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, donuts, waffles, and...beloved 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."
Not to mention, most of the classic cereals tend to be high in sugar and if you're used to eating those you might find it difficult to cut down. But there is a solution. "Starting your morning off with some protein and fat is key to rein in sugar cravings throughout the day," says Marissa Meshulam, RD, founder of MPM Nutrition.
And luckily, there are actually a bunch of low-carb, keto-friendly cereals on the market that can help with that. 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,” reminds 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 18 cereal products to give your usual breakfast bowl a delicious keto makeover.
Sweetened with monk fruit versus real sugar, this granola has less than 1 g of sugar per serving. It's also packed with plenty of good-for-you fats from the coconut, almonds, and seeds incorporated into the granola. Meshulam calls it "the perfect keto treat."
Need your sugary cereal fix...minus the actual sugar? These options from Catalina will do the trick—and with 11 grams of protein.
"Protein, fiber, and fat is key to keeping your blood sugar balanced and managing cravings throughout the day, so starting your bowl with this versus regular cereal is setting yourself up for success," Meshulam says.
Add a little fruit or yogurt to these nut-based granola bites for easy-to-make breakfast cereal. And with only 6 grams of net carbs, it'll help you stay on target with your keto goals, Meshulam says.
With only 3 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.
Why not crunch on some chocolate? Reviewers of this granola compare the taste to being like "nutty chocolate Rice Krispies." That is, if Rice Krispies on had 3 grams of net carbs.
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."
These puffs are a lot like cereal but can also be sprinkled on top of other dishes for a protein boost.
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).
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.
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.
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.
~High key~ this may become your new favorite oatmeal. Because it is sweetened with monk fruit, you can enjoy the sweet taste of maple syrup, without all the sugar.
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.
Chocoholics, rejoice. These tasty little O’s are not only chocolatey, they’re also packed with 15 grams of protein and only 4 net carbs. You’ll be back for seconds tomorrow a.m., promise.
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.
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.
At 13 net carbs (no fiber in this box, 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.