Oatmeal is a tasty breakfast food that’s quick to prepare on busy mornings.
It’s also full of vitamins, nutrients, and fiber; all things that are great for your wellbeing.
However, people who are on lower carbohydrate diets need to be wary of certain foods, including oatmeal.
People on the keto diet will need to eat even fewer carbohydrates than those on typical low-carb diets (You might want to check out Is Cornstarch Keto?).
Oatmeal might be packed with good substances, but due to its carbohydrate content, it isn’t suitable for the keto diet.
You’ll learn more about why oatmeal isn’t suitable for keto in this article.
If you can’t give up your oatmeal, we’ve included some keto-friendly oatmeal alternatives for you to try.
Why Can’t You Eat Oatmeal On Keto?
Choosing foods suitable for the keto diet depends on their carbohydrate content.
Keto focuses on eating foods that are high in fat and very low in carbohydrates.
Most people will eat around 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates each day, though this will depend on how strict or lax you are with your diet.
Keto should substitute carbohydrates that are cut out of the diet with fat, accounting for around 75% of your food.
Carbohydrates should be under 5%, while proteins account for the rest.
When you don’t eat carbs, your body begins breaking down fat for energy.
As it does this, it starts generating ketones, putting the body in a state of ketosis.
The body prefers to use carbs as energy before other nutrients.
If you keep eating more fats and fewer carbs, your body has no other option but to switch to using fats as a primary energy source.
Many people on keto first start the diet to lose weight. Everyone reacts differently when on the diet, but some have found that keto suppresses their appetite.
It also leads to losing weight at the start, but this is usually due to a drop in water weight.
Keto has been proven to positively affect insulin sensitivity, which may help those living with type 2 diabetes.
Children with epilepsy are often placed on keto diets as well, as the lower sugar element helps reduce the brain’s ability to produce seizures.
Despite this, some research has shown that keto can increase the chance of some people experiencing hypoglycemia.
Always talk to your doctor before starting keto, especially if you have a liver issue or type 1 diabetes.
Nutrition Content Of Oatmeal
Oatmeal is full of nutrients, which is why it’s thought of as a healthy breakfast option.
Half a cup of whole-grain oats contains 12.5 grams of protein and 67.5 grams of carbohydrates. It’s also free from sugar and contains 10 grams of fiber.
Whole grain oats also contain important micronutrients, like iron, copper, vitamin E, and manganese.
As they’re so high in fiber and low in sugar, oats have several health benefits.
They can lower your cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and make you feel more satiated. However, as they are so high in carbs, they aren’t keto-friendly.
Keto-Friendly Oatmeal Substitutes
If you love oatmeal a lot and don’t want to give it up while on keto, you can swap low-carb seeds that resemble oatmeal’s texture.
Bear in mind that these won’t taste exactly like oatmeal, but they can still give you a convenient breakfast option in the morning.
If you’re not so keen on the taste of seeds, adding toppings like berries and peanut butter can help make it more palatable.
Here are some popular keto-friendly oatmeal alternatives for you to try!
Carb count: 0.68 g net carbs per quarter cup
Flaxseeds might look small, but once you mix them with a liquid, like a coconut cream or almond milk, they transform into a fantastic oatmeal substitute.
Flaxseeds also have many health benefits, as they are full of fiber and omega-3 acids.
Studies have shown that flaxseed can improve heart health, lower cholesterol, and may even prevent cancer.
If you’re watching your calories, mix flax seeds with water or almond milk for more flavor.
However, if you’re looking to get some extra fats in keto, coconut cream is high in healthy fats that are good for your skin.
Mix your flax seeds with coconut cream overnight for a grab-and-go breakfast in the morning.
Carb count: 0.65 g net carbs per quarter cup
Dry chia seeds don’t look that impressive, but once you leave them to soak in dairy-free milk, they’ll transform into a completely different texture.
Chia seeds also have a low-calorie count and are full of good nutrients. They also have lots of fiber and antioxidants, helping keep you satiated throughout the day.
This is great if you’re looking to lose weight, as chia seeds help keep hunger pangs at bay.
If you are preparing chia seed oatmeal, remember that you’ll need to leave the seeds to soak for a few hours (Check out another use for Oatmeal Here).
If you eat it straight after mixing the seeds in milk, you’ll be left with a runny mess.
It’s best to prepare the chia seeds the night before, leave them in the refrigerator, then enjoy them in the morning.
Carb count: 1.4 g net carbs per quarter cup
Hemp seeds are slightly higher in carbs than chia and flax, but they are still very low in carbs (see also ‘Is Hemp A Grain?‘).
If you’re using them to replace oatmeal, they taste best when mixed with plant-based, dairy-free milk.
Hemp seeds aren’t seeds at all, but they are nuts. This gives them a nice nutty taste, but you can add other toppings, like berries, if you aren’t keen on the taste.
Hemp seeds are full of protein and also contain important minerals, like iron, zinc, and magnesium.
They also contain lots of arginines, an amino acid that may lower your risk of heart disease.
Oatmeal might be healthy, but it is packed with carbohydrates, so it isn’t suitable for a keto diet.
If you do love oatmeal, but are on a keto plan, low-carb seeds can be a great substitute.
Chia, hemp, and flax are all examples of tasty oatmeal alternatives, so give them a try and see if you like the taste!