keto kfc

If you are on the Keto diet, you do know it is very important to reduce your carb intake so as to promote the state of ketosis in your body. You remove all the high-carb foods you are used to eating and replace them with low carb foods in the diet.

However, when it comes to the issue of eating out, the whole process becomes tricky because you do not want to sabotage your ketosis process, yet many foods served in restaurants and eating joints are the exact opposite of that. 

KFC is among the last places you can imagine to have a Keto-friendly menu. After all, we do know them for their delicious fried chicken, which is coated in breadcrumbs – a major enemy of Keto diets. In addition, they have French fries on the menu, and numerous other high-carb foods and beverages 

However, this is not all there is to their food selection; you can be easily surprised to find out that they have other options that cater to different needs and tastes. In fact, it is possible to find something that fits your Keto dietary requirements here, contrary to what you might think. You can even check out their website to find their nutritional information on their foods and plan in advance for what you will eat. 

What you need to know for Keto KFC

Always be prepared 

Fast food tends to be a spontaneous thing, and you do not plan in advance that you will go somewhere to eat (unless it is maybe a special occasion like a birthday). However, when you are dieting, always make sure to go prepared in advance.  

Like we mentioned before, the KFC menu is full of high-carb foods and drinks, and it is very easy to be distracted when making orders. Everything looks so tasty and tempting, and the Keto options are not very many, even when compared to other restaurants.  

They have different ways of preparing their chicken as well using a variety of preservatives, sugars, hydrogenated vegetable oil, and so on, which can easily tempt you because of how tasty it looks.  

Beware of the side dishes 

Be very careful about the side dishes. The coleslaw that comes with the fries, for instance, is a total 10g of carbs – not the best idea when you are trying to cut these foods. In addition, the other side dishes such as macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and pot pie, are the worst choices to make when you are looking to reduce their intake. 

Try out some of the salads dry 

We know the idea of eating your food with salads is out of the question most of the time, but here you can try out their salads – just make sure to tell them you want it dry, or with vinegar and olive oil. The salad also needs to be full of lettuce, as there is no other low-carb vegetable on the menu, unfortunately. 

Make use of the nutrition calculator and ingredient list 

Use the nutrition calculator available on the website. While the eatery does not give you a chance to customize your orders much, you can stand a better chance of not eating impulsively and ruining your progress, since you already know the calories you are consuming.  

for instance, when you order something such as the ‘original recipe chicken breast’, you will be surprised to discover it has ingredients that include: sodium phosphate and salt, while the breading includes nonfat milk, wheat flour, tricalcium phosphate, salt, food starch, natural flavors, and so on. 

Stick with the grilled chicken instead of the other varieties 

You would rather eat grilled chicken, as opposed to the other chicken varieties on the listIf you would like to eat the other varieties though, you can ask them if the bucket of chicken or your sandwich can come with grilled chicken to avoid the breading. 

In regards to the question of eating chicken from this restaurant, keep in mind it is not the best choice to make – all thanks to the chicken being fried. However, you can also eat two chicken pieces and still have ketosis at the highest state it has ever been – provided you eat it once in a while. If you are avoiding consuming gluten, that is not a good choice because of the bread. 

Avoid sauces 

Avoid the dipping sauces, just as you would with any other restaurant (except the low carb varieties that we will mention below)Even though this seems like the most obvious thing in the world, it is worth the reminder, since sauces are the biggest culprit when it comes to adding carbs and sugars to your diet – things not worth consuming when you are on this diet. 

Have your own drink 

Have your own drink with you. If there is something you must know about southern hospitality, it is the sweet tea that accompanies almost all meals you can think of. Unlike many other eating establishments, KFC does not offer many Keto-friendly drinks and beverages, as the only one they have is unsweetened iced tea. Always have a bottle of water with you to wash your chicken down, just in case you do not want the iced tea. 

Avoid the buns 

Request for no bun or sauce on your sandwich, instead of asking for a lettuce wrap. In addition, if KFC is not your first choice when eating out, you can always go to better alternatives such as McDonald’s or Wendy’s instead. 

Possible Keto-friendly meals 

KFC is a typical fast food joint, so you will not find many options for your breakfast, dinner and lunch. However, the grilled chicken is the safest option you can go with, as the others will require you to limit your food intake for the rest of the day generally. 

There are quite a few options for the chicken buckets, as you can go for the 16-piece, 8-piece or 12-piece bucket. Unless you are eating with a group of people, it is unlikely you will require a 16-piece or 12-piece bucket  


It is easy to find the breaded chicken, but you can also get grilled chicken as well, since the restaurant has added it in recent years to their offerings. Thanks to the zero net carbs that all their grilled chicken pieces have, you can order any variation within it – these include the wings, thighs, breast, and drumstick.  

Note that eating one piece of breaded chicken will not ruin the Keto process – but it can easily go overboard if you are not careful. Each breaded wing or drumstick only has about three net carbs, while breast has 9 net carbs and thigh 7 net carbs. 

In the case of getting the chicken wing bucket, the only wings worth mentioning for Keto eating are the original hot wings. They have about 4g protein, 4g fat, 3g carbs, and 70 calories. Stay away from the HBBQ Hot, which has 9g carbs for each wing, and the Fiery Buffalo that has 5g carbs for each wing. 

For the grilled chicken options, here is the nutritional breakdown: 

Grilled chicken piece  Calorie count  Protein (g)  Fat (g) 
Drumstick   80  11  4 
Whole wing  70  9  3 
Breast   210  38  7 
Thigh   150  38  7 

What about the original chicken recipes, during those days you need a quick fix? Here are the options you can eat. 

Chicken pieces  Calorie count  Carbs (g)  Protein (g)  Fat (g) 
Whole wing  130  3  10  8 
Thighs (has 7g of net carbs and 1g fiber as well)   280  8  19  19 
Drumstick (includes 3g net carbs and 1g fiber)  130  4  12  8 
Breast (has 9g net carbs and 2g fiber)  390  11  39  21 

Sometimes, you might not want the grilled or the original recipe chicken and want an extra fix. You can check the extra crispy chicken, which is also a great alternative. These are: 

Chicken piece  Calories   Carbs (g)  Protein (g)  Fat (g) 
Whole wing  170  5  10  13 
Thighs   330  9  22  23 
Drumstick   170  5  10  17 
Breast   530  18  35  35 
Tender, 1  140  8  10  7 

Along with the extra crispy chicken, there is also spicy chicken to add some variety to your eating out sessions. These are: 

Chicken piece  Calories   Carbs (g)  Protein (g)  Fat (g) 
Whole wing  120  5  7  8 
Thigh (also has 9g net carbs and 1g fiber)  270  10  13  20 
Drumstick (also has 4g net carbs and 1g fiber)  130  5  9  8 
Breast (also has 1g fiber and 10g net carbs)  350  11  30  20 


Sometimes you might not be feeling the chicken, and might want to try the sandwiches on offer instead. Fortunately, there are some options you can eat, although you need to limit their intake as much as possible due to the calorie count. 

Sandwich type  Calories   Carbs (g)  Protein (g)  Fat (g)  Fiber (g) 
Double crunch plus cheese and bacon (no bun)  430  17  25  29  1 
Double crunch (no bun)  360  17  20  23  1 
Zinger (no bun, has 8g net carbs)  320  10  22  21  2 

Sauces to try 

While any chicken you decide to order will be tasty without extra condiments, there are a few sauces you can try that will not run the risk of ruining your Keto diet. These include: 

Sauce type  Net Carbs  Protein (g)  Fat (g) 
Garlic parmesan   2  0  13 
Creamy ranch   1  0  15 
Creamy buffalo  1  0  7 
gravy  2  1.4  2.5 

When it comes to the other choices available, note that the HBBQ, the Sweet and Sour, and the Honey sauce contain too much sugar for Keto eating. The Fiery Buffalo and Finger Lickin’ Good sauces also have high carb content which is already present in the chicken (5 net carbs and 6 net carbs respectively). 

Some useful meal ideas 

Meal ideas  Calories  Fat (g)  Protein (g)  Fiber (g) 
2x grilled chicken thigh with green beans (has 2g net carbs in total and 4g of carbs)  325  18  35  2 
1x grilled chicken thigh with 1x drumstick, coming with green beans and no croutons (4 net carbs in total and 8g carbs)  430  30  30  4 
Original recipe breast with no croutons (includes Caesar side salad, 14g net carbs total, 17g carbs)  690  49  44  3 

Foods you should avoid 

Even though KFC is a good choice for the occasional low carb eating session, there are plenty of foods that will not cut it when it comes to sustaining your diet. In addition, there are plenty of desserts and sides that might seem safe to eat, but they are unfortunately high-carb options.  

Unfortunately, the list here will be longer than the foods you can consume here, but it is necessary to know so that you are not tempted to eat them. Unless you do not mind removing the breaded layer off your chicken, you need to stay away from these foods. 

  • Nashville hot chicken tenders 
  • Extra crispy chicken bucket 
  • Tender chicken, Smoky Mountain barbecue 
  • Tenders Barbecue chicken (Georgia gold honey mustard) 
  • All chicken tenders 
  • Crispy chicken bucket, the original recipe (unless you are eating it once in a while only) 
  • Popcorn chicken 
  • Crispy colonel sandwich 
  • Georgia gold sandwich 
  • The smoky mountain BBQ sandwich 
  • Nashville hot sandwich 
  • Double crispy colonel sandwich 
  • All KFC gold cups 
  • Chicken Littles 
  • $10 chicken shares, unless they are grilled 
  • $20 and $5 fill-ups, unless they are grilled 
  • All the side dishes. these include coleslaw, mashed potatoes and gravy, whole kernel corn, green beans, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and seasoned potato wedges 
  • Big box meals 
  • All the kids’ meals 
  • All the combos on offer 
  • All the sauces (except the low carb ones), desserts and baked goods like cookies 
  • The famous KFC bowl 
  • Pot pie 

Final thoughts 

KFC is not the most Keto-friendly restaurant you can go to, but sometimes you might want a quick fix because you forgot your lunch at home or are just feeling hungry. In that case, make sure to be careful when you head out there and be mindful of the foods you order so as to stay healthy. 

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