I am just an ordinary chick, with a family, with Type 2 Diabetes, who loves food, and who is just trying to do the best she can to keep her blood sugars and weight down.
I count my carbs, and that is it. I don’t pay attention to fat, or to calories. I know there are a lot of “clean eating” purists out there. People who follow a strict diet: organic, no additives, no artificial sweeteners, no dairy…I am not one of those people. I do what works for me. As long as my labs are within normal limits at my internist every three months, I am good.
I love eating low carb, I always have. Whenever I have needed to lose a few pounds, even going back to the 1980’s, the Atkins Diet is my go-to diet. I don’t feel deprived on a low carb diet, and it is easy to cook a low carb meal and just add carbs for the rest of the family if I need to.
It is pretty easy to stick to a low carb diet at home. As long as you menu plan and keep your kitchen stocked with healthy meal ingredients and snacks, you are good to go. The hard thing to me has always been when I venture out of the house.
You cant get away from McDonald’s. McDonald’s restaurants are found in 120 countries and territories around the world and serve 68 million customers each day. McDonald’s operates 36,899 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 375,000 people.
I used to dread when my family wanted to go to McDonald’s. I thought that meant that I was going to have one choice: a burger with no bun…not anymore!! McDonald’s has actually got better options now, and they serve breakfast all day!
WHERE TO FIND NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
McDonald’s has brochures available in its restaurants which provide information about most of the menu items as they are usually served.
McDonald’s also provides information on its website, and in their app. A cheeseburger has 33 carbs. You can actually uncheck the bun and 28 of the carbs disappear. There is 1 carb in the cheese, 1 carb in the onions, and 2 carbs in the ketchup. This information makes it easy to order a customized item, and know how many carbohydrates are in the food you order.
Ordering burgers without the bun is sometimes the only way to go when you are eating out. You get the burger in a box, sometimes with two pieces of lettuce that you can use to pick up the burger,
Hamburgers have zero carbs, but some of the condiments have carbohydrates. Processed cheese, tomato slices, and onion have about one carb each. For ketchup or Big Mac sauce, add 2 carbs.
You can order a McDonald’s hamburger (a beef patty with pickles, onions, and mustard) for 1 carb.
With cheese, the net carb count only goes up to 2 carbs.
Without buns, a Big Mac is 6 carbs, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is 7 carbs, and a Bacon Clubhouse Burger is 8 carbs.
ORDERING OTHER SANDWICHES
The grilled chicken sandwich at McDonald’s have additives with about 2 carbs per patty. Crispy chicken fillets have 10 carbs.
The Artisan Grilled Chicken sandwich makes a good option with 2 carbs. That includes the tomato, lettuce and special sauce.
If you want to splurge, a bunless Filet-o-Fish sandwich with tartar sauce and cheese has 10 carbs.
McDonald’s salads contain a variety of greens, instead of just the standard iceberg or romaine lettuces. I was shocked at how nice the lettuce looked. They also contain small carrots and grape tomatoes.
The side salads have 2 carbs.
As far as the meal salads go, the best bets are the Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken (skip the croutons) at 9 carbs or Bacon Ranch Salad with Grilled Chicken, at 6 carbs. The Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken has 38 carbs…the Snack Size Fruit and Walnut Salad has 29 carbs!
The dressing packets run anywhere from 4 carbs for the Creamy Caesar Dressing or 6 carbs for the Low Fat Balsamic Vinaigrette to 15 carbs for the Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing…so be careful.
ORDERING WINGS OR NUGGETS
If you absolutely have to have Chicken McNuggets, a four-piece serving has 11 carbs.
ORDERING SIDE DISHES OR DESSERTS
In addition to the side salad at 2 carbs, an order of apple slices has 4 carbs, and the cuties (mandarin oranges) have 8 carbs per serving.
The best option for breakfast is an Egg McMuffin.
These breakfast entrées consist of an English muffin with one egg, a slice of American cheese, and ham or sausage. Each sandwich contains 29 carbs, and throwing away the English muffin makes it less than 2 carbs.
I used to order 2 of these, until I found out that you can just order one, double meat double egg, and it is cheaper and less wasteful!
As with any restaurant, water, diet sodas, coffee, and unsweetened iced tea are the zero carb options.
I order the sugar-free vanilla iced coffee, no sugar syrup. They do use half & half for creamer, so you’ll have a few carbs for that, or you can order it without cream, and either deal with it or take it home and add heavy cream. Even with the half & half, it is 5 carbs for a large.
THE FINAL ORDER
- Any burger, no bun or ketchup
- Grilled chicken sandwich, no bun
- Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken (no croutons) with Caesar, Ranch or Balsamic dressing
- Bacon Ranch Salad w/ Grilled Chicken with Caesar, Ranch or Balsamic dressing
- Egg McMuffin, no muffin and double meat and double egg
- Iced Coffee with sugar free vanilla syrup, no sugar syrup