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Are Buffalo Wings Keto-Friendly?

Buffalo Wings on a kitchen counter

In the modern world of diverse diet plans, the quest for keto-compatible foods is ever-growing, and today's contender under the spotlight is the popular American classic - Buffalo Wings.

When it comes to their place in a ketogenic diet, there's much to consider.

This article aims to dissect the nutritional profile of Buffalo Wings, explore their health implications within a keto diet, suggest how to incorporate them into a keto meal plan, and even experiment with keto-friendly alternatives.

Whether you're a keto novice or a seasoned keto devotee, this comprehensive rundown will illuminate how Buffalo Wings can add a tasty, and surprisingly keto-friendly, spin to your dietary routine.


  • Buffalo Wings can indeed fit well into a ketogenic dietary plan, thanks to their high protein, high fat, and low carbohydrate profile.
  • Beyond their gratifying taste, Buffalo Wings offer substantial nutritional benefits like essential B vitamins, dietary collagen, and 'healthy fats'.
  • Curious about enriching your keto diet with Buffalo Wings? We've got insights on incorporating them in meal plans and experimenting with keto-friendly alternatives.

Are Buffalo Wings Keto-Friendly?

In the world of keto, every gram of carbohydrate content counts, and understanding the macronutrient breakdown of the food we eat is crucial. So, let's dive straight into the heart of the matter: Are Buffalo Wings keto-friendly?

The straightforward and delightful answer is: Yes.

The carnivorous nature of Buffalo Wings places them comfortably in the keto-friendly category of foods. They are rich in proteins and fats while being low in carbohydrates. The carbohydrates present in Buffalo Wings are mainly complex carbs, which are broken down by the body at a slower rate, helping you to maintain your state of ketosis—the metabolic state your body enters on a keto diet.

However, what makes Buffalo Wings stand out in their keto-friendliness is their relatively low carbohydrate content. Ready for some numbers? On average, a 100g serving of Buffalo Wings contains just 4.98g of net carbs. Considering the standard advice to limit daily carbohydrate intake to between 20-50 grams while following a ketogenic diet, the carbohydrate content of Buffalo Wings is indeed impressive.

You might be wondering about the fat content, as keto is well-recognized for being a high-fat diet. Yes, Buffalo Wings also come through in that aspect—they are naturally high in fats due to the skin-on chicken wings used, falling right in line with the high-fat, moderate-protein nature of the keto diet.

Moreover, Buffalo Wings are also protein-rich, ensuring that you can meet your protein needs while remaining within your daily carb limit.

It's worth noting, though, that these numbers pertain strictly to the wings themselves. When it comes to Buffalo Wings, we must also consider other factors such as sauces and seasonings, which could potentially add in hidden carbs. We'll explore this factor more in our upcoming sections.

Can Buffalo Wings be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Now that we've established that Buffalo Wings are keto-friendly, the next logical question is whether they can be incorporated into a strict keto diet.

Indeed, with their low-carb content, Buffalo Wings can be a great fit for a strict ketogenic diet. However, it's essential to remember that just because something fits the macros, it doesn't mean you can consume it with abandon. This is where the concept of balancing your overall diet comes into play.

A strict keto diet offers little wiggle room with carb intake. The goal is to keep your net carbs below 20-25g per day. Given that a 100g serving of Buffalo Wings contains around 4.98g of net carbs, you could definitely incorporate them—but mindfully, of course.

You may also wonder how much of your daily carb intake a serving of Buffalo Wings would comprise. For a strict keto follower with a daily limit of 20g net carbs, a 100g serving of Buffalo Wings would take up about a quarter of the daily limit. But, keep in mind, that still leaves room for incorporating other low-carb foods, veggies, or even a keto dessert. Remember, it's all about balance and overall macros.

Being mindful of your daily carb intake doesn't have to be difficult or stressful. Tools like carb counters or food trackers can be immensely useful in keeping track of your daily macro intake. They can help you incorporate Buffalo Wings into your meal plans without worrying about breaking ketosis.

Also, consider creating a meal plan that includes Buffalo Wings and other low-carb foods. This can help ensure that you maintain the right balance of nutrients while enjoying your tasty Buffalo Wings and staying within your carb limits.

While the carb content in Buffalo Wings is keto-compatible, don’t forget the hidden carbs that can sneak in through sauces or sides. Always check the nutritional information of any additional components you're incorporating.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Buffalo Wings

The carbohydrate content of any food item becomes a key point of consideration when you're following a ketogenic diet, with the aim of limiting your carb intake while maximizing your fat and protein consumption. In this case, let's break down the carb content of Buffalo Wings.

First and foremost, let's clarify what we mean by net carbs. Net carbs are the total carbohydrates in a food minus the fiber content. Fiber, classified as a type of carbohydrate, is not digested or absorbed by the body in the same way as other carbs. So, it does not raise your blood sugar levels or interfere with ketosis. Hence, for those on a ketogenic diet, net carbs become the crucial factor to look at, as they affect the body’s insulin response and influence ketosis.

Now, coming back to Buffalo Wings. Each 100g serving of this flavorful dish contains approximately 4.98g of net carbs. To put this in relatable terms, a medium-sized, oven-cooked Buffalo Wing (without any added sauce) weighs around 20g. Therefore, in this case, you would have approximately 1g of net carbs in a single Buffalo Wing, allowing you to indulge in a few wings while still staying well within your keto boundaries.

Let's take another example: if you have a meal of five Buffalo Wings, you're likely consuming around 5g of net carbs, depending on the exact size of the wings. In the grand scheme of a strict keto diet, where your daily net carbs should ideally remain under 20g, this meal would still leave you 15g of net carbs to play around with for the rest of your meals.

Nutritional Snapshot of Buffalo Wings

Buffalo Wings offer a wide range of nutrients, as per 100g servings. Their nutritional makeup speaks volumes about their relevance in a balanced diet, provided it's consumed in moderation.

First, let's consider macronutrients. Buffalo Wings estimate at 267kcal, with protein making up 17.02g, total fats accounting for 19.98g, and net carbs rounding up to 4.98g. This blend of nutrients provides energy and satiety, making buffalo wings a rich source of essential macros.

Within fats, Buffalo Wings exhibit a balance between saturated (6.22g), monounsaturated (7.64g), and polyunsaturated fats (2.88g). They also contain dietary fiber (0.1g), which supports digestive health. The presence of water at 56.03g aids in maintaining body hydration.

Shifting to micronutrients, Buffalo Wings are rich in a number of vitamins and minerals. They contain Sodium, Potassium, and Magnesium, essential for electrolyte balance. Furthermore, traces of Calcium and Phosphorus aid in bone health. Iron content helps in supporting red blood cell production, while Zinc is necessary for immune function.

When it comes to vitamins, Buffalo Wings haven't left any stones unturned, with the presence of Vitamins A, B-6, B-12, C, E, and K1. Vitamin A plays a pivotal role in vision and immune health, while B-vitamins contribute to energy production and brain health. Vitamin C is necessary for immune function and skin health, while Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, and K1 is required for blood clotting.

Buffalo Wings also include some unique nutrients like Choline and Cryptoxanthin beta. Choline is essential for liver health, brain development, and muscle movement. Cryptoxanthin beta is a carotenoid antioxidant that the body can convert into Vitamin A.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Net Carbs 4.98g
Carbohydrate, by difference 5.08g
Fiber, total dietary 0.1g
Total fats 19.98g
Protein 17.02g
Sodium, Na 812.0mg
Potassium, K 215.0mg
Magnesium, Mg 18.0mg
Calcium, Ca 36.0mg
Vitamin A 83.0ug
Vitamin B-6 0.25mg
Vitamin B-12 0.34ug
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0.2mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.82mg
Vitamin K1 3.5ug
Copper, Cu 0.05mg
Iron, Fe 0.78mg
Phosphorus, P 182.0mg
Selenium, Se 26.1ug
Zinc, Zn 1.12mg
Cholesterol 104.0mg
Beta-carotene 73.0ug
Cryptoxanthin, beta 4.0ug
Thiamin 0.06mg
Riboflavin 0.15mg
Niacin 5.32mg
Folate, total 10.0ug
Choline, total 50.5mg
Folic acid 4.0ug
Retinol 77.0ug
Calories 267.0kcal
Water 56.03g
Fatty acids, total saturated 6.22g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 7.64g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 2.88g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Buffalo Wings' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Chicken "wings" with hot sauce, from other sources' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Buffalo Wings on a Keto Diet

Consuming Buffalo Wings within the framework of a keto diet goes beyond just the satisfying crunch and mouth-watering flavor they bring to your table. Indeed, their potential health benefits could make them a valuable addition to your diet.

Firstly, Buffalo Wings are an excellent source of protein. This nutrient is a crucial part of a well-rounded diet and plays a vital role in various bodily functions, including cell growth and repair, enzyme and hormone production, and immunity support. In a ketogenic diet context, consuming adequate protein is fundamental, as it aids in preserving muscle mass while your body is burning fat for fuel.

Buffalo Wings are also a rich source of B vitamins, including B3 (niacin) and B12. These vitamins have been associated with numerous health benefits, such as improved energy production, brain function, and cellular metabolism. The boosting of cognitive performance and energy levels are also key traits of the keto diet, which might enhance the benefits of consuming Buffalo Wings.

A lesser-known, but equally important aspect, is that Buffalo Wings, particularly their skin, contain a significant amount of dietary collagen. This type of protein may support joint health, promote skin elasticity, and even aid digestion.

Moreover, the high fat content in Buffalo Wings aligns beautifully with the high-fat requirement of the ketogenic diet. However, it's not just any fat; Buffalo Wings, being poultry, contain a substantial amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These 'healthy fats' have been linked to several beneficial effects on heart health, including lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels and increasing good HDL cholesterol levels.

It's interesting to note that some research suggests a synergy between the ketogenic diet and enhanced athletic performance, particularly endurance. The protein in Buffalo Wings may contribute to muscle recovery post-exercise on a keto diet. However, more research is needed in this area.

So, while consuming Buffalo Wings on a keto diet can balance your macros, they also offer a host of potential health benefits, proving they are more than just a tasty treat. It's important to remember, though, all these potential benefits depend on portion control, and overflowing plates of Buffalo Wings may not be the most beneficial dietary approach.

Incorporating Buffalo Wings into Your Keto Meal Plan

Adding Buffalo Wings to a keto meal plan might seem straightforward, but with a bit of creativity, we can turn this delicious dish into something versatile and exciting to complement your ketogenic lifestyle.

When planning your meals, it's key to keep an eye on your daily carb limit. Since Buffalo Wings naturally adhere to the high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb framework of the ketogenic diet, they can be a timely addition to your daily meal.

Firstly, Buffalo Wings can serve as a wonderful centerpiece to your lunch or dinner. Pair them with a variety of low-carb veggies like spinach, zucchinis, and bell peppers to create a perfectly balanced keto meal on your plate. Remember, while Buffalo Wings contribute protein and fats, the veggies will provide a source of nutrients and the fiber that's essential for good digestion.

Buffalo Wings also make an excellent option for meal prepping for your week. Bake a batch of skin-on wings and portion them out for several meals. Pair them with different low-carb sides, salads, or soups to add variety, ensuring you're excited about your lunch or dinner every day.

To get a bit creative, you could even use the leftovers in other dishes. For example, strip the meat from the bones and use it in a lettuce wrap for a quick and easy low-carb 'sandwich', or mix it into a salad for an extra protein boost.

And let's not forget the wonder of snack time; Buffalo Wings are great for this! While mindfully watching your portions, enjoy them as a snack during the afternoon or for a movie night with friends.

For those who like a bit of adventure in their kitchen, confit Buffalo Wings could add a whole new dimension to your keto meals. Prepared by slowly cooking the wings in fat, this French cooking technique naturally aligns with the high-fat principle of ketogenic diets. Plus, it yields a uniquely succulent and tender result that is sure to please your palate.

Buffalo Wings covered in a homemade keto-friendly sauce (made of hot sauce, butter, vinegar, and spices) served alongside a high-fat keto dip like blue cheese or ranch dressing, can be a delightful treat. Remember, the key is in the sauce, so opt for low-sugar versions or make your own, controlling the carb content.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Buffalo Wings

Even though Buffalo Wings align well with ketogenic dietary guidelines, there could be times when you're looking for some variety or simply need an alternative. Let's walk through some keto-friendly substitutes and how these can be put to great use in your kitchen.

First up is Cauliflower Wings. Yes, you read that right. While they may certainly lack chicken's protein content, cauliflower wings can be a fantastic low-carb alternative to Buffalo Wings in terms of flavor. A 100g serving of cauliflower contains just 2.9g of net carbs. Use the same delicious Buffalo sauce and serve the 'cauliflower wings' in a similar fashion. You'll get a remarkably Buffalo Wing-like experience, bolstered by the added benefits of cauliflower's vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber content.

Next, consider Turkey Wings. A larger, meatier option, Turkey Wings can be a great substitute if you're looking for a change in flavor profile. While slightly higher in carbs than chicken - about 6.1g per 100g - Turkey Wings still fit comfortably within the keto diet spectrum. Plus, they offer another source of protein and key minerals like zinc and selenium.

Don't miss out on Duck Wings, either! These are a less common, but equally delicious, choice. Duck meat is rich in monounsaturated fats, which pair well with keto. A 100g serving contains approximately 5.2g of carbs, so not too far off from Buffalo Wings. Duck meat also has substantial amounts of iron and selenium.

Lastly, Tofu Wings could be an alternative, especially for our keto vegetarian friends. Tofu is low in carbs - around 2g per 100g serving - and it is an excellent source of plant-based protein. Its mild taste makes it a perfect canvas for Buffalo sauce.

Whether you choose cauliflower, turkey, duck, or tofu in place of Buffalo Wings, you'll find that you can use these alternatives in many of the same ways - think salads, wraps, or simply enjoyed on their own with a side of keto-friendly dip.

Concluding Thoughts on Buffalo Wings and Keto

As we reflect on the discussion around Buffalo Wings and the ketogenic diet, it's clear that these flavorful treats can indeed find a comfortable place in a keto meal plan. Their low carb content, paired with a good dose of protein and fats, aligns harmoniously with the nutritional requirements of a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic regimen.

The nutritional value of Buffalo Wings shouldn't only be gauged by their macronutrient composition, but also the significant contribution of essential vitamins like B3 and B12, minerals, and even dietary collagen. Additionally, their versatility in meal planning—be it the main course, a snack, or a remixed leftover creation—makes them a delightful asset in a diverse keto diet.

Despite their keto-friendly nature, balance is essential. The key is to keep your daily carb intake under close watch and avoid carb-loaded sauces or sides. You can wholeheartedly embrace Buffalo Wings in your diet, but remember that they're part of the meal, not the entire fare.

Alongside Buffalo Wings, a variety of keto-compatible alternatives such as Cauliflower Wings, Turkey Wings, Duck Wings or Tofu Wings provide refreshing variety, and nutritional benefits, especially for those seeking different flavors or adhering to dietary preferences or restrictions.

And here's a novel idea: why not whip up your own version of Buffalo Wing seasoning for an exciting culinary experiment? Using combinations of keto-friendly spices and dry rubs, you can create a unique flavor profile that truly personalizes and elevates your Buffalo Wing experience.

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Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Buffalo Wings are generally keto-friendly due to their high fat, moderate protein, and low carb content.

Yes, they can. Many commercially available sauces contain added sugars, so using a homemade keto-friendly hot sauce or a verified low-sugar version is best to keep your meal keto-compliant.