Fried Chicken > Can you eat KFC fried chicken on keto

Can You Eat KFC Fried Chicken on Keto?

The keto diet is a popular low-carb, high-fat way of eating that puts your body into a state of ketosis. This metabolic state promotes fat burning and weight loss. However, keto also requires limiting carbs to around 20-50 grams per day.

This poses a challenge when eating foods like fried chicken which typically contain carbs from breading. So can you satisfy your fried chicken craving on keto? Let’s take a closer look.

Can You Eat KFC Fried Chicken on Keto?

The short answer is – it’s complicated. While some KFC menu items may technically fit into keto macros, the carb counts can quickly add up due to breaded coatings. To stay in ketosis, the keto diet recommends limiting net carbs to 20-50g daily. An original KFC chicken breast without breading contains 0g net carbs.

However, their Extra Crispy options have 4-15g net carbs due to added flour breading. Tenders and popcorn chicken are extremely high in carbs from the thick layer of batter.

Your best bet is to order roasted or grilled chicken when dining at KFC. Be wary of anything labeled crispy, crunchy or fried. For the fried chicken you do eat, consider scraping off the breading first to reduce carb intake. Opt for thigh, leg and wing pieces rather than breast meat. The skin adds fat which helps satisfy your appetite.

Related post: Can you eat fried chicken with diverticulitis?

While not completely off limits, enjoying fried chicken from KFC too often could easily knock you out of ketosis. Limit these high-carb treats to once in a while when you can fit it into your daily carb allowance. Prioritize making lower-carb baked or air fried chicken at home instead.

How Many Carbs Are in KFC Fried Chicken?

The amount of carbs in KFC fried chicken can vary based on the specific menu item. According to KFC’s nutrition information:

    • An Original Recipe chicken breast contains 0g net carbs and an Original Recipe drumstick contains 2g net carbs.
    • Extra Crispy chicken tends to be higher in carbs with around 5-15g net carbs per piece due to the additional breading.
    • Chicken tenders or popcorn nuggets contain 15-30g net carbs per serving.

So while boneless skinless chicken is a decent low-carb option, breaded chicken parts and fried nuggets will quickly surpass a typical keto carb allowance.

Does Removing the Skin Make It Keto-Friendly?

Going skinless saves some calories but doesn’t significantly impact the carb count. The breading is the main source of carbs. For example, an Extra Crispy chicken breast with skin has 5g net carbs compared to 4g without skin.

To make KFC chicken keto-friendly, you need to steer clear of the heavily breaded pieces. Stick with grilled or oven roasted chicken options when possible. Or carefully scrape off the fried breading before eating.

Can You Eat Any Deep Fried Foods on Keto?

Fried foods are notoriously unhealthy, but you can work some into your keto diet in moderation. Lower carb fried foods include:

    • Chicken wings or tenders coated in a low-carb almond flour breading
    • Fried cauliflower rice or zucchini sticks
    • Fried eggs or omelets cooked in olive oil or butter
    • Avocado fries coated in crushed pork rinds

Just be mindful of unhealthy trans fats used in commercial frying. Opt for cooking at home in healthy fats like olive oil, avocado oil and ghee when you can.

The Bottom Line

While deep fried chicken is hard to make completely keto friendly, there are some workarounds. Your best options are to order grilled or roasted chicken, carefully remove the breading, or make low-carb chicken tenders at home. This allows you to enjoy the delicious flavors of fried chicken on occasion while sticking to your keto macros. Just be mindful of portion sizes and frequency to keep your carbs in check.

Does KFC chicken have carbs?

Yes, most KFC fried chicken contains significant carbs, mainly from the breading. Even the original recipe contains 2g net carbs in a drumstick. Extra crispy and breaded pieces like tenders and nuggets have much higher carbs.

How many carbs are in fried chicken at KFC?

Carbs in KFC fried chicken vary based on the menu item. An original recipe chicken breast has 0g net carbs while a drumstick has 2g. Extra crispy options run 5-15g carbs per piece from the added breading. Tenders and nuggets are very high in carbs with 15-30g per serving.

Is deep fried food OK on keto?

Some deep fried foods like wings, cauliflower rice and zucchini sticks can fit keto in moderation. But commercial frying often uses unhealthy oils. Best to fry at home in healthy fats like olive oil.

Can I eat fried chicken on keto if I remove the skin?

No, removing just the skin doesn’t significantly lower the carb count. The breading contributes most of the carbs, not the skin. To make KFC chicken keto-friendly, you need to avoid heavily breaded pieces altogether.


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