble
  • Hamburger or cheeseburger
  • Plain side salad (if available)

Related: How To Order Low-Carb at Wendy’s

Foods To Avoid at McDonald’s

McDonald’s does not currently offer any chicken sandwiches that are not breaded, so you will need to stay away from these. Here are some other foods you should avoid at McDonald’s.

  • Big breakfast
  • Big breakfast with hotcakes
  • Hotcakes with sausage
  • Sausage burrito
  • Hash browns
  • Fruit and maple oatmeal
  • Fruit n’ yogurt parfait
  • Bacon smokehouse buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich
  • Chicken McNuggets
  • Chicken tenders
  • Classic chicken sandwich
  • McChicken sandwich
  • Buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich
  • Filet-O-Fish
  • Bacon ranch salad with buttermilk crispy chicken
  • Southwest buttermilk crispy chicken salad
  • Southwest grilled chicken salad
  • Happy Meals
  • All shakes
  • Vanilla cone
  • Flurries
  • Hot fudge sundaes
  • All pies
  • All cookies

Conclusion

McDonald’s is one of the most popular food chains available, and while they have low-carb options that you can enjoy every once and a while, they aren’t strictly ketogenic. Because of this, we recommend limiting your fast food intake to once a month or less.

The McDonald’s website is constantly changing, so it’s a good idea to look at the menu before you go. We recommend going with a breakfast sandwich or burger minus the bun and sauce.

Pair your McDonald’s sandwich with a plain side salad for added nutrients and skip all sides. Wash your meal down with bottled water, coffee and cream, or an unsweetened iced tea.

Up Next: Top Low Carb Fast Food Restaurants Guide

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