Fast food chains are huge on bread, fries, ice cream, and desserts, which can pack on the carbs if you’re not careful. When I became a diabetic, I thought I had to avoid these major fast food chains at all costs. Soon, I started craving them because they were previously my guilty pleasure. I felt FOMO when my friends would go out to eat without me. You can still enjoy your favorite fast food chains with a simple changes to your order. I’ve narrowed what you should order at top fast food restaurants if you’re watching your carbs.
Don’t worry, most of them aren’t salads.
Starbucks: Wheat Spinach Savory Foldover (23g)
With only 23 grams of carbs, Starbucks’ Savory Spinach and Feta Breakfast Wrap is a relatively low-carb option when you need that afternoon pick-me-up. Opt for unsweetened Passion Tango tea or iced coffee instead of a sugary frap.
Taco Bell: Fresco Soft Tacos (15g each)
It’s sad that the Fiesta Taco Salad is unhealthier than some of the tacos or burritos. The salad has over 40g more carbs than some of the burritos. The good news is that you can still enjoy the tacos at Taco Bell. The Fresco Soft Tacos are lower in carbs and fat, with 1 taco having about 15g carb and 4g fat.
McDonalds: Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken (18g)
Even McDonald’s, the king of fast food and processed carbs, can still have healthy items. The most underrated items are the McDonald’s salads, which are pretty tasty and keep you full. The most delicious salad is the Asian Chicken Salad with 18g carb and 31g protein. Get it with a side of apple slices to instead of fries.
Wendy’s: Grilled Chicken Wrap (20g)
You can still beat your cheeseburger cravings with a super savory Caesar Grilled Chicken wrap from Wendy’s. One wrap is 20g carbs and 20g protein. If you crave the Wendy’s Frosty, you can always split a kid’s size one with a friend.
Chick-fil-A: Grilled Chicken Nuggets (4g)
These babies have only 4g carbs per serving and pack about 23g protein. Be careful how much you dunk in the mouth-watering Chik-fil-A sauce (10g carbs per packet) which add on many carbs without you noticing. Pair it with a fruit cup for a more complete meal.
Chipotle: Cheesy Steak Salad (18g)
Luckily, Chipotle is a healthier fast food joint, but it’s easy to pile on the calories and carbs if you’re not careful. Before I was diabetic, I used to order a chicken burrito with everything in it totaling to over a whopping 130g carbs! The steak salad I now order is only a small fraction of those carbs. When ordering, pass on the beans and rice option and add a scoop of fajita veggies, green chili salsa, cheese, and guac. This totals to about 18g carbs and 40g protein.
Subway: Turkey Breast Salad (11g)
Subway is the largest fast food chain in the world. It can be hard to escape Subway when you’re hungry and there’s no where else affordable to eat. Subway is known for their subs with big fluffy bread which is full of carbs. Their salads are basically a more delicious version of the subs without the bread. Order the Turkey Breast Salad that is low in carbs at 11g carbs.
Panera Bread: Sandwich & Soup Combo (37g)
A bakery filled with delicious pastries and bagels may not be the best place to go if you’re watching your carb intake. However, there are many great low-carb options if you order the right thing. The Half Roasted Turkey and Avocado BLT on Sourdough Bread with a side cup of garden veggie soup with pesto is a great lower carb option.
Burger King: Garden Chicken Salad (16g)
Burger King may be the king of unhealthy menu items, but they have a delicious grilled chicken salad. The salad is packed with 36g protein and only 16g carbs. Make sure to order your dressing on the side to skip the extra calories.
In-N-Out: Protein Style Cheeseburger with Onion (11g)
Since I live on the East Coast, I am dying to try In-N-Out’s legendary burgers. Luckily, they have a great low-carb cheeseburger. It’s 30 grams less carbs than a regular cheeseburger with a bun.
KFC: Grilled Chicken Breast and Green Beans (4g)
Whenever you can, choose grilled or baked chicken over fried, such as this protein-loaded, low-carb grilled chicken breast at KFC. This grilled chicken breast has 0g carb per serving, and the green beans have 4g carb. People say the grilled chicken tastes just as good as the fried crispy chicken that KFC is known for.
Dunkin’ Donuts: Angus Steak and Egg Wake Up Wrap (13g)
If you’re watching your carb intake, you might avoid any place with the word “donut” in it. Have no fear, as Dunkin Donuts has a great low-carb option. For those mornings when you’re in a rush, try the Angus Steak & Egg Wake Up Wrap in a warm tortilla with only 13g carbs. It’s so good that it’s also available at all times of the day. Just don’t forget to down it with an unsweetened coffee.