Are Hamburgers Keto Friendly? Carbs In Hamburgers


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We all love hamburgers, but can you still enjoy hamburgers when you are following a ketogenic diet?

The answer to this question is more complicated than you’d imagine, so let’s start with the basics.

Are Hamburgers Keto Friendly?

Let’s start with the basic question, then dig into the details.

Hamburgers are keto friendly, but a traditional hamburger bun is not allowed on a ketogenic diet. In addition, some of the other additives, ingredients, and condiments are not keto friendly.

Now let’s dig into the various parts of a hamburger and see how many carbs are in each ingredient?

How Many Carbs In Hamburgers?

To really answer how many carbs are in hamburgers, we need to look at the individual ingredients. The table below breaks down the parts of a hamburger.

Carbs In Hamburgers By Ingredient

Hamburger IngredientNet Carbs
Hamburger Patty – No Binder0 grams
Bread Crumb Binder (1 Tbsp)4.5 grams
Hamburger Bun25 grams
Tomato Slice0.5 grams
Lettuce Leaf0.1 grams
Raw Onion Slice0.7 grams
Dill Pickles (8 Slices)0.5 grams
Ketchup (1 Tbsp)5 grams
Mustard (1 Tbsp)0 grams
American Cheese Slice2.4 grams
Button Mushrooms (1 Sliced)2.3 grams
Jalapenos0.3 grams
French Fries (2 Cup Serving)20 grams
Ketchup For Fries (2 Tbsp)10 grams
Loaded Hamburger w/ Fries71.3 Net Carbs
Table Of Carbs In Hamburger Ingredients – Source: USDA FoodCentral Database

As you can see, a simple hamburger is great for a ketogenic diet, but once you start dressing it up it quickly becomes way too carb-heavy to be part of a keto diet.

A loaded hamburger and a side of French fries with ketchup have a total of 71.3 grams net carbs which makes it not keto friendly.

However, as you skim through the table above you’ll see that some of the ingredients on a standard hamburger are very low carb, and other ingredients are very high carb.

P.S. If you’re curious a McDonalds Big Mac has 42 Net Carbs without fries and a drink. Data

Image of McDonald's Clown

Armed with that information, you can pretty quickly design a great low carb hamburger.

The Perfect Ketogenic Hamburger

You can easily make a great hamburger that is keto diet safe. You just have to be thoughtful about what you are putting on that keto friendly chunk of meat.

Below are some guidelines that will help you create the perfect keto friendly hamburger.

How To Make A Keto Hamburger – The Keto Hamburger Rules

#1 – Start With A Clean Hamburger Patty

Make your hamburger patty with good ground beef (ProTip: Add Ground Pork for fat and flavor) and don’t add any carb-heavy binder or sugar-laden condiment to the ground meat before cooking.

#2 – Choose Low-Carb Condiments

Choose low carb condiments on your burger. Mustard and Mayonnaise are fine but skip sugar-heavy ketchup.

#3 Skip The Bun

Nearly all hamburger buns are high-carb so just get in the habit of avoiding them altogether.

If you want to pick up your hamburger and take a bite, the best choice is to wrap your hamburger in lettuce.

However, if you ‘need’ a bun, then you have two choices:

#1 – Make 90 Second Keto Bread

90-second keto bread is made of almond flour and is cooked for 90 seconds in the microwave. It will make a decent hamburger bun, but it’s not ‘just like a bun’.

However, it’s good enough and your jeans will still fit.

{Click Here to see a 90 Second Keto Bread Recipe on a friends website. >>> }

#2 – Buy A Low Carb Hamburger Bun

There are more and more low-carb breads available, but you need to be a little careful with them.

In truth, all of these low-carb breads are high-carb but also high-fiber, making them low net carb. The high fiber is achieved by stuffing the bread with fiber.

This fiber-stuffing will not spike your insulin, but your tummy (and the rest of your body) might not like it much. Just be careful when eating these kinds of commercial low-carb products.

Best Low Care Hamburger Bun Brand

Franz is my favorite low-carb hamburger bun. Honestly, I don’t eat them very often and instead just save them for backyard barbeques when I don’t want to spend the afternoon explaining the keto diet.

ProTip: These buns freeze well. I take them out of the bag and freeze them on cookie sheets then put them in ziplock bags in the freezer. That way I can easily take just one or two out of the freezer at a time. ~Angela

Still, they are pretty darn good. And no, they do not taste ‘just like the real thing’, but they are close.

These Franz Keto Hamburger Buns have 17 grams total carbs and 16 grams of fiber, which gives them just 1 gram net carbs.

{ Click Here to see these buns on Amazon. >>> }

#4 – Choose Real Cheese

That imitation America Cheese doesn’t have lots of carbs (2.4 grams), but if you choose a real cheese it will have less than 1 net carb.

Besides the lower carb count, real cheese just tastes better!

#5 – Add Keto Friendly Options

The perfect ketogenic hamburger isn’t all about avoiding bad choices, it’s about adding great choices.

My favorite additions to my keto hamburgers include:

  • Bacon Slices
  • Avocado Slices
  • Guacamole
  • Ham Slices
  • More Real Cheese
  • Fried Egg

Of course, I don’t add all of these all the time. But regardless of my mood, I can always find great keto upgrades for my hamburger feast.

#6 – Skip The Side Of Fries

In my pre-keto life, hamburgers always came with fries and a beer.

Now, I still have a low carb beer (Michelob Ultra is my favorite) with my burgers, but I skip the fries.

Instead, I have a side of pork rinds or ParmCrisps dipped in homemade ranch dip. { Click Here for ranch dip recipe on my website. >>> }


If you follow these six simple rules, you can build a keto-friendly hamburger that is to die for.

A Keto Friendly Hamburger can easily have less than 3 net carbs.

Enjoy!

~Angela

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Angela Davis

I'm Angela Davis, Co-Founder of Advantage Meals. I have a Bachelors in Anthropology and Masters in Holistic Nutrition. My passion is Ancestral Nutrition and for over a decade I've been helping Keto Diet beginners and those looking for their Primal Diet. "There is no one right way." Below are the most recent articles I've written for AdvantageMeals.com.

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