December 7, 2022

Is Dairy Queen keto friend or foe?

There aren’t a lot of keto-friendly options at Dairy Queen, but if you’re following a low-carb diet, you can eat almost anything as long as you stick to a few guidelines and stick to restaurants that are carb-conscious.

Keep in mind that you will have the most success with the keto diet if you prepare all of your meals at home and are aware of everything that goes onto your plate.

The lower the total number of ingredients in a low-carb meal, the better.

However, if you find yourself on the road and the only drive-through option available is at a Dairy Queen, keep these three principles in mind:

1. Opt for burgers served without buns.

Avoid ordering any kind of combination meal and instead ask for a single burger without a bun.

Your best bet is to order a burger without a bun and without any kind of sauce, and then to ask for yellow mustard, mayonnaise, or ranch dressing on the side so that you can put it together yourself.

When it comes to burgers, the only ingredient that should be avoided is crispy chicken.

Instead, opt for a chicken breast that has been grilled.

2. Leave your craving for sweets outside the door.

Keto dieters are met with a plethora of temptations the instant they step foot inside Dairy Queen, and I’m not even talking about the typical temptations that come with eating at a fast food restaurant.

Avoid all dessert items, including ice cream, candies, slushies, soft drinks, cakes, and foods that fall under the category of desserts, such as cakes.

There is no place for any of these on a diet low in carbohydrates.

3. If you’re having second thoughts about it, a low-carb diet is not the appropriate setting for it.

When eating out, sticking to a ketogenic or low-carb diet should be just as easy as sticking to a low-carb or low-fat diet.

Do not order it if it does not appear to be something that you would eat in the comfort of your own home.

Your low-carb options at Dairy Queen are limited. Your best bet is to get a simple burger without a bun or sauce, a plain side salad, or make your own meal using the low-carb friendly add-ons listed below.

Keto add-ons at Dairy Queen

Pickles. Lettuce. Mustard. Bean sprouts. Pickled jalapeno peppers. BBQ sauce. Diced tomatoes. Onions. Tofu. Radishes. Bacon. Other carb-free add-ons are available at some Dairy Queens to compliment the regional cuisine – such as malt vinegar in Maine and shitake mushrooms in California. 

What can you order?

Bacon Cheese GrillBurger (no bun, no ketchup)

You will receive a beef patty that is a quarter of a pound in size, cheddar cheese, Applewood smoked bacon, tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, and mayonnaise in this order.

You can skip the bun and also ask for no ketchup with your order.

If you want to take your burger eating to the next level of creativity, try wrapping it in lettuce leaves and ordering it on the side.

400 calories, 28 grams of fat, 28 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of net carbohydrates.

Flamethrower GrillBurger (no bun)

This burger comes without a bun and features two quarter-pound beef patties, DQ’s distinctive Flamethrower sauce, pepper jack cheese, jalapeno, bacon, tomato, and lettuce on top.

Switching from DQ’s distinctive sauce to buffalo sauce or ranch sauce will help reduce the total number of carbohydrates in a meal.

780 calories, 62 grams of fat, 51 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbohydrates, and 5 grams of net carbohydrates.

Mushroom Swiss GrillBurger

If you order it without the bun, you’ll get a quarter-pound beef patty topped with mushroom sauce, Swiss cheese, and mayonnaise.

You can make it more filling by adding a second beef patty, slices of American cheese, or sliced bacon on the side.

380 calories, 29 grams of fat, 25 grams of protein, 4 grams of total carbs, and 3 grams of net carbs.

Ultimate GrillBurger

A quarter-pound beef patty topped with cheddar cheese, bacon that has been smoked over Applewood, tomato, lettuce, and pickles.

Be sure to order it without the bun, and omit the DQ Ultimate sauce from your order if you do so.

If you’re still hungry after that, all you need to do is ask for a side salad dressed in a low-carb-friendly dressing.

440 calories, 33 grams of fat, 29 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbohydrates, and 7 grams of net carbohydrates.

With a little careful preplanning, you don’t have to ever stop at Dairy Queen while on the keto diet

It’s a simple matter, when you know you’ll be away from home traveling all day, to pack a simple meal of keto sandwiches with an apple or orange and a thermos of ginger tea. You not only keep keto batter, but save a considerable amount of money! And you won’t be tempted to get a hot fudge sundae . . .