December 2, 2023

Healthy Choice

Healthy Choice The Only Solution

30 Best Keto-Friendly Chain Restaurants

Sticking to a very-low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet like keto when you’re out at a restaurant can pose some unique challenges beyond resisting your favorite plate of fries. First, the portions are skewed — and not in your favor. “Protein portions tend to be too large, and vegetable portions too small, leading to an unbalanced meal,” says Alicia Romano, RD, clinical registered dietitian at the Frances Stern Nutrition Center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

Then there are the hidden ingredients that find their way in. “Added sauces or gravies can sneak in sources of carbohydrates from added sugars or flours that you were not intending to eat,” she says.

The reasons you’re on the ketogenic diet — weight loss or perhaps a doctor-advised diet for a medical problem such as type 2 diabetes — also matters when choosing the best order for you. “The ketogenic diet can lead to successful weight loss; however, it’s typically not necessary for most people,” says Jillian Kubala, RD, of Jillian Kubala Nutrition in Westhampton, New York. Although she says she finds the keto diet extremely restrictive (and therefore doesn’t recommend it), “the reality is that most people who are [on] keto are simply following a low-carb, high-protein diet,” Kubala says.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is what’s referred to as a “modified Atkins diet,” a less restrictive form of keto that counts carbohydrates but doesn’t restrict proteins, according to the Epilepsy Foundation. (Scientists originally developed a medical ketogenic diet as a treatment for children with epilepsy.) “If you’re following a ketogenic diet that falls in line with the modified Atkins diet approach, there’s much more flexibility with food choices, thus making eating out more reasonable,” says Romano.