The Truth about Fast Food

For so many of us, a lack of time is what kills our diet. Picking up food on the fly. You know what I’m talking about… FAST FOOD. Have you ever checked to see how many of those little carbohydrates are in your favorite fast food meal? Unless you’re me, probably not. I’m going to share some info about those meals with you now.

Reminder: After you’ve had surgery, your goal number of carbohydrates for the DAY is between 15-20 grams.

Let’s count the carbs:

  • McDonald’s Big Mac + fries- 75 grams of carbohydrates
  • McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich + fries- 73 grams        
  • McDonald’s Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit + hashbrown- 56 grams
  • Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich meal- 83 grams                                        
  • Chick-fil-a Chicken Biscuit meal- 71 grams          

Basically, each of these meals have 2-3 times more carbohydrates in them than you should be having in the entire day! So what can you do about it? Unfortunately, I can’t magically give you more time to cook. But I can help you make smarter choices at these fast food joints. The take-home lesson here is to nix the bread and potatoes. The sandwich bun and the French fries are what drives that carbohydrate number up.

  • McDonald’s Big Mac Sandwich without the bun (lots of people put these in a bowl with extra lettuce and eat them like a salad)- 26 grams
  • McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich without the bun- 24 grams       
  • Chick-fil-a Hashbrown Scramble Bowl without hashbrowns- 6 grams
  • Chick-fil-a 8-count Chicken Nuggets, no fries- 9 grams                         
  • Chick-fil-a 8-count Grilled Chicken Nuggets, no fries- 1 gram

You can see that by just taking out the bread and potatoes, we drastically decreased the number of carbohydrates. Keep in mind that a lot of these are still over the number of carbohydrates you should be having in a day. Here’s some of our picks:  

  • Newk’s Grab-n-Go Steak Bites- 1 carb                                                     
  • Newk’s Grab-n-Go Grilled Salmon- 0 carbs                                             
  • Newk’s Grab-n-Go Grilled Chicken- 0 carbs
  • Newk’s Grab-n-GO Boiled Shrimp=0 carbs
  • KFC 2 pc Grilled Chicken + green beans- 4 carbs  
  • Zaxby’s Traditional Hot Wings- 0 carbs (add ranch and celery- 3 carbs)

If you frequently must eat out, I highly recommend looking up the nutrition facts of the meal you normally get. Every restaurant has the nutrition facts reported on their website. You may think you’re doing well, but there may be hidden carbs in that meal that are halting your progress. (These are typically found in salad dressings, sauces, breading on meats, and drinks).

UPDATE:  Since sharing this post, we have had patients share 2 more great low-carb fast food options!  Here they are:

  • Hardee’s 1/4-lb. or 1/3-lb. Original Thickburger with Lettuce Wrap, with or without cheese (they will make any sandwich with a lettuce wrap!)
  • Jimmy John’s Unwich (they will make any sandwich with a lettuce wrap, too!)