When going on the keto diet, there’s often a bit of a learning curve! Certain foods you may be used to eating are suddenly off limits, and you must adapt quickly.
While a new diet is exciting, it can also be a little confusing and overwhelming! Knowing which foods to incorporate into your diet or stay away from is a learning process.
Raise your hand (virtually! ;) ) if you’re a breakfast lover like us?! If so, oatmeal may regularly be in your rotation. After all, oatmeal is heart healthy and nutrient rich!
… but is it keto friendly?
In this blog post, we learn if you can have oatmeal on keto and share an easy, low-carb keto oatmeal recipe.
What Is Oatmeal?
Oatmeal is a common breakfast food that consists of oats and a liquid, such as water, cow's milk, or plant-based milk. Oats are known to be one of the most nutritious whole-grain foods you can possibly eat!
Oatmeal is a versatile meal and can be spiced up with many different toppings–either sweet or even savory! Some popular oatmeal toppings include fresh berries, a poached egg, or cooked veggies, like tomatoes.
Did we mention we love breakfast?! Oh … we did? ;) Well we reallllly do and even have several ready-made oatmeal options available on the Proper Good website! Each flavor is plant-based, gluten-free, dairy free and ohhh so tasty! This al-dente style oatmeal is fully cooked and delivered straight to your door in a microwaveable pouch. No need to add water or make a mess in the kitchen … and done in just 60 seconds!
Oatmeal Nutritional Information
Okay, so now that we’re clear on what oatmeal is and where to get it, how good is it for you?
Oats are one of the healthiest grains in existence. They are a gluten-free whole grain and an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Oats and oatmeal have many health benefits, like weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and a reduced risk of heart disease.
A Proper Good bowl of oatmeal includes 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber (which is 23 percent of the average person's daily fiber intake!).
Other nutritional facts about oatmeal are that carbs make up 66 percent of oats by dry weight. Starch is a primary component of oatmeal and functions like fiber, which improves gut health and feeds gut-friendly bacteria! Speaking of fiber … oats also provide more soluble fiber than other types of grains, which helps you feel full for longer.
The vitamins and minerals in oatmeal include phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and zinc. There are also studies that suggest oats may boost your immune system, which enhances your body’s ability to fight bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.
Is Oatmeal Keto Friendly?
So we now know what oatmeal is and what a rockstar superfood it is … now what exactly is the keto diet?!
The keto diet is low in carbs and high in fat. Keto is associated with many health benefits, including weight loss and prevention against diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Basically, on the keto diet your body replaces carbs with healthy fats, which turns the fat into ketones in your liver.
On the keto diet, you limit your carbohydrate intake to under 20-50 grams of net carbs per day in order for the body to enter a state of ketosis. In ketosis, your body has to not use carbs (glucose and glycogen) and must use fat for energy instead.
Now onto the big question of the day … is oatmeal keto-friendly?
A 100 gram serving of regular oatmeal consists of 50-70 grams of carbs. When we reference the 20-50 grams of carbs you need to eat when on keto, this means oatmeal is too high in carbs and therefore, is not keto-friendly.
Keto-Friendly Oats Alternatives
If you’re on the keto diet and craving oatmeal, you may be bummed about not being able to eat it, and that’s okay! Just know that there are several similar foods you can turn to while on keto that are great alternatives to oats.
Hemp seeds are the seeds of the hemp plant, which is called cannabis sativa. Hemp seeds are from the same species as cannabis (marijuana) but a different variety. Hemp seeds contain only teeny tiny amounts of THC, which is the psychoactive compound in marijuana.
Hemp seeds have an earthy, almost nutty flavor about them, and many people say hemp seeds remind them of sunflower seeds! They’re a little chewy, which makes them a perfect addition to your morning smoothie or yogurt.
Hemp seeds are a superfood because of their incredible health benefits. They’re a full source of protein, which means they provide all nine essential amino acids. Plus, hemp seeds are a solid source of unsaturated fats, fiber, and a ton of minerals and vitamins–like magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B!
Hemp seeds are an excellent alternative to oatmeal because they are similar in texture–nice and chewy! Looking for ways to use hemp seeds? Here are 18 creative and delicious hemp seed recipes!
Yes, we loooove chia seeds and even wrote a helpful chia seeds: 101 blog post!
For those who are new to this small but mighty seed … they originate from Central America and are incredibly healthy. Chia seeds are a great source of minerals, such as phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium, and calcium. They are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, plus protein. Chia seeds don’t have a strong flavor, so they go well in just about any sweet or savory dish.
Chia seeds are also beneficial to skin and hair, and dogs can eat them, too! They are keto friendly and almost all of the carbs in chia seeds come directly from fiber, which means they are low in carbs.
While chia seeds are often eaten on top of oatmeal, they can also be eaten without oatmeal in order to make your meal keto-friendly! Try putting 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of almond milk overnight. Then, in the morning, you can top a keto-friendly fruit, like raspberries, with peanut butter and the soaked chia seeds … yummy!
Flaxseed is a plant-based ingredient that originated in ancient Egypt and China. It’s jam-packed with healthy fats, antioxidants, and filling fibers.
Flaxseed is a versatile seed that is available to eat in many forms–whole, as oils, powder, tablets, capsules, and even flour (a healthier replacement for white flour!) Because of its many health benefits, many people use flaxseed as a supplement to prevent diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer. According to the Arthritis Foundation, flaxseed may even help reduce joint pain and stiffness! Flaxseed-rich food can help ease pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Raynaud’s phenomenon.
1 tablespoon of flaxseed contains 3 grams of carbs, so it is a keto-friendly option to turn to when you can’t have oatmeal! Perfect for the most important meal of the day, these flaxseed breakfast cookies are vegan AND keto-friendly! You won’t miss the oatmeal one bit. ;)
Ahh, a tropical (kind of!) treat in a bowl–coconut flakes! Coconut flakes are a slightly bigger version of dried shredded coconut. The difference is that instead of being grated, boiled coconut meat is cut into larger flakes which are then dried.
Toasting the coconut gives it a nutty, crispy texture. For those with a sweet tooth, coconut flakes can even be made sweetened OR left unsweetened! The darker brown the coconut flakes are, the nuttier the flavor.
Coconut flakes contain substantial amounts of fiber, potassium, and iron. One ounce of unsweetened coconut flakes consists of 185 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 7 grams of carbs. Not to mention 2 grams of protein! Due to the low carb content, coconut flakes are an awesome low carb oatmeal alternative for those on the ketogenic diet.
What is Keto Oatmeal?
You might be thinking, “wait … keto oatmeal?! But you just told me I can’t have oatmeal while on the keto diet!” That’s true, but a “hack” around this rule is what’s referred to as keto oatmeal!
Keto oatmeal is a blend of keto-friendly seeds plus additional keto-friendly ingredients. Keto oatmeal is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free AND sugar-free – that’s a lot of “free.” ;)
Low Carb Oatmeal Recipe
This recipe from the Food Faith Fitness blog combines a delicious mix of ingredients together to form an oatmeal-like concoction.
We’ve pulled out the recipe below for ultimate easy reference!
Using a blend of delicious nutty flavors, the ingredients in this keto oatmeal are equal parts filling and a little sweet!
- 1/4 Cup Almond flour (25g)
- 2 Tbsp Unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 Tbsp Flax meal
- 1 Tbsp Chia seeds
- 1/2 Tbsp Monkfruit
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 Cup Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
Cooking your keto oatmeal couldn’t possibly be easier! For busy mornings, hectic afternoons, or evenings when you’re craving a little comfort food without the carbs, keto oatmeal is a perfect solution!
Here are the instructions to make your own bowl of goodness:
- In a medium pot, stir together all the ingredients except the milk and vanilla.
- Add in the milk and vanilla and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until it just begins to thicken, about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes. It will thicken a lot as it cools so don't over cook.
- Once cooked, let cool for 3-5 minutes.
- Add toppings and devour!
The good news is that even though your keto oatmeal doesn’t actually consist of any oats, the SAME delicious toppings can be used! And YES, we’ve written about oatmeal toppings quite a bit.
You can see several sweet oatmeal topping ideas here, such as blackberries, stevia, and dark chocolate. Is your sweet tooth calling to you yet?
Plus, we brainstormed a ton more sweet oatmeal topping ideas PLUS savory toppings too, like sun dried tomatoes, avocado, pesto, bacon, or egg.
Almond flour is filled with health benefits, too! Almond flour is known to be one of the most nutritious alternative-flour options because it is low in carbs and packed with vitamin E, which acts like an antioxidant within your body. Vitamin E is even linked to lower rates of heart disease and Alzheimer’s. Magnesium is also found in almond flour and is thought to improve blood sugar, reduce insulin resistance, and lower blood pressure.
For those looking to avoid high carb foods on the keto diet, oatmeal is not keto friendly. However, hopefully we have you convinced to try some yummy alternatives.
But for those times when you’re NOT on the keto diet and craving a bowl of warm, soothing oatmeal, consider trying Proper Good Oatmeal! While not technically keto-friendly, Proper Good Oatmeals are plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free and packed with 8 grams of protein PLUS 8 grams of fiber!
We’ve compiled our favorite breakfast blends here for fast and easy access and hope you enjoy!