As a follower of a low-carb diet, you may be wondering which foods you are allowed to eat. As a Registered Dietitian, I know how challenging it can be to follow a ketogenic diet. But don’t worry. I am here to answer all your questions regarding this popular diet.
If you are following a keto meal plan, and you suddenly realize that you have nothing prepared at home, an idea may have popped into your mind. What if you buy a juicy rotisserie chicken?
If rotisserie chicken is one of your favorite things (and why not… it’s a delicious way to enjoy a great meal of tender chicken easily at home), I’ve got some good news. Keep reading.
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Is Rotisserie Chicken Keto?
The keto diet is a low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet. It relies on metabolic adaptation, meaning that when the body’s glucose reserves are emptied, it digs into the fat stores to create a new energy source (ketones).
So, is rotisserie chicken keto? Yes, rotisserie chicken is keto-friendly. It’s a carb-free option and a great source of protein (20-25 grams of protein per portion size). But you need to be careful about the part of the whole chicken you eat since some options have a high-fat content (mostly from saturated fats).
Here, we will talk about everything about keto and grocery store rotisserie chicken. We will determine if it’s a good option for a keto diet, some keto-friendly alternatives, and delicious keto recipes using rotisserie chicken.
Understanding Net Carbs and Daily Carb Limits
When following a keto diet, it's essential to carefully read food labels to determine the net carb content of packaged products. Pay attention to the "Total Carbohydrates" section and look for "Dietary Fiber" and "Sugars" to calculate net carbs.
Net carbs are a crucial concept in the context of a keto diet. They represent the total carbs in a food item minus the fiber and certain sugar alcohols that have minimal impact on blood sugar levels.
To calculate them, you subtract dietary fiber and certain sugar alcohols (like erythritol or xylitol) from the total grams of carbs in a food item.
Net carbs = total grams of carbs - fiber
The science behind this concept is that since fiber is a type of carb that the body cannot fully digest, it passes through the digestive system without significantly impacting blood sugar levels. In fact, dietary fiber has numerous health benefits, including promoting digestive health and providing a sense of fullness, making it a valuable component of a keto diet.
Some sugar alcohols, like erythritol and xylitol, have minimal effects on blood sugar and insulin levels. They are often subtracted from the total carbohydrate count when calculating net carbs in keto-friendly foods, such as sugar-free desserts and sugar substitutes.
It's important to note that the ideal daily net carb limit can vary from person to person.
Some individuals may be able to consume slightly more net carbs and still remain in ketosis, while others may need to be more strict. Factors like activity level and metabolism can influence this limit.
What Is Rotisserie Chicken?
Rotisserie chicken is chicken cooked in a rotisserie. The chicken is placed next to a heat source to get direct heat. There are different varieties of rotisserie chicken since it depends on the spices or sauces used to flavor the chicken. If you would like to cook your own rotisserie chicken, take a look at this recipe for how to cook a rotisserie chicken at home!
How To Choose a Store-Bought Rotisserie Chicken
Most local grocery store chicken is keto-friendly. However, since it depends on what ingredients they use to add flavor, it’s important to know how to select the best store-bought juicy chicken that can fit any low-carb diet.
Start off by reading the ingredients list. This is imperative no matter what you’re buying while eating low carb.
Read the nutritional label for carb-based additives (sugar, preservatives, or fillers).
Select an all-natural option (without any additives or preservatives).
Avoid options that have sauces or gravies (unless they are keto-certified).
When possible, go organic and range-free.
Avoid “flavored” rotisserie chicken.
Check the sodium content (less than 300 mg per serving).
Nutritional Value of Rotisserie Chicken
The nutritional value of a rotisserie chicken relies on the part of the chicken you are eating. In a rotisserie chicken, you can eat the wing, breast (the white meat), drumstick, thighs and skin. The following table compares the nutritional information of different rotisserie chicken parts (original seasoning) per 100 grams according to the USDA.
Wings (with skin)
Generally speaking, every part of the rotisserie chicken is free of carbs. They are high in protein and, depending on the part, are high in fat making it a great low-carb option.
Keep in mind that the chicken provides mostly saturated fats (especially the chicken skin), which you want to consume in moderation to avoid possible heart problems.
Besides being high in protein and fats, chickens are also high in micronutrients, such as niacin, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and zinc.
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Does Rotisserie Chicken Belong In A Keto or Low-Carb Diet?
Based on the nutritional information, you can see that a whole rotisserie chicken can be part of a keto diet. It is a good option to increase your protein intake without adding any carbs to your diet. So, if you have busy weeknights and need to serve a meal for the entire family, rotisserie chicken can easily be adaptable to any eating style.
However, there are a couple of things you need to consider:
- First, while rotisserie chicken is a good option, you need to be careful about the part of the chicken you choose. It’s true that on keto, you have a high fat intake. But you want most of the fats coming from unsaturated fats (healthy fats) instead of saturated fats (they increase the risk of heart disease). So, while we all love that crispy skin, it’s best to avoid it. Or at least have it in moderation.
- Second, a keto diet for weight loss is still based on a caloric deficit. So, if you choose a higher fat cut, such as the dark meat of the chicken and the wings, ensure you make the necessary adjustments to stay within the recommended calories and grams of fat per day.
- Lastly, while protein can help support muscle mass and increase fullness levels, a keto diet doesn’t mean you can eat all the protein in the world. There is a process in the body called gluconeogenesis. This allows the body to create glucose molecules from things that are not sugars (such as protein). So, you still want to eat protein in moderation.
Keto-Friendly Recipes With Rotisserie Chicken
There is a lot you can do with rotisserie chicken. Whether you are using fresh rotisserie chicken or leftover rotisserie chicken, there are several easy recipes you can make. Here are some keto rotisserie chicken recipes.
Keto chicken salad. Next time you want a delicious, creamy chicken salad, rotisserie chicken can be a good carb-free protein option, particularly in a lettuce wrap! This is also a great way to use up any leftover chicken breast.
Homemade Chicken Soup. You can use this tender chicken meat and mix it with your favorite herbs and spices to create the ultimate healthy chicken broth loaded with zoodles instead of noodles!
Keto chicken quesadillas. Grab your favorite low-carb tortillas, put some rotisserie chicken and cheese, and you have a quick, low-carb meal.
Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup. This soup is good for the soul… and for low carb. It is packed with vegetables and would love some perfectly cooked rotisserie chicken added!
Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Soup. This delightful, winter-warming soup is ready in just 25 minutes. It is low carb, keto-friendly and loaded with flavor.
Overall Health Benefits of Rotisserie Chicken
Since rotisserie chicken is highly nutritious and a good source of protein, it can offer several health benefits. Here are some possible health benefits of rotisserie chicken.
Promotes weight loss. Since protein takes longer to digest, it can increase fullness levels, making it easier to reach a caloric deficit.
Supports muscle mass. Along with the right resistance training, a good protein intake can help support and increase muscle mass.
Provides essential vitamins and minerals. Chicken is a good source of several vitamins and minerals that are essential to maintain a healthy body.
The Bottom Line
Choosing the right ingredients in a keto diet may be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be as long as you know what to look for. Rotisserie chicken is a carb-free option that provides a good amount of protein to help support muscle mass and improve weight loss.
Now, you do need to be careful about what type of rotisserie chicken you purchase. Options that have additives, preservatives, sauces, or gravies may contain higher amounts of carbs than natural rotisserie chicken.
Finally, keep in mind that while you want to eat protein in a keto diet, it doesn’t mean that it’s unlimited. You still need to eat it in moderation to prevent it from affecting your ketosis levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Costco rotisserie chicken keto?
Can I eat a whole chicken on keto?
How much chicken can you eat in keto?