KFC biscuits are a popular menu item at the famous fried chicken chain. But for people following low-carb or keto diets, the carb content is an important consideration. This article will provide a detailed breakdown of the net carbs in a KFC biscuit to help guide your food choices.
What are Net Carbs?
Net carbs refer to the number of digestible carbohydrates that impact blood sugar levels. To calculate net carbs, you take the total carbohydrates in a food and subtract the fiber. Because fiber is indigestible, it doesn’t raise blood sugar.
Net carbs = Total carbs – Fiber
For low-carb and keto diets, staying under a certain threshold of net carbs per day helps promote ketosis, a metabolic state where the body burns fat for fuel. Knowing the net carb counts for menu items helps you stay within your daily limits.
Nutrition Information for KFC Biscuits
The nutrition information for a standard KFC biscuit is as follows (1):
As you can see, a KFC biscuit contains 22g total carbs. With no fiber, the net carbs are also 22g.
How KFC Biscuits are Made
To understand why KFC biscuits contain 22g of net carbs, it helps to look at the main ingredients that contribute to the carb count:
The base of KFC biscuits is refined wheat flour. Refined flour has had the bran and germ removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm. This results in a flour that is high in fast-digesting carbs.
A large biscuit at KFC weighs around 76g (2). With flour being the main ingredient, it likely contributes at least 15-20g of net carbs to each biscuit.
In addition to refined flour, KFC biscuits also contain sugar. Sugar adds sweetness, tenderness, and golden browning.
While an individual biscuit only contains 2g of sugar, the use of refined flour means the biscuit already starts with a high carb count. The added sugar makes the total carbs add up.
Shortening or Oil
The KFC biscuit recipe calls for shortening or oil. Solid shortening helps create the flaky layers you expect in a biscuit. Oils or melted shortening impart tenderness.
While shortening and oils contain no carbs, they do contribute significant calories, with a biscuit containing 180 calories total.
How KFC Biscuits Compare to Other Biscuits
To put the 22g of net carbs into perspective, let’s see how KFC biscuits compare to some other popular biscuit options (1, 3, 4):
|Red Lobster Cheddar Bay
As you can see, KFC biscuits are on the lower end for net carbs compared to biscuits from other popular fast food chains. However, they are still high carb compared to foods like meat, eggs, and non-starchy vegetables.
Standard biscuits are made from refined flour and contain little fiber. Making them at home from a nut flour or adding flaxseed meal can reduce the net carbs significantly.
Low Carb Alternatives at KFC
If you are following a keto or low-carb diet, here are some lower carb options you can choose at KFC (1):
* KFC grilled chicken breast: 0g net carbs
* KFC grilled chicken thigh: 0g net carbs
Load it up with veggies and cheese instead of biscuits or mashed potatoes.
Fried Chicken (No Breadcrumbs)
* KFC original recipe chicken, extra crispy chicken: 0g net carbs
* Avoid breaded chicken tenders and wings
* Cole slaw: 3g net carbs
* Green beans: 4g net carbs
* Mac and cheese: 13g net carbs
* Mashed potatoes: 16g net carbs
Prioritize veggie sides over starchy ones if reducing carbs.
Lower Carb Hacks for KFC Biscuits
If giving up biscuits entirely seems impossible, here are some ways to reduce the carb impact:
Order a smaller size biscuit, such as the Kids Biscuit. At around 1/3 the size, it will have around 1/3 the carbs.
Order a full biscuit, but only eat half. This cuts the carbs in half. Save the other half for later.
Top your biscuit with extra chicken, slaw, cheese, etc. The additional toppings make it more filling so you can eat less of the actual biscuit.
Avoid spreading extra butter or jam on your biscuit. Stick to just the biscuit itself to control carbs.
The Verdict on KFC Biscuit Carbs
At 22g of net carbs, a standard KFC biscuit is one of the more carb-heavy menu options. Biscuits are made from refined flour with added sugar, so they start high in carbs to begin with.
Compared to biscuits from other restaurants, KFC is on the lower end but still significantly higher than keto nutrition guidelines. If you are aiming for under 50g net carbs per day, a KFC biscuit could use up nearly half your allotment.
To reduce carb intake, go for grilled chicken with veggie sides and consider downsizing or limiting biscuit portions. While not keto-friendly, enjoying KFC biscuits occasionally in moderation can likely fit into a more moderate low-carb diet. Just account for the carbs and balance them out over the course of your day.
1. KFC Nutrition Information: https://www.kfc.com/pdf/kfc_nutrition.pdf
2. CalorieKing: https://www.calorieking.com/us/en/foods/f/calories-in-biscuits-buttermilk-kfc/1cwA4_9RTzOzHoSSlSHuUg
3. McDonald’s Nutrition: https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/about-our-food/nutrition-calculator.html
4. Popeyes Nutrition: https://popeyes.com/nutrition-allergens