A McDonald’s cheeseburger without the bun has around 1 gram of net carbs. The burger patty itself is low in carbs, but the cheese and condiments add a small amount.
How Many Carbs are in a McDonald’s Cheeseburger?
A regular McDonald’s cheeseburger with the bun has around 26 grams of total carbs (1).
Here is the carb breakdown for a regular McDonald’s cheeseburger:
As you can see, the bun provides the bulk of the carbs at 22 grams.
Carbs in a McDonald’s Cheeseburger Without the Bun
Ordering a McDonald’s cheeseburger without the bun significantly reduces the carb count (2).
Without the bun, here are the net carbs:
So ordering a McDonald’s cheeseburger without the bun provides only around 1 gram of net carbs.
Other Tips to Reduce Carbs
Here are some other suggestions to reduce carbs when ordering a McDonald’s cheeseburger:
– Request extra lettuce and tomatoes instead of the bun to make it a lettuce wrap. Lettuce and tomatoes contain minimal carbs.
– Skip the ketchup and opt for mustard instead. Ketchup has around 3 grams of carbs per packet, while mustard has zero.
– Order extra pickles. Pickles are very low in carbs with only 1 gram per burger.
– Consider a bunless cheeseburger without onions. Onions add around 1 gram of carbs to the burger.
– Add bacon. The bacon itself is carb-free and gives more flavor and satisfaction.
– Swap the cheese slice for an American cheese slice, which has slightly fewer carbs.
So in summary, eliminating the bun reduces the carbs in a McDonald’s cheeseburger down to around 1 gram. To make it even lower carb, customize by adding veggies, mustard, and bacon while skipping ketchup and onions.
Nutrition Facts for a McDonald’s Cheeseburger with No Bun
Here are the nutrition facts for a McDonald’s cheeseburger without the bun (3):
As you can see, without the bun the cheeseburger provides 257 calories with 18 grams of fat, 15 grams of protein, and just 1 gram of carbs.
It makes a high fat, moderate protein, very low carb meal. The sodium is a little high at 720 mg, or about 30% of the daily value.
How It Fits Into a Low Carb or Keto Diet
Ordering a McDonald’s cheeseburger without the bun can fit into a low carb diet like the Atkins 20 or ketogenic diet (4, 5):
– Low carb diets like Atkins limit carbs to 20-50 grams per day, so the 1 gram of carbs in a bunless cheeseburger fits well into the daily carb limit.
– A ketogenic diet restricts carbs to 50 grams daily or less. The extremely low carbs in a bunless cheeseburger allows it to work for keto.
However, on both low carb and keto diets calories still matter. A bunless double or triple cheeseburger at over 500 calories may be too high calorie to fit into some people’s daily totals.
A regular cheeseburger without the bun at around 250 calories can work for many low carb and keto eaters who are mindful of calories.
Tips for Ordering at McDonald’s On a Low Carb Diet
Here are some tips for staying low carb when ordering at McDonald’s:
– Bunless burgers – Get any burger wrapped in lettuce or between two slices of cheese.
– Salads – Build a salad with grilled chicken, bacon bits, cheese, ranch or vinaigrette. Avoid sugary toppings.
– Breakfast – Order eggs, sausage, and hash browns. Skip pancakes and pastries.
– Beverages – Drink coffee, unsweet tea, diet soda, or water. Avoid fruit juices and regular soda.
– Desserts – Skip the cone and ice cream sundaes. Enjoy a sugar free coffee drink instead.
– Customize – Don’t be shy asking for extra bacon, no bun, or no ketchup! Most locations are happy to customize.
With a few simple modifications, you can easily remain low carb when grabbing a quick meal at McDonald’s. A customized bunless cheeseburger or grilled chicken salad makes an easy keto-friendly option.
McDonald’s Cheeseburger Nutrition Compared to Other Fast Food Burgers
How does a McDonald’s cheeseburger stack up against burgers from other fast food restaurants?
Here’s a comparison of the nutrition facts for a regular cheeseburger with bun at McDonald’s vs. Burger King, Wendy’s, and Five Guys (6, 7, 8, 9):
|Total Fat (g)
A few comparisons:
– Calories range from 300 calories at McDonald’s to 700 calories for a Five Guys cheeseburger.
– Total fat also varies quite a bit. McDonald’s has the lowest fat at 12 grams while Five Guys has the highest at 45 grams of fat.
– Carbs are fairly similar at the major chains aside from Five Guys, ranging from 26-33 grams thanks to the bun.
– Protein is lowest at McDonald’s with 15 grams and highest at Five Guys with 29 grams.
So in terms of nutrition, McDonald’s regular cheeseburgers are generally one of the “lighter” options in calories and fat compared to competitors. Of course, getting a burger bunless at any restaurant removes most of the carbs.
Healthier Low Carb Burger Options
While fast food burgers without the bun can fit into a low carb eating pattern, they are still fairly high in calories and low in nutrients.
Here are some healthier low carb burger options:
– Beef burger patty with mushrooms and onions – Add sautéed mushrooms and onions for more volume and nutrition. Use lettuce wraps instead of a bun.
– Turkey or bison burger with avocado – Turkey and bison are leaner than beef. Top with avocado for added healthy fat.
– Portobello mushroom cap burger – Grilled portobellos can stand in for meat as the burger base.
– Veggie burger on lettuce – Look for low carb, high protein veggie burgers based on soy, eggplant, or chickpeas.
– DIY burger bowl – Cook ground beef with taco spices and top with cheese, salsa, guac and cauliflower rice for a Mexican-style burger bowl.
Making your own burgers allows you to control the ingredients and sneak in extra vegetables. Consider swapping beef for a leaner meat like turkey or bison. Top with avocado instead of cheese to reduce saturated fat.
Should You Eat McDonald’s Burgers on a Low Carb or Keto Diet?
Here is a summary of the key points on whether McDonald’s cheeseburgers can fit into a low carb or keto diet:
– Ordering without the bun significantly reduces carbs down to about 1 gram. This allows it to work for low carb and keto diets.
– The high fat and moderate protein content of a McDonald’s burger fits the macros for low carb and keto. But calories still matter.
– Customizing by adding extra veggies and bacon while skipping sugary ketchup and onions further reduces carbs.
– Compared to other major chains, McDonald’s burgers tend to be on the lighter side for calories and fat. But they do contain various preservatives.
– Making your own burgers using lean beef, turkey, or bison allows greater control over ingredients. Add mushrooms, avocado and other veggies for more nutrition.
Overall, a McDonald’s cheeseburger or double cheeseburger without the bun just occasionally can work for low carb and keto diets, provided it fits within your daily carb limit and calorie goals. But for everyday meals, try making healthier bunless burgers at home with nutritious toppings and ingredients.
Ordering a McDonald’s cheeseburger without the bun reduces the carbs down to only around 1 gram, allowing it to work for low carb and ketogenic diets. While not the healthiest choice, customizing a McDonald’s burger bunless by adding veggies and skipping sugary condiments can make for an occasional low carb fast food option. Making your own fresh burgers at home with healthy toppings and ingredients is a better choice for your regular low carb meals.