You’re craving nothing more than to tear into the flesh and delicious white meat of a chicken wing, but you’ve since started the keto diet. Are chicken wings considered keto-friendly?
Chicken wings contain zero grams of carbs and 4.5 grams of protein per wing, so they’re very much an appropriate lunch, dinner, or side on the keto diet. Watch what you enjoy as a side or beverage to keep your carb load (and calories) low.
This article will further examine the nutrition facts of chicken wings so you can decide how or if they fit into your keto diet. We’ll talk about whether your favorite chicken wing sauces and toppings are keto too, so make sure you keep reading!
Are Chicken Wings Keto? Examining Nutrition Facts + Carbs
From one chicken, you can eat the breast, the drumsticks, the wings, the thighs, and even the skin. There’s plenty to enjoy, but should keto dieters refrain?
To answer that question, let’s examine the nutrition facts for a serving of chicken wings courtesy of Nutritionix.
One 27-gram chicken wing or drumette contains:
- 88 calories
- 59 calories from fat
- 5 grams of total fat (10 percent of your daily recommended value)
- 3 grams of saturated fat (12 percent of your daily recommended value)
- 1 grams of trans fat
- 2 grams of polyunsaturated fat
- 4 grams of monounsaturated fat
- 22 milligrams of cholesterol (7 percent of your daily recommended value)
- 105 milligrams of sodium (4 percent of your daily recommended value)
- 46 milligrams of potassium (1 percent of your daily recommended value)
- 0 grams of carbs
- 1 grams of dietary fiber
- 1 grams of sugar
- 5 grams of protein
- 3 percent vitamin A
- 2 percent vitamin C
- 4 percent calcium
- 7 percent iron
Keto dieters should ingest between 20 and 50 grams of total net carbs per day. Chicken–including the wings–is largely a carb-free meal. With moderate amounts of fat and protein, chicken wings are keto-friendly through and through.
Each wing contains under 100 calories, so a meal of two or three wings is low-calorie and low-carb enough that you can stay within your macros and continue losing weight.
As we cautioned in the intro, you have to watch what you eat with the chicken wings.
Considered bar fare, chicken wings are often served with a side of fries. A small serving of fries, which is 71 grams or 2.5 ounces, contains 222 calories, 29 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of fat.
A glass of beer to wash it all down with has 153 calories, 13 grams of carbs, and 1.6 grams of protein. Maybe save those sides for your cheat days.
Eat chicken as you wish though.
Chicken can be an excellent part of a well-rounded, healthy diet. Poultry is a great source of protein. Eating chicken can trigger your immune cells to strengthen, which is why chicken noodle soup is a classic food when you’re under the weather.
The phosphorus and calcium in chicken can keep your bones strong and healthy while its vitamin B5 and tryptophane may lessen your stress.
Are Chicken Wing Sauces and Toppings Keto?
Plain chicken wings might be healthier for you, but they’re undoubtedly bland. You want to dress up your chicken wings, but will this crank up the carb content? Let’s take a closer look.
As a topping, Parmesan cheese lends chicken wings flavor and texture. An ounce serving of the cheese contains 112 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 2.6 grams of monounsaturated fat, and zero carbs. It’s a safe enough topping!
Wings and buffalo sauce are a match made in heaven. Keto dieters will agree considering this tangy sauce has 10 calories in one serving, 1 gram of carbs, and no fat.
Do you like to slather your chicken wings in ranch? A tablespoon of the salad dressing has 129 calories, 13.4 grams of fat, 270 milligrams of sodium, 1.8 grams of carbs, 1.4 grams of sugar, and 0.4 grams of protein. Munch away!
Maybe limit how much marinara you add to your chicken wings. A 132-gram or half-cup serving has 66 calories, 2 grams of fat, 577 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbs, 2.4 grams of fiber, 6.5 grams of sugar, and 2 grams of protein.
The spicy mayo dip harissa aioli is a novel way to jazz up chicken wings, and keto dieters should try if they like the flavor. A tablespoon of harissa aioli contains 70 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 120 milligrams of sodium, 0.5 grams of carbs, and 5 milligrams of cholesterol.
All at once tangy and sweet, two tablespoons of honey mustard dipping sauce have 46 calories, 4.2 grams of total fat, 3.5 milligrams of cholesterol, 63.4 milligrams of sodium, 2.5 grams of carbs, 2.1 grams of sugar, and 0.4 grams of protein. Enjoy sparingly!
A mixture of red pepper flakes, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, oregano, and chopped fresh parsley, chimichurri makes an impactful topping for chicken wings.
A tablespoon of the stuff has 76 calories, 8.2 grams of fat, 130 milligrams of sodium, 0.7 grams of carbs, 0.4 grams of dietary fiber, 0.1 grams of sugar, and 0.2 grams of protein.
Have it as you wish.
The next time you’re in the mood for chicken wings, go ahead and make them!
Chicken is a part of a nutritiously balanced diet, and the wings themselves contain so few carbs that you don’t have to worry about some wings disrupting your keto diet.
Even many of your favorite sauces and dips for chicken wings are totally keto-friendly.
Just don't make the same mistake I did when I started my keto journey and eat 2 x 750g bag of chicken wings per day because they taste so good. Calories still matter on keto.