Fried Chicken > Can you eat fried chicken on keto if you take the skin off

Can You Eat Fried Chicken on Keto If You Take the Skin Off?

Fried chicken is a popular comfort food that many people love. However, it’s generally not considered keto-friendly due to the breading and potential hidden carbs. So can you still enjoy some crispy fried chicken on the keto diet if you remove the skin? Let’s take a closer look.

Can You Eat Fried Chicken on Keto If You Take the Skin Off?

Yes, it is possible to eat fried chicken on the keto diet without the skin, but there are some important caveats. Simply removing the skin reduces the fat and calorie content significantly compared to fried chicken with the skin on. Chicken skin contains a high percentage of fat, while the meat without skin is quite low in fat, especially white meat like chicken breasts. By taking off the skin, you’ll consume far less fat and calories.

However, fried chicken brings some additional considerations for keto. The breading or batter used in traditional fried chicken recipes contains carbohydrates, so a keto-friendly option would avoid that coating. The frying method also adds a lot of extra oil that gets absorbed into the chicken, increasing the fat content.

Related post: Can you eat fried chicken on carnivore diet?

The best practice for making keto-friendly fried chicken is to pan fry or bake chicken pieces without any breading or batter. Use just enough oil to cook the chicken without deep frying. Season the chicken well but skip the flour dredging or eggs and breadcrumbs coating. Watch your portion size, as the chicken still contains fat after cooking. Pair it with low-carb sides like vegetables instead of biscuits or mashed potatoes.

While not ideal as a regular part of a keto diet, enjoying the occasional skinless fried chicken can fit into your macros, especially if you make it yourself without all the carb-laden add-ons. The chicken on its own is low carb and moderate protein, so portion control and smart cooking methods allow for keto-friendly fried chicken. Just don’t overdo it!

What Makes Fried Chicken Non-Keto Friendly

There are a few reasons why traditional fried chicken is not usually keto-approved:

    • Breading – Fried chicken is usually coated in breadcrumbs, flour, or batter before frying. This adds a significant amount of carbohydrates. Just a 1/4 cup of flour contains over 30 grams of carbs.
    • Frying Oil – Fried chicken is cooked by submerging it in hot oil. While the chicken itself is low carb, some of the oil gets absorbed adding extra calories and fat.
    • Skin – The skin on fried chicken contains fat and protein but no carbs. However, it does significantly increase the fat and calorie content.
    • Sauces and Sides – Fried chicken is often served with high-carb sauces like BBQ sauce, honey mustard, etc. The traditional sides like biscuits, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw are also not keto-friendly.

Can You Eat It Without the Skin?

Removing the skin from fried chicken helps reduce the fat and calorie content. Chicken skin is about 50% fat, while a skinless chicken breast is only around 3% fat.

So by taking off the skin, you’ll be consuming far fewer calories from fat. An average chicken breast with skin contains about 230 calories and 15 grams of fat. A skinless breast only has around 140 calories and 3 grams of fat.

However, keep in mind that the chicken meat itself still contains some fat after breading and frying, even without the skin. You’ll also need to watch your portion sizes.

Tips for Making Keto-Friendly Fried Chicken

Here are some tips for making your own keto-friendly “fried” chicken at home:

    • Use chicken thighs instead of breasts since they are fattier and more flavorful. Chicken breasts can become overly dry without the skin.
    • Skip the flour, breadcrumbs, or batter coatings. You can season the chicken with spices instead.
    • Try baking, air-frying or pan frying instead of deep frying. This reduces the amount of added oil.
    • Use an oil with a high smoke point like avocado oil or coconut oil. Avoid inflammatory oils like vegetable and canola oil.
    • Pair the chicken with low-carb sides like a fresh green salad, steamed broccoli, cauliflower mash, etc.
    • Make a keto-friendly dipping sauce like ranch, blue cheese, or hot sauce rather than high-sugar BBQ and honey mustard sauces.

Should You Fry Chicken with the Skin On or Off?

This depends on your specific goals and preferences:

    • For highest fat keto diet – Fry with the skin on to boost the fat content. This gives you more fat calories while keeping protein moderate.
    • For lower calorie keto – Fry with the skin off to reduce overall calories and fat intake. The chicken still contains fat without skin.
    • For texture preference – Some people enjoy the crispy skin while others don’t like the fatty mouthfeel. Remove the skin if you dislike the texture.
    • For convenience – Frying chicken with the skin on helps keep the meat juicy and tender. Skinless chicken dries out faster.

So consider your own nutritional needs and cooking methods when deciding to fry with skin on or off. You may also want to experiment with both methods.

So, Can you eat fried chicken without the skin on keto?

Yes, you can eat fried chicken without the skin while following a keto diet. Removing the skin significantly reduces the fat and calorie content compared to chicken cooked with the skin on. However, the chicken still contains some fat after cooking, so portion control is key.

While traditional fried chicken is too high in carbs and calories for keto, you can make a healthier version at home. Baking, air frying, or pan searing chicken without breading or batter creates a crispy, keto-approved “fried” chicken.

Be aware that frying the chicken still adds additional fat from the oil, so portion control is important. But skinless chicken baked or pan fried with just seasoning is a keto-friendly way to enjoy the flavors of fried chicken without all the carbs and excess fat.

Is fried chicken keto friendly?

Fried chicken can be made keto-friendly by modifying traditional recipes. Removing the breading and skin significantly reduces carbs, fat, and calories. Opting to pan fry or bake rather than deep fry also limits excess oil absorption. While not ideal for every day, an occasional portion of modified fried chicken without the carb-loaded coatings and sides can work with a well-formulated keto diet.

Can I eat fried chicken on keto?

It is possible to incorporate some fried chicken into a keto eating plan. Making it yourself at home allows you to control the ingredients and preparation method. Bake or pan fry chicken pieces without breading, batter or skin to create a lower-carb and lower-fat version of this comfort food favorite. Be sure to watch your portions and enjoy it only occasionally along with low-carb vegetables or salad instead of biscuits, rice, and other high-carb sides.

Can I eat KFC fried chicken on keto?

It’s best to avoid KFC and other fast food fried chicken on keto. The batter and breading contain carbohydrates and sugar. KFC chicken also comes with high-carb dipping sauces. You’re better off making your own keto “fried” chicken at home where you can control the ingredients.

Is fried chicken healthy if you take the skin off?

Removing the skin makes fried chicken slightly healthier by lowering the fat and calorie content. However, keep in mind it is still fried in oil and could be cooked with unhealthy fats. The chicken also absorbs oil during frying. So even skinless fried chicken should only be eaten in moderation as part of an overall healthy keto diet.

Can you eat fried chicken without breading on keto?

Fried chicken cooked without any breading or batter coating can absolutely be included in a keto diet. The carb-heavy breading is exactly what typically makes fried chicken off-limits for keto. Simply frying seasoned chicken pieces in a small amount of oil allows you to enjoy the crispy texture of fried chicken without the added carbs. Skip the flour, breadcrumbs, and buttermilk batter to keep it keto-approved.

Can I have fried chicken on the keto diet?

You can work the occasional fried chicken meal into your keto diet. Opt for thigh or leg pieces with the skin removed to limit fat and calories while keeping it juicy and flavorful. Fry the chicken in a small amount of oil without any batter or breading coatings. Round out the meal with a veggie side salad instead of starchy options like mashed potatoes. While not an everyday food on keto, making smart modifications allows you to enjoy fried chicken from time to time without knocking your body out of ketosis.


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