If you are on the keto diet, you may think that eating out is almost impossible. However, with a little bit of research and creativity, you can still enjoy a meal at your favorite restaurants. In this article, we will explore the Olive Garden keto options that you can enjoy while sticking to your diet.
What is the Keto Diet?
The Keto Diet, also known as the Ketogenic Diet, is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that aims to put the body in a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. The typical carb intake for a Keto Diet is around 20 to 50 grams per day. This carb restriction forces the body to produce ketones from stored fat and use them for energy.
By limiting carb intake and increasing fat consumption, the body becomes more efficient at burning fat, resulting in weight loss and other health benefits. However, it is important to note that the Keto Diet may not be suitable for everyone, and consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended before starting any new diet.
Olive Garden Keto Options
While Italian cuisine is often associated with carb-heavy dishes like pasta and bread, there are still some keto-friendly options available on the Olive Garden menu
Here are some of the top choices:
This dish consists of grilled chicken breasts topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil pesto, and a lemon garlic sauce. It’s served with Parmesan garlic broccoli and contains 540 calories, 27 grams of fat, 65 grams of protein, 14 grams of total carbs, and 8 grams of net carbs.
Herb Grilled Salmon
This dish is a great option if you’re looking for healthy fats. It has a grilled salmon fillet topped with garlic herb butter and is served with Parmesan garlic broccoli. It contains 460 calories, 29 grams of fat, 45 grams of protein, 8 grams of total carbs, and 3 grams of net carbs.
This soup is made with spicy Italian sausage, fresh kale, russet potatoes, and a creamy broth. While it’s a bit higher in net carbs than other options, it can still fit into a keto meal plan if you limit carbs in your other meals for the rest of the day. It contains 220 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 15 grams of total carbs, and 13 grams of net carbs.
Famous House Salad with Signature Italian Dressing (no croutons)
This salad is a mixed greens salad with olives, onions, pepperoncini peppers, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Skip the croutons and breadsticks and ask for the Signature Italian Dressing, which is low in carbs and tastes great. It contains 110 calories, 8g fat, 2g protein, 7g total carbs, and 5g net carbs.
Next time you’re dining at Olive Garden and following a ketogenic diet, try one of these options to stay on track with your goals. Remember, sticking to a keto diet is all about balance and making smart choices that fit your lifestyle.
Create Your Own Keto-Friendly Dish
While Olive Garden may not be the most keto-friendly restaurant, there are some low-carb options available if you know where to look. One way to customize your meal is through their “Create Your Own Pasta” section, which allows you to choose your ingredients.
Although you’ll want to skip the pasta, you can still create a satisfying meal by selecting items like Tuscan sirloin and steamed broccoli. Even better, you can indulge in some Alfredo sauce, which contains just 5 grams of net carbs when paired with this meal combination, making it a great fit for the ketogenic diet.
- Italian Sausage (2g total carbs, 1 gram net carbs)
- Grilled Chicken (0 grams of total carbs, 0 grams of net carbs)
- Tuscan Sirloin, 6 oz. (8 grams of total carbs, 4 grams of net carbs)
- Meatballs, 3 pieces (7 grams total carbs, 4 grams net carbs)
- Shrimp (0 grams of total carbs, 0 grams of net carbs)
- Steamed Broccoli (7 grams of total carbs, 3 grams of net carbs)
- Alfredo Sauce (5 grams of total carbs; 5 grams of net carbs)
How To Eat Keto at Olive Garden or Other Fast Food Chains
Staying on track with a keto diet can be challenging while eating at fast food chains, but it is possible with a little planning and knowledge. Here are some tips to help you stay on track with your keto diet while eating at fast food chains:
- Research the menu ahead of time: Before you go to a fast food chain, research their menu online and look for low-carb options. Many fast food chains have nutrition calculators on their websites that can help you customize your order to fit your keto diet.
- Avoid high-carb foods: Stay away from high-carb foods like bread, buns, tortillas, potatoes, and sugary sauces and dressings. Instead, choose options that are high in protein and healthy fats, like grilled meat or fish, salads with avocado or nuts, and cheese or guacamole as a topping.
- Customize your order: Most fast food chains allow you to customize your order, so ask for substitutions that fit your keto diet. For example, you can ask for a lettuce wrap instead of a bun or a side salad instead of fries.
- Be mindful of portion sizes: Fast food portions can be large, so be mindful of your portion sizes to avoid consuming too many calories. Consider ordering a smaller size or splitting a meal with someone else.
- Bring your own snacks: If you’re worried about not finding keto-friendly options, bring your own snacks like nuts, seeds, or jerky. This can help you avoid temptation and keep you on track with your diet.
- Drink plenty of water: Drinking water can help you feel full and avoid overeating. Be sure to drink plenty of water before and during your meal at a fast food chain.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions: If you’re unsure about the ingredients or nutrition information of a dish, don’t be afraid to ask the staff for help. They may be able to offer suggestions or substitutions that fit your keto diet.
Olive Garden Keto Options Frequently Asked Questions
What is the keto diet?
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that aims to put the body in a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. The typical carb intake for a keto diet is around 20 to 50 grams per day.
Are there keto-friendly options at Olive Garden?
Yes, there are some keto-friendly options at Olive Garden, including dishes high in protein and healthy fats, as well as customizable salads. Some examples include the Chicken Margherita, Herb Grilled Salmon, Zuppa Toscana, and the Famous House Salad with Signature Italian Dressing (no croutons).
Can I create my own keto-friendly dish at Olive Garden?
Yes, you can create your own keto-friendly dish at Olive Garden by selecting low-carb ingredients such as Tuscan sirloin and steamed broccoli, and skipping high-carb items like pasta and breadsticks.
Is it important to be aware of hidden carbs and added sugars when ordering at Olive Garden?
Yes, it is important to be aware of hidden carbs and added sugars when ordering at Olive Garden, as some dishes may contain ingredients that are high in carbs or sugar. It’s always a good idea to ask the server for recommendations or to make modifications to ensure a low-carb meal.
How do I stay on track with my keto diet while eating at Olive Garden?
To stay on track with your keto diet at Olive Garden, you should research the menu ahead of time, plan your meal in advance, and make special requests to customize your order. You can also ask your server for recommendations on keto-friendly dishes or substitutions.
Final Thoughts on Olive Garden Keto Options
Overall, Olive Garden offers a decent selection of keto-friendly options, including dishes high in protein and healthy fats, as well as customizable salads. However, it is important to be aware of hidden carbs and added sugars and to make necessary modifications when ordering. While it may not be the most ideal restaurant for strict keto dieters, with some effort and customization, Olive Garden can still provide satisfying and tasty meals that fit within a keto diet.