baked duck breast and legs confit with side salad

Keeping Keto or Low-Carb While Enjoying Restaurant Meals

Get ready, get set, and go for a keto or carb-conscious restaurant or take-out meal! Review menus online before you order to find foods you love, boost your intake of key nutrients, and keep carbs in check. Try these tips on your next dining adventure. 

Look for foods with nutrients you may lack (especially if you don’t eat them at home):

  • Carb-conscious fruits and veggies blackberries, raspberries, asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, dark leafy greens, cabbage, red pepper, tomato  
  • Proteins cheese, eggs, seafood, tofu, nuts, seeds
  • Healthy fats avocado, olive oil
  • These foods can help you get the calcium, vitamin D, potassium, fiber, omega-3, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate you may lack in your keto or low-carb eating pattern

 Control carbs by: 

  • Checking restaurant websites for menu nutrition information 
  • Carb, fiber, and sugar info may be available
  • Determine net carbs (carb grams – fiber grams = net carb grams) to help manage your daily carb budget
  • Budget more carbs for your restaurant meal and less for other meals that day
  • Reviewing menu descriptions 
  • Breaded and batter-coated are high-carb tipoffs
  • Creamy and sticky sauces can contain carbs from thickeners and added sugars
  • Go stir-fried, grilled, seared, baked, steamed, or roasted meats, poultry, seafood, or tofu and carb-conscious veggies
  • Making smart swaps 
  • Ask for lower-carb menu swaps. For example, ask to swap a leafy green salad (or another carb-conscious veggie) for fries
  • Consider some of these other ideas:

Eating Out Tips ChartThink about drinks: 

  • Water is a refreshing and carb-friendly choice
  • Be mindful of carbs in sugar-sweetened and alcoholic beverages


Plan ahead, use savvy menu scanning skills, and make intentional swaps to boost key nutrients and keep carbs in check when enjoying restaurant meals with family and friends. Bon Appétit!