When it comes to fast food, Burger King is genuine royalty. It’s affordable, fast, convenient, and freaking delicious. However, in today’s nutrition-conscious culture, many BK lovers may wonder whether their lifestyle choices will jibe with their occasional craving for a big, juicy Whopper. Is there a keto way to eat-o BK?
Can you eat low carb at Burger King?
In a word, yes.
Though Burger King may not have a low carb section on their menu or boast low carb options up front, knowing what and how to order will help you stay within your carb intake range for the day.
In fact, a fast-food restaurant like Burger King can actually be a terrific choice for keto dieters because of the high fat content of most of the foods — as long as you know how to order.
Modifying your BK combo meal is nothing to shy away from. Most keto-friendly changes to a meal are simple and take no more time to prepare — as you’ll see laid out in the breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. So don’t be afraid to make those special requests!
However, while BK provides some keto options, it’s never going to be the same as making your food from scratch will full knowledge of the prep methods and ingredients.
And since BK removed the nutrition calculator from their website, we’ve had to guesstimate using similar foods listed on USDA FoodData Central, a reliable source of nutrition info.
Lowest-carb meal at Burger King
With customization, just about any burger can be a great low carb choice, so there’s an excellent selection, including this plain Whopper 1/4-pound hamburger — no bun, of course.
- Carbs: 0 grams (g)
- Fat: 14 g
- Sodium: 77 milligrams (mg)
- Protein: 22 g
It’s particularly a concern for keto dieters. The keto (short for “ketogenic”) diet is a very high fat, low carb diet that typically limits carbohydrate intake to less than 50 g a day to reach and maintain ketosis. Ketosis is the process by which the body burns fats instead of sugars for energy.
This has become one of the most popular diets over the last several years due to its seemingly quick results, relatively low cost, and varied health benefits (although it isn’t risk-free).
You can imagine how being on a carb-restricted diet can put someone in a pickle when it comes to dining at a burger joint whose bread and butter is, well, bread and butter.
But rest easy, keto friends, because it turns out you can maintain your low carb lifestyle and still “have it your way.”
There’s a surprising number of options at Burger King for keto folks. Just follow these tips to make sure your carb intake stays within your chosen keto limits:
Burger King publishes nutritional information for their goodies, but it doesn’t help you with low carb options. Instead, we used nutritional data from FoodData Central and looked for similar items.
Be advised, folks: These are rough carb estimates, since Burger King no longer has a nutritional calculator on their website. If you want to be ultra-precise about your keto plan, it’s best to prepare your food at home, where you can track your carbs carefully.
For example, if you’re hankering for a burger on the keto diet, you’d need to skip the bun. But there’s no info anywhere on BK’s site about how many carbs their buns have, so we didn’t know exactly how to subtract that from the overall meal.
Instead, we’ve taken off the carb count for a generic burger bun listed on FoodData Central. It’s not an exact science. Enjoying your food isn’t about whipping out a test tube and getting exact measurements anyway. But restricting your carbohydrate intake is critical for reaching and maintaining ketosis.
Ah, breakfast. The most important meal of the day. That doesn’t change just because you’re eating keto.
If you’ve got a soft spot for a BK brekkie but want to keep it low carb, here are a few menu modifications that’ll make it easier for you to savor the morning flavor without thinking twice about whether it fits into your keto plan:
- no croissant, muffin, biscuit, sourdough bread, or French toast
- no hash browns
- no condiments
Every BK breakfast sandwich includes some type of bread. So it doesn’t matter which one you order — just that you leave off the bread.
There is also a “double” version of each sandwich with — you guessed it — double the meat. You can technically order the double without the bread, but understand that you’re also ordering double amounts of the nutritional values for the foods remaining in your meal.
Even minus those breakfast puzzle pieces, there’s a wide range of keto Burger King breakfast options.
Egg-Normous Burrito (no tortilla, no hash browns)
The standard issue has 68 g of carbs. To minimize the carb content, we took away 24 g for small hash browns and 25 g for the tortilla, leaving roughly:
- Carbs: 19 g
- Fat: 23 g
- Sodium: 922 mg
- Protein: 36 g
Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissan-wich (no croissant)
The standard version of this sandwich has 30 g of carbs. To find the low carb option, we removed 26 g for the croissant, leaving it in the region of:
- Carbs: 4 g
- Fat: 9 g
- Sodium: 541 mg
- Protein: 9 g
Fully Loaded Croissan-wich with Bacon, Ham, and Sausage (no croissant)
The basic edition provides 31 g of carbs. We knocked off 26 g for the croissant, leaving around:
- Carbs: 5 g
- Fat: 28 g
- Sodium: 1,461 mg
- Protein: 23 g
Fully Loaded Biscuit (no biscuit)
This typically comes with 31 g of carbs. We got rid of 25 g for the biscuit to make it a keto-friendly option, which left us with:
- Carbs: 6 g
- Fat: 30 g
- Sodium: 1,770 mg
- Protein: 22 g
Breakfast drinks should also be on your radar. While water is the clear (ha) choice for keto-conscious diners, other bevvies like black coffee and unsweetened tea make the keto cut for morning beverages that don’t pile on the carbs.
Meat, eggs, and cheese may do the heavy lifting when it comes to Burger King’s keto-friendly breakfast selections, but the lunch and dinner options for keto-oriented consumers who are hungry for BK are more about variety. Veggies and condiments become more important features, and the meals can be a bit more customizable.
Even so, keep these modifications in mind when keeping it keto during lunch and dinner hours at Burger King:
- Ditch the buns.
- Do away with ketchup and sauce.
- Exchange fries for a side salad.
- Be careful with salad dressings.
Basically, you can order any burger on the menu. The key is to order it without the bun and without ketchup or any other sauce it might come with.
Whopper with cheese, no bun
We used the deets for a plain hamburger and added a cheese slice at 0.6 g carbs, for a total of about:
- Carbs: 0.6 g
- Fat: 24 g
- Sodium: 257 mg
- Protein: 29 g
Double Whopper with cheese, no bun
Here, it’s simply two burgers and a cheese slice, which total around:
- Carbs: 0.6 g
- Fat: 38 g
- Sodium: 334 g
- Protein: 51 g
Bacon King, no bun
For this one, we added the carbs for two burgers, four cheese slices, and a serving of bacon:
- Carbs: 3 g
- Fat: 62 g
- Sodium: 1,143 mg
- Protein: 77 g
Triple Whopper with Cheese, no bun
Three burgers plus two cheese slices equals about:
- Carbs: 1.2 g
- Fat: 61 g
- Sodium: 591 g
- Protein: 80 g
As mentioned earlier, you can jazz up your burger sans bun by loading it with veggies and toppings like lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion, each of which adds just a single gram or so of carbs to your meal. Check it out:
- Carbs: 0.2 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Sodium: 0.5 mg
- Protein: 0 g
- Carbs: 1 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Sodium: 1 mg
- Protein: 0 g
- Carbs: 0 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Sodium: 56 mg
- Protein: 0 g
- Carbs: 1.4 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Sodium: 0.6 mg
- Protein: 1.6 g
Also, while ketchup is a keto no-no, these condiments get the green light:
- mayonnaise (0 g carbs, 9 g fat, 76 mg sodium, and 0.1 g protein)
- mustard (0.2 g carbs, 0.16 g fat, 55 mg sodium, and 0.2 g protein)
If you’re ordering these sandwiches as a combo, you’ll want to swap the fries for the Side Garden Salad, which has:
- 5 g carbs
- 32 g fat
- 336 mg sodium
- 5 g protein
That’s without dressing or croutons, BTW.
When it comes to dressings, your best bet is to ask for the ranch dressing, which adds 2 g carbs, 13 g fat, 270 mg sodium, and 0.4 g protein.
If you’re a chicken lover, you may be disappointed not to see any chicken options on the list. This is because, unfortunately, Burger King doesn’t carry grilled chicken.
That’s right — all BK’s chicken options are as crispy as they come. While delicious, chicken of the crispy variety doesn’t make the cut when we’re grading on a keto curve.
Eating keto at a fast-food restaurant specializing in burgers may seem like an impossible task, but there’s really nothing to it.
Simple changes like ditching the bun and ketchup and choosing a side salad instead of fries will allow you to enjoy the flame-broiled flavor that made you fall in love with the King in the first place.
When in doubt, you can always consult the BK nutrition sheet or a meal-tracking app or just ask the staff.