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Eating Keto at Restaurants

Updated on January 29, 2019
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Stephanie is an RN supervisor constantly learning how to better connect with and form a great team.

Eating out while staying keto is actually simpler than you may think. Once you learn the concepts of keto and your particular preferences, you can go out quite easily and order something tasty that is low carb. How is that possible? There are a variety of possibilities to order. Listed below are some options of eating keto at different types of restaurants when eating out:

Ribeye: Or any meat you like. Most American restaurants have some kind of steak, lamb, or port on the menu. Avoid the high carb sauces. You can ask for butter to put on your meat for added fat and flavor.

Burgers without Buns: A great option to have at a typical fast food or upscale restaurant that serves burgers. Burgers without buns, or protein-style hamburgers, are delicious lettuce wrapped, or plated with toppings such as grilled onions, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, bacon, and mayonnaise.

Cobb Salads: Cobb salads are packed with veggies and other low carb items such as hard-boiled eggs, bacon, bleu cheese crumbles, avocado, tomatoes and grilled chicken. You can have it tossed with bleu-cheese, ranch, or red-wine vinaigrette dressing and have a filling, nutrient-dense meal without feeling deprived.

Burrito Bowls: You can still have burrito bowls. By eliminating the rice and beans while loading up on meat, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa, you have yourself a low carb option at most Mexican restaurants. If bowls are not an option, you can always order the burrito itself, unwrap the tortilla, and eat the contents.

Carne Asada: Another great option at Mexican restaurants. Goes well with grilled vegetables.

Caesar Salads: You can order a Caesar salad with chicken, shrimp, or salmon without croutons.

Buffalo Wings: Who says you can’t eat bar food anymore? As long as the wings aren’t breaded, you have another delicious low carb item on your menu. Ask for "Buffalo style" with the bleu cheese dressing for the celery.

Grilled Fish: Seafood restaurants should not be a problem if they have grilled options as opposed to fried. Order salmon, halibut, or cod with grilled vegetables. Ask for tartar sauce on the side if it doesn’t already come with it for extra fat and flavor. Most tartar sauces are 4 g of carbs per 2 tablespoons.

Antipasto: Yes, you can survive going to an Italian restaurant without blowing your eating plan. Antipasto is typically the first course of a formal Italian meal, however, you can make it your main course. Antipasto usually has some variation of cured meats, olives, pepperoncini, mushrooms, anchovies, artichoke hearts, various cheeses, pickled meats, and vegetables in oil or vinegar.

Caprese salad: Another Italian option made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil. If they add balsamic vinegar, the number of carbs is around 2.7 g per 1 tablespoon.

Grilled lamb, beef, or chicken kabobs. It is delicious with a side salad with oil and vinegar.

Gyros: Eat without the pita or order the gyro plate without rice.

Tandoori chicken/shrimp/lamb: Tandoori chicken/shrimp/lamb, a classic Indian dish, is prepared by marinating in yogurt, garam masala (a spice), cayenne, and roasting in a tandoor, which is a cyclical clay oven. This dish usually comes with a cucumber-yogurt sauce.

Eggs and bacon/sausage: Omelets can be low carb too, depending on what is put in them. Your options are vegetables, ham, meat, cheese, and avocados.

Grilled fish: Avoid sauces. Grilled fish with vegetables minus the sauce should be safe.

"Sandwiches" without bread: It can be challenging to eat keto at a sandwich shop. Subway, however, has the option of turning your chosen sandwich into a salad. Again, be care of the ingredients used, especially the dressings. Oil and vinegar is your best bet.

Ideally, it is best to eat at home where you have more control over the taste preferences, preparation, and ingredients. Hopefully, this list will help you when you have to go out for social or business reasons. You will continue to have a life while eating keto and perhaps, enjoy it even more.


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