McDonald’s is one of the most accessible and popular restaurants in the United States. With over 13,000 locations across the country, you’re never far away from a McDonald’s!
The chain is well known for its reasonable prices and several of its food items have become iconic and are some of the most famous dishes in America.
However, McDonald’s isn’t well known for being a low-carb restaurant. As a fast food restaurant that primarily serves breakfast foods and burgers, it has a reputation for food that is tasty but full of fat and carbohydrates.
If you’re following a keto diet, McDonald’s probably isn’t high on your list of preferred restaurants.
There are times when McDonald’s may be your only option though. If you’re traveling and hungry, McDonald’s may be your only choice.
You may be with a group of family or friends who want to eat at McDonald’s, or maybe, you just fancy a McDonald’s yourself! Whatever the reason, if you’re following a keto diet, you will need to find something low-carb on the menu.
Thankfully, there are some options on a McDonald’s menu that are lower in carbohydrates.
There are also some adjustments you can make to menu items to make them lower carb as well. In this article, we will introduce the best 8 options for a low-carb meal at McDonald’s.
Let’s get started.
1. Sausage Biscuit
This is one of the most popular items on the breakfast menu. It consists of a biscuit, sausage patty, and some butter and with a small modification, is a great choice for a low-carb breakfast.
Biscuits are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided if you’re trying to follow a low-carb or keto diet. This is why we suggest ordering a sausage biscuit without the biscuit!
This will give you just the sausage patty and a little butter and these are low in carbs on their own.
On its own, the sausage patty (with butter) only has one gram of net carbs, 200 calories, 19 grams of fat, and seven grams of protein.
Order: a Sausage Biscuit without the biscuit
Carbs: 1 gram
2. Egg McMuffin
This is another staple of the McDonald’s breakfast menu. The standard version includes an English muffin, egg, Canadian bacon, cheese, and two types of butter.
Making this suitable for a low-carb and keto diet is relatively easy, thankfully!
All you need to do is remove the English muffin. This will leave you with the egg, Canadian bacon, cheese, and butter, and this relatively low-carb at only 3 grams.
It also includes 160 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 12 grams of protein.
Order: an Egg McMuffin without the English muffin
Carbs: 3 grams
3. Sausage McMuffin With Egg
This is another popular breakfast item. It combines elements of the previous two breakfast items we introduced as it has everything the Egg McMuffin has but also includes the same sausage patty as the Sausage Biscuit.
This can be adjusted in the same way that the Egg McMuffin was as you should order it without the English muffin. This will give you a breakfast that has 3 grams of carbs, 340 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 16 grams of protein.
Order: a Sausage McMuffin without the English muffin
Carbs: 3 grams
4. Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit
Here’s yet another breakfast item that you can adjust to make it lower in carbohydrates. This delicious breakfast option consists of a biscuit, folded egg, cheese, thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, and two types of butter.
Most of the ingredients in this menu item are compatible with a low-carb diet, however, you should remove the biscuit as this is where most of the carbs are.
Without the biscuit, you will have a breakfast item that has 4 grams of carbs, 190 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 14 grams of protein.
Order: a Bacon, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit with the biscuit
Carbs: 4 grams
When most people think of McDonald’s, they think of burgers. There are several different types of burgers and many of them contain cheese, but in this case, we are referring to the regular Cheeseburger.
There are a lot of items in a McDonald’s Cheeseburger that have carbs and should be avoided on a keto diet, so you will need to make several adjustments to the Cheeseburger when you order it.
Burger buns are obviously full of carbs and should be excluded, but we also avoid removing ketchup, mustard, onions, and pickles as well.
Making these adjustments will give you an order that only has 2 grams of carbs. There will also be 140 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 10 grams of protein.
You can add a second burger patty to your order if you wish as this will add zero grams of carbs.
Order: a Cheeseburger without the bun, ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles
Carbs: 2 grams
6. Quarter Pounder With Cheese And Bacon
If you like some bacon with your cheeseburger, then you can’t go wrong with a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Bacon.
This menu item includes a 100 percent beef patty, quarter pounder bun, cheese, thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, ketchup, pickles, onions, and mustard.
You will need to remove a few items from this order to make it low-carb, however. You should definitely remove the quarter-pounder bun and pickles, and we also recommend removing both the ketchup and mustard as well.
With all of those ingredients removed, your Quarter Pounder will have 5 grams of carbs, 410 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 32 grams of protein.
Order: a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Bacon without the bun, pickles, ketchup, and mustard
Carbs: 5 grams
7. Big Mac
Of all of the items on the McDonald’s menu, nothing is more iconic and closely linked to McDonald’s than the Big Mac. To eat a Big Mac while following a low-carb or keto diet, however, you need to make several adjustments.
From a Big Mac, remove the buns, pickles, onion, and Big Mac sauce. A Big Mac has several beef patties, so you will have more carbs, fat, and protein than in some other orders on this list.
A bunless and sauceless Big Mac will give you 4 grams of carbs, 33 grams of protein, 400 calories, and 28 grams of fat.
Order: a Big Mac without the buns, pickles, onion, Big Mac sauce
Carbs: 4 grams
McDonald’s is so much more than burgers as the menu also offers a wide variety of chicken-based items as well. Arguably the most famous of these is the McChicken and with a single adjustment, you can make it low-carb.
A McChicken consists of a McChicken patty, bun, shredded lettuce, and mayonnaise. To make this low-carb, take away the bun. The resulting food item will have 2 grams of carbs, 230 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 26 grams of protein.
Make sure that you don’t order any chicken items on the McDonald’s menu that are labeled McCrispy. The chicken patties on these items are breaded and have more carbohydrates.
Order: a McChicken without the bun
Carbs: 2 grams
In this article, we introduced the best 8 options for a low-carb meal at McDonald’s.
The fast food chain McDonald’s is not commonly associated with food that is low-carb or low in fat so it is often avoided by anyone trying to follow a healthy or low-carb diet.
However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some options available that are lower in carbs.
By choosing the right menu items and making a few adjustments, you can have a meal at McDonald’s that is lower in carbs than you might expect.
Take a look at our suggestions and advice and see if any of these whet your appetite!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some more tips for a low-carb McDonald’s.
When you order any of these items from McDonald’s, make sure that you don’t take any meal deals that include fries. Most of the McDonald’s sauces are high in carbs as well so you should also avoid these.
If you must have a sauce the best you can choose is mayonnaise.