As more people become health-conscious, the keto diet has become a popular way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you’re on the keto diet, you know how important it is to find restaurants that offer keto-friendly options.
In this article, we’ll discuss what the keto diet is, how to stay on it and explore El Pollo Loco keto options and how to order them.
What is the Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has been shown to help people lose weight, control blood sugar, and improve overall health. The idea behind the keto diet is to put your body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. To do this, you need to reduce your carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams per day and increase your fat intake to around 70-80% of your daily calories.
How to Stay on the Keto Diet
Staying on the keto diet can be challenging, especially when eating out. The best way to stay on track is to plan ahead and know what you can and cannot eat. Stick to whole foods like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and vegetables, and avoid processed foods, sugary drinks, and high-carb snacks. When eating out, look for dishes that are low in carbs and high in fat, and ask for modifications if necessary.
El Pollo Loco Keto Options (What To Order at El Pollo Loco While on Keto)
El Pollo Loco is a Mexican-inspired fast-food chain that offers a variety of flame-grilled chicken dishes, salads, bowls, and tacos.
While many of their dishes are high in carbs, they also offer several keto-friendly options. El Pollo Loco’s keto options are perfect for those who are looking for a delicious and convenient meal that fits within their dietary restrictions.
Here is the list of keto-friendly options that you can order at El Pollo Loco:
El Pollo Loco Keto Burrito
For those on the keto diet, finding a quick and satisfying meal can be a challenge, but this chain has made it easier with its new keto-friendly option. Packed with juicy chicken, crunchy cabbage, refreshing lettuce, zesty pico de Gallo, tangy cotija cheese, and a keto cilantro dressing, this burrito has everything you crave in a meal without compromising your keto goals.
At only 9 grams of net carbs, this burrito contains a total of 510 calories, 29 grams of fat, and an impressive 52 grams of protein. It’s also important to note that it may only be available in select locations.
Low Carb Fire-Grilled Chicken Breast, Legs, Thighs, and Wings
Fire-grilled chicken is a great keto option, containing 0 grams of net carbs on every part. Here is a breakdown of their chicken by piece:
- The breast contains 9 grams of fat and 36 grams of protein.
- The leg part contains 4 grams of fat and 12 grams of protein.
- The chicken thigh contains 15 grams of fat and 21 grams of protein.
- The wing part contains 5 grams of fat and 12 grams of protein.
Double Chicken Avocado Salad
This salad is one of the best keto-friendly items but you have to omit the corn and Mexican vinaigrette. You’ll be left with chicken breast, crispy lettuce, cotija cheese, avocado slices, and pico de Gallo. This protein packed salad contains 330 calories, 12 grams of fat, 50 grams of protein, 9 grams of total carbs, and 4 grams of net carbs.
Classic Tostada Salad
This is not typically a low-carb meal however you can order this salad without the tostada shell, without pinto beans, and no rice as well. You get a salad with chicken breast, shredded Monterey jack cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream, and pico de Gallo. You also order the Double Tostado Salad, which is two times more than the chicken. It contains 230 calories, 11 grams of fat, 29 grams of protein, 5 grams of total carbs, and 4 grams of net carbs.
Original Pollo Bowl
Order this bowl without the rice and pinto beans and you’ll be left with chicken breast, onions, cilantro, and pico de Gallo. You can add some side dishes like broccoli to make it more filling. It has 130 calories, 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of total carbs, and 1 gram of net carb.
Grande Avocado Chicken Bowl
In this bowl, you’ll get avocado slices with chopped chicken breast, shredded cheese, cabbage, sour cream, and pico de Gallo salsa. It usually comes with rice, corn, and beans but for a keto version, you’ll have to omit them. This chicken bowl will give you 320 calories, 19 grams of fat, 32 grams of protein, 6 grams of total carbs, and 3 grams of net carbs.
Double Protein Mexican Caesar Bowl
This dish is limited and may only be available in select locations. This bowl contains fire-grilled chicken breast, super greens, lettuce and some red cabbage, radishes, cotija cheese, and avocados. Topped with Tapatio seasonings and a slice of lemon on the side. It has 300 calories, 9 grams of fat, 47 grams of protein, 8 grams of total carbs, and 4 grams of net carbs.
Baja Shrimp Street Taco
Omit the tortilla and you’ll get Baja shrimp, pico de gallo, Baja sauce, and cabbage, You can ask for it to be served in a bowl. Make sure to omit the tortilla because it’s one of the high-carb ingredients on this taco, with 11 grams per serving. Without the tortilla, it has 160 calories, 15 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of total carbs, and 2 grams of net carbs.
Chicken Avocado Street Taco
You can enjoy this low-carb dish by omitting the lean flour tortilla. You’ll be left with slices of chicken breasts, shredded lettuce, slices of avocado, pico de Gallo salsa, and a cilantro dressing. It contains 240 calories, 16 grams of fat, 22 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of net carbs, You can order other meals and mix them together in a bowl to have a more filling meal while still sticking to a low-carb diet.
Chicken Taco Al Carbon
Just like the Avocado street taco, you’ll have to omit the tortilla and you’ll be left with grilled chicken (Mexican style), cilantro, and diced onions. It contains 90 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 14 grams of protein, 0.5 to 1 gram of total carbs, and net carbs. This meal is not that much but you can order other sides such as broccoli or cauliflower rice.
Keto-Friendly Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
This is only a side dish that you can add to your meals. A great substitute for tortillas. For a small serving of around 4 oz., you’ll get 45 calories, 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, 5 grams of total carbs and 3 grams of net carbs. For a large size 10.5 oz, it has 120 calories, 6 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein, 14 grams of total carbs, and 8 grams of net carbs.
Keto Friendly Add Ons, Sauces, and Dressings
- House Salsa: 2 grams of net carbs
- Avocado Salsa: 2 grams of net carbs
- Pico De Gallo Salsa: 2 grams of net carbs
- Salsa Roja: 2 grams of net carbs
- Jalapeno Hot Sauce: 1 gram of net carbs or less
- Creamy Cilantro Dressing: 2 grams of net carbs0
- Sour Cream: 1 gram of net carb
- Broccoli: 4 grams of net carbs
- Guacamole: 3 grams of net carbs
- Queso: 3 grams of net carbs
High Carb Items to Avoid at El Pollo Loco
Despite the availability of numerous low-carbohydrate options, it is crucial to be aware of high carb items that should be avoided. We’ve compiled what to avoid at El Pollo Loco on the keto diet:
- Mashed potatoes
- Pinto beans
- Macaroni and cheese
- Homemade Tortilla soup
- Loco side salad
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I eat at El Pollo Loco while on the keto diet?
Yes, you can eat at El Pollo Loco while on the keto diet. They offer several keto-friendly options, such as fire-grilled chicken, salads, and bowls.
Can I customize my order at El Pollo Loco to make it more keto-friendly?
Yes, you can customize your order at El Pollo Loco to make it more keto-friendly. For example, you can order a salad without the corn or beans, or a bowl without rice and beans. You can also omit high-carb ingredients, such as tortillas, to reduce the carb count.
Is the cilantro lime cauliflower rice keto-friendly?
Yes, the cilantro lime cauliflower rice at El Pollo Loco is keto-friendly. It’s a low-carb side dish that can be a great addition to your meal.
What are the best El Pollo Loco keto options?
Some of the best keto options at El Pollo Loco include fire-grilled chicken, the double chicken avocado salad, and the grande avocado chicken bowl. You can also customize your order to make it more keto-friendly by omitting high-carb ingredients and adding low-carb sides.
Are El Pollo Loco’s flame-grilled chicken options keto-friendly?
Yes, El Pollo Loco’s flame-grilled chicken options are keto-friendly as they are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. However, it’s important to note that some of the sauces and sides that come with the chicken may not be keto-friendly, so it’s important to check the nutrition information before ordering.
What are some keto-friendly sides at El Pollo Loco?
Some keto-friendly sides at El Pollo Loco include avocado slices, side salads (without croutons), and broccoli. It’s important to note that some of the other sides, such as beans and rice, are not keto-friendly.
Final Thoughts on El Pollo Loco Keto Options
In conclusion, El Pollo Loco offers several options that are suitable for those following a keto diet. Their menu includes a variety of grilled chicken options, as well as salads and sides that are low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats.
With some modifications, many of their menu items can be customized to fit the needs of those following a ketogenic diet. However, it is important to note that not all of their menu items are suitable for this type of diet, so it’s important to carefully review the nutrition information before ordering. Overall, El Pollo Loco can be a convenient and satisfying option for those looking for keto-friendly fast food choices.
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