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How To Eat Keto At KFC?

KFC is one of the most popular fast-food chains in the world. Nothing can quite replace the itch for a serving of the colonel’s good ol ‘fried chicken. However, eating fast food on the keto diet can be quite tricky. Can you eat keto at KFC? or will you have to sit back and watch everyone devour their feast? 

Is KFC Keto Friendly?

Luckily, there are menu items that you can enjoy without jeopardizing your keto diet.

Eating Keto at KFC

When you’re on the keto diet, eating out at fast food chains can be challenging because you’re limiting the amount of carbs you consume. Generally, under the keto diet, you’ll be eating less than 50g of net carbs in a day. In certain variations of the diet, the limit for carbs can be as low as 20g of net carbs per day. 

As a result, you have to be very mindful of the foods that you eat. If you eat too many carbs, you’ll fall out of ketosis and won’t see the results that you desire. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing at KFC for you to enjoy. Without much further ado, let’s get into the keto-friendly KFC menu items!

KFC's Keto-Friendly Menu Items

You can eat keto at KFC but there are menu options that are a complete no on your diet. None of the sandwiches are keto friendly along with other dishes that you can guess are high in carbohydrates.

Keto at KFC

That’s why it’s important to know the exact nutritional composition before you order anything. Luckily for you, we’ve gone through the menu and picked out all the keto-friendly menu items at KFC. 

List of keto-friendly options available at KFC

Grilled Chicken

The most keto-friendly KFC menu item is without a doubt their grilled chicken. You don’t have to worry about the carb content because it contains zero carbs. While at the same time, it tastes delicious.

You can enjoy the grilled chicken in a variety of different cuts. The grilled chicken thighs are especially juicy and go well with some of their keto-friendly dips. Here’s the nutritional information that you need on the grilled chicken options available at KFC

Name
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Fiber
Protein
Grilled Chicken Breast
210
7g
0g
0g
38g
Grilled Chicken Drumsticks
80
4g
0g
0g
11g
Grilled Chicken Thighs
150
9g
0g
0g
`7g
Grilled Chicken Whole Wings 
70
3g
0g
0g
9g

Original Recipe Chicken (Drumstick + Whole Wing)

Breaded fried chicken on a keto diet may seem like it’s too good to be true but with a little bit of portion control, anything is possible. The original recipe fried chicken from KFC is world-famous and is a craving that many on the keto diet struggle with!

However, there’s no need to starve yourself from the fried goodness of some KFC chicken. The general rule of thumb in the keto diet is to eat as little carbs as possible. You’re supposed to have between 20 – 50g of carbs. You should consume no more than 5-10% of your daily calorie limit. 

Consequently, that leaves you open to a lot more food choices in comparison to other diets. With the help of some portion control, there are so many different treats that you can enjoy. The original breaded chicken comes in around 2g of carbs for a single whole wing and 3g of carbs for a drumstick.

These two are the safer options when you’re on a keto diet/ However if you’re on a larger calorie allowance, you could probably make room for the thigh and breast as well, which come in at 9 and 11 grams of carbohydrates respectively. 

Stick to around 4-5 whole wings and if you’re going with the drumsticks, you’ll be just fine eating two! 

Alternatively, if you’re craving the taste of some original kfc chicken but can afford to let go of the breading, you can opt for the original recipe chicken breast without breading. Here’s a full nutritional breakdown of the KFC original recipe chicken options. 

Name
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Fiber
Protein
Original Recipe Chicken - Drumstick
120
7g
3g
0g
11g
Original Recipe Chicken - Whole Wing
120
7g
3g
0g
11g

KFC Extra Crispy Chicken (Drumstick)

The KFC extra crispy chicken is like the original recipe, except it features more breading and is fried twice. However, due to the inclusion of additional breading, the extra-crispy chicken also contains more carbs. 

In a single extra crispy chicken drumstick, you’ll find that there are 6g of carbohydrates. As a result, it’s best to have the extra crispy chicken only if you’re craving one! The whole wings can also be an option but with a single wing containing 5g of carbs, you’re not going to be able to build a fulfilling meal. 

Here’s the nutritional information on KFC’s Extra Crispy Chicken 

Name
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Fiber
Protein
Extra Crispy Chicken - Drumstick
150
10g
5g
0g
12g

 KFC Fried Wings 

If not prepared specifically for keto, wings tend to be high in carbs. Unfortunately, none of the fried wings on the kfc menu particularly qualify as keto friendly. An unsauced wing contains around 3g of carbs, so the ones with sauces are naturally slightly higher in carbs. 

While you can have one or two wings, is there any point in eating only one or two wings? You’re better off going for other keto-friendly options on the menu. 

Here’s a nutritional breakdown of the fried wings!

Name
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Fiber
Protein 
Hot Wings
70
4g
4g
0g
4g
HBBQ Hot Wings
80
4g
8g
0g
4g
Fiery Buffalo Hot Wings
70
4g
5g
0g
4g

Sandwiches

While fried chicken is what they’re most famous for, a lot of people quite enjoy KFC sandwiches as well. Unfortunately, due to their use of bread none of the sandwiches are keto-friendly. 

Keto Friendly KFC Salads

Like all fast food chains attempting to provide healthy food alternatives, KFC also offers a variety of different salads. However, not all of their salads are keto-friendly. Your best options are the Caesar Salad w/o Dressing & Croutons and the House Side Salad w/o Dressing. 

If you need to have some dressing along with your salad, you’d be surprised at the number of different dressings that KFC offers. You can go with the Heinz Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, with one pouch containing 1g of carbs. Another good option is the Marzetti Light Italian Dressing which is also low on carbs. 

While people rarely go to KFC to eat salads, there are options for those that are on the keto diet. 

Here’s a nutritional breakdown of the KFC keto Salads and Dressings. 

Name
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Fiber
Protein
Caesar Salad w/o Dressing & Croutons
40
2g
2g
1g
3g
House Side Salad w/o Dressing
15
0g
3g
1g
1g
Heinz Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
160
17g
1g
0g
0g
Marzetti Light Italian Dressing 
15
0.5g
2g
0g
0g

KFC Keto Friendly Sides

When it comes to the sides, you only have one option available and these are the KFC Green Beans. All the other sides on the menu are very high in carbs. The green beans on their own might be a little dry and dull. You can make things more exciting by getting one of the KFC Dipping Sauce Cups!

Name
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Fiber
Protein
Green Beans
25
0g
4g
2g
1g

Other Keto-Friendly KFC Items 

Here are a few other keto-friendly foods that you can include in your keto KFC meals. The Colonel’s Buttery Spread goes well with the Green Beans. If you’re getting the chicken and want to make things a bit saucier, the Honey Mustard and Creamy Ranch Dipping Sauce Cups are a great option. 

Here’s a nutritional breakdown of the three options:

Name
Calories
Fat
Carbs
Fiber
Protein
Colonel's Buttery Spread
30
3.5g
0g
0g
0g
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce Cup
120
10g
6g
0g
0g
Creamy Ranch Dipping Sauce Cup
140
15g
1g
0g
0g

Tips for Eating KFC at Keto 

The keto diet isn’t as restrictive as most people tend to imagine. Sure you’re avoiding eating carbs, but you can also enjoy yourself and have hearty fulfilling meals. However, you mustn’t get carried away. 

KFC Keto Friendly

Here are a few tips that will help you enjoy eating keto at KFC! 

A. Importance of checking the nutritional information

When you’re on a keto diet, one of the most essential rules is ensuring that you check the nutritional macros of the foods that you consume. Doing so will help you stay on track with the keto diet and you won’t have to worry about foods putting you out of ketosis. 

Luckily, you can find all the macros for KFC foods on their website. We’ve made tables of all the items mentioned in the article, but if you want a full breakdown visit the KFC website. By keeping an eye on these macros, you’ll know exactly what’s going into your body. 

Consequently, you’ll be able to avoid any food that features macros that would put your body out of ketosis. 

 B. Common pitfalls to avoid when ordering keto at KFC

It’s easy to get carried away when you’re at KFC. I know so many people who start thinking, ” Oh, maybe we can order a side along with our meal. That’s one of the worst mistakes you could make as the sides in KFC are all fairly high in carbs. 

Additionally, it’s also important to stay away from KFC sandwiches. None of the sandwiches are keto-friendly as they’re high in carbs. While it might be tempting, it’ll lead to you falling out of ketosis.

There are no major modifications you can make to any of the sandwiches to make them keto-friendly. If you manage to avoid these common pitfalls, you’ll be able to eat keto at KFC with no major trouble. 

C. Tips for making keto-friendly modifications to menu items  

When you’re trying to eat keto at KFC, you’ll have to make certain modifications to menu items to make them more keto friendly. One of the easiest ways is to avoid ordering any sides or drinks along with your meals. 

If you’re going to order a side, the best option is going for the green beans. When it comes to drinks, just stick with water or the diet drink offerings. These little modifications can help make eating keto at KFC much easier. 

D. Emphasize the significance of portion control and mindful eating

Another important thing to remember when eating keto at kfc is portion control. When you’re eating some fried chicken it’s easy to get carried away. You can easily find yourself tempted to eat a little too much. 

While three original recipe chicken drumsticks might be keto-friendly, any more would put you out of ketosis. That’s why portion control is essential when you’re attempting to eat keto at kfc. 

Some food items might be keto-friendly in a small amount, if you end up eating too many it’ll push you out of ketosis. That’s why being mindful of how much you end up eating is essential. 

KFC Keto Meal Ideas

KFC Logo
  • 2x Grilled Chicken Thighs, 1x Green Beans, 1x Colonel’s Buttery Spread,
  • 1x Grilled chicken thigh + 1x drumstick, green beans, side salad + buttermilk dressing, no croutons
  • Original Recipe breast, Caesar side salad + dressing, no croutons 
  • 2x Original Recipe Chicken Drumstick, Caesar Side Salad + Dressing, No Croutons

Conclusion

Luckily, for those that are on the keto diet, it’s possible to eat keto at KFC. From the variety of grilled chicken options, the original recipe fried chicken, and much more. Just by paying attention to the macros, and being mindful of the portion that you eat. You can easily enjoy KFC while maintaining the keto diet. 


It’s important to go out and try these places because many people feel like you can’t have fast food on a diet. While fast food is not the healthiest option, sometimes you don’t have anywhere else to go and need a quick meal. 

In that case, you’d be pleased to know that there are several options that you can enjoy while trying to eat keto at KFC

If you'd like to learn more about the keto diet and keto friendly foods, please click on one of the links below:

Is Fried Chicken Keto?

Is Rotisserie Chicken Keto?

How to eat keto at Burger King?

How to eat keto at Applebee's?

Steven
Steven

Founder of The Art Of Keto.

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