Fried Chicken > Can fried chicken kick you out of ketosis

Can Fried Chicken Kick You Out of Ketosis?

The ketogenic (keto) diet is a popular low-carb, high-fat diet that puts your body into a state of ketosis. This metabolic state occurs when your body switches from burning carbohydrates to burning fat for energy. However, eating too many carbs can easily kick you out of ketosis. So can enjoying crispy, delicious fried chicken occasionally still fit into a keto lifestyle? Let’s find out.

Can fried chicken kick you out of ketosis?

In moderation, fried chicken can be part of a well-formulated ketogenic diet for many people. But overdoing it on portion sizes or frequency throughout the week is more likely to cause trouble staying in ketosis. Monitoring your results and adjusting intake to stay in ketosis will ensure long-term success.

The ketogenic diet relies on staying in a metabolic state of ketosis, where your body burns fat for fuel. This occurs when carb intake is restricted to a very low level, usually under 50g daily. Eating too many carbs can easily disrupt ketosis.

Fried chicken, especially breaded or battered varieties, contains more carbs than plain meat or fish. A 3.5 oz serving of fried chicken with breading or batter can have between 5-15g of net carbs. Consuming larger portions or enjoying breaded fried chicken too frequently throughout the week could potentially cause you to exceed your daily carb limit. Going over 50g total carbs in a day can kick you out of ketosis temporarily until carbs are restricted again.

Related post: Can I use butter instead of oil to fry chicken?

However, an occasional small portion of fried chicken is unlikely to instantly disrupt ketosis by itself. To enjoy crispy fried chicken and still stay in ketosis, portion control is key. Stick to a serving of 3-4 oz or less along with low-carb sides like vegetables. Avoid going over your net carb limit for the day.

Some other tips are to choose plain fried chicken more often than breaded, limit intake to just 1-2 times per week, and tightly restrict other carb sources if you do indulge in breaded fried chicken. Pairing it with high-fat sides can also help blunt the blood sugar impact.

What Happens in Ketosis?

Ketosis occurs when your carb intake is so low (usually under 50g per day) that your body depletes its glycogen stores. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose that your body uses for quick energy.

With little glycogen available, your body starts breaking down fat for fuel instead. As fats are broken down, ketones are produced by the liver and accumulate in the bloodstream. Nutritional ketosis is a safe metabolic state that provides many health benefits like weight loss, appetite control, and improved mental focus.

How Many Carbs Are in Fried Chicken?

Plain fried chicken without breading may fit into a keto diet, but breaded and deep fried chicken can make it easy to go over your daily carb allowance. Here are the carb counts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of different fried chicken options:

    • Plain fried chicken (no breading): 0 g net carbs
    • Fried chicken breast with batter: 7-15 g net carbs
    • Fried chicken thigh with batter: 5-10 g net carbs
    • Fried chicken strip or nugget: 10-15 g net carbs


As you can see, battered and breaded chicken can contain a significant amount of carbs. Consuming too many carbs at once from fried chicken may temporarily kick you out of ketosis.

Tips for Enjoying Fried Chicken on a Keto Diet

Here are some tips so you can still enjoy occasional fried chicken without sabotaging your keto diet:

    • Stick to plain fried chicken without breading or batter. This keeps carb content low.
    • Eat only a small portion as part of a meal. 3-4 oz or less is a good guideline.
    • Pair it with low-carb sides like salad, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
    • Avoid eating breaded/battered chicken more than 1-2 times per week.
    • Check labels and count carbs if eating packaged fried chicken.
    • Make sure the rest of your daily carbs are very low.
    • Consider carb cycling if you want fried chicken more regularly.


The Verdict: Occasional Fried Chicken Can Fit Into Keto

While fried chicken is higher in carbs than other keto-friendly foods, enjoying it occasionally does not necessarily mean you will get kicked out of ketosis. Stick to reasonable portion sizes along with low-carb sides and you can still see success with the keto diet. Monitor your results and be mindful of your carb limits. If weight loss stalls, you may need to cut back on breaded and battered fried chicken to stay in ketosis.

Does fried chicken count as carbs?

Plain fried chicken without breading is very low in carbs. But breaded or battered chicken can contain significant carbs from the coating. Check labels for nutrition info.

Will eating fried chicken kick me out of ketosis?

It’s unlikely that a small portion of fried chicken will instantly kick you out of ketosis. But eating large portions or high-carb sides may cause excess carbs that temporarily stop ketosis.

Can I have fried chicken on a keto diet?

You can fit occasional fried chicken into a keto diet by sticking to 3-4 oz portions, avoiding batter or breading, and pairing it with very low carb sides. Limit to once or twice a week.

Is breaded chicken on keto okay?

Breaded chicken is higher in carbs than plain fried chicken. Enjoy it sparingly and be mindful of portion sizes. Most keto experts recommend avoiding breaded chicken more than 1-2 times per week.

Are there low-carb fried chicken recipes?

Yes, there are many keto-friendly fried chicken recipes that use almond flour, pork rinds, or cheese for the breading instead of high-carb flour and breadcrumbs. This keeps the carb count lower.


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