When you opted to try the keto diet, you knew you would have to cut waaaay back on carbs. But one meal of the day in particular tends to be pretty carb-heavy—breakfast. Hello, bagels, pastries, pancakes, and…cereal.
“Cereal by definition is a grain, which is a high-carb food,” says Danielle Schaub, RD, culinary and nutrition manager for Territory Foods. “There is also little fat in grains, which makes most cereals a tricky food to fit into a high-fat, low-carb diet.
But before you abandon your keto diet and rush out to buy the biggest box of frosted shredded wheat you can find, we have good news. There are actually a bunch of low-carb, keto-friendly cereals on the market…and no, they don’t taste like styrofoam. Most of them would even be appetizing to people not on the keto diet.
“A keto-friendly cereal will be relatively low in carbs, have lots of fiber and some protein,” says Schaub, who explains that a high-fiber content will result in fewer net carbs, while protein helps slow down the digestion of carbs and makes you feel fuller.
Here are 16 cereal products to give your usual breakfast bowl a keto makeover.
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1 Magic Spoon Variety Pack
With only three grams of net carbs, Schaub says this is one of the most popular keto cereals (the 12 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat per serving don’t hurt, either). It also uses monk fruit instead of sugar alcohol as a sweetener, which is one of the main things you should look for in a keto-friendly cereal.
2 Catalina Crunch Keto-Friendly Cereal
This is a totally grain-free choice that Schaub says is made with plant proteins and sweetened with monk fruit (and only 5 grams of net carbs). Also, hello dark chocolate flavor!
3 The Cereal School
This is about as close as you can get to zero net carbs. The Cereal School has only 1 gram, but still boasts an impressive 16 grams of protein.
One caveat, per Schaub: “It’s made with milk protein, so just be aware if you have a dairy intolerance.”
4 Instant Hot Cereal
Did you forget that oatmeal kinda counts as cereal? In general, oatmeal is off the keto breakfast list, too, but not with this grain-free version. Made with hemp, chia seeds, coconut, and other goodies, this one will warm you up while keeping your carb count nice and low.
5 Organic Granola
Who says granola is off-limits on keto? This grain-free version has only 6 grams of net carbs and 5 grams of protein. Plus, the vanilla-cinnamon combo will have you actually looking forward to waking up in the morning.
6 Cinnamon Pecan Granola Cereal
With a flavor that reminds you of fall in a bowl, this keto-friendly (i.e. three net carbs) granola cereal will be a favorite on chilly, crisp mornings.
7 Keto Nut Granola Healthy Breakfast Cereal
Almonds, coconut, pumpkin seeds, oh my! What isn’t in this bowl of goodies? Oh, right…carbs (there are only 6 net carbs per serving).
8 Keto Hot Cereal Cups
Schaub says she highly recommends these portable on-the-go cups, because the nutrient ratio (of 10 grams of net carbs and 20 grams of fat) is actually ideal for keto.
9 Protein Breakfast Cereal
Don’t shy away from this one because it has 14 grams of net carbs; Schaub says its 12 grams of protein is enough to keep you satisfied after eating it.
10 Paleo-Style Muesli
If you want a totally grain-free cereal, opt for breakfast muesli like this one with cinnamon coconut ribbons, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, and bit of dried cherry (I mean, you’re drooling, right? I’m drooling!). You can easily make your own at home, too, says Schaub.
11 Organic Coconut Flakes Cereal
If you want a super minimalistic cereal, this one has only three ingredients: coconut meat, coconut water, and palm starch. Heads up: It doesn’t have any protein, but with 5 grams of fiber, you’ll end up with only 11 grams of net carbs.
12 Protein Cereal
With egg-white protein, this cereal option not only keeps carbs low, it gives you a majorly filling boost of protein that will last you at least until lunchtime.
13 Protein Cereal
Chocoholics, rejoice. These tasty little O’s are not only chocolatey, they’re packed with 15 grams of protein and only 4 net carbs. You’ll be back for seconds tomorrow a.m., we promise.
14 Vanilla Almond Granola
With flavors like vanilla almond, blueberry cinnamon, and maple pecan chocolate—and an average net carb count of 6 grams or less—you can’t really go wrong with the Sola brand of gluten-free granola to start your day.
15 Cheerios Cereal
Yes, everyone’s favorite circle-shaped cereal is lower in carbs than many other brands, coming in at 17 net carbs per serving. If you’re a fan of the classics, this might be your preferred carb-indulgence.
16 Kellogg’s Special K Breakfast Cereal
At 13 net carbs (no fiber in these, sorry!), Special K’s sweet flakes hit the spot in more ways than one. They’re not your everyday keto-friendly cereal option for sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ever make room for them in your diet.
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