Four Low-Carb, Keto-Friendly Alternatives to Oatmeal

Oats are one of the leading breakfast items in the country due to their widespread perception as a nutritive staple that aids in the battle against the country’s leading killer: heart disease.

It also doesn’t hurt their reputation that one bowl can leave consumers satiated for hours.

Their benefits are undeniable!

In addition to tasting great, these tiny, grainy sponges are much more capable of enduring high amounts of rain than their competing, cultivable counterparts, and serve as a delicious morsel for horses, cows, and other barnyard critters.

In addition to being a culinary thread that unites humans and their four-legged friends, oats are teeming with a not-so-micro amount of micronutrients.

One serving of oats is a one-stop-shop for such favorites of the human organism as:

riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, Vitamin B, calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, folate, zinc, phosphorus, and sodium!

However, the benefits don’t end with a who’s who roster of micronutrients. Macronutrients have joined in on the fun, as well, and can be found in residing in abundance in the macronutritional metropolis that is a cluster of oats.

One serving provides an astonishing 389 calories, all stemming from healthy sources such as 17 grams of protein, 56 grams of net carbs, 7 grams of fat, and 66 grams of carbs.

Thus, it comes as no surprise that oats are beloved throughout the planet, with Canada, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States producing an astonishing combined total of more than half a billion tons of the scrumptious grains every year!

Are Oats Keto-Friendly?

Despite their nutritional merit, oats have a dark side: They’re loaded with carbohydrates, and, as a consequence, have made it to the “Do Not Fly” list of the keto diet.

In order for the ketogenic diet to accomplish its desired results, the dieter must enter a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when the body, in the absence of carbohydrates, begins using fat as its primary fuel source, instead.

Unfortunately, the body will always defer to burning carbohydrates as its primary choice of fuel, leaving unwanted fat reservoirs untouched, so the only way to guarantee the destruction of unhealthy fat stores is deprive your body of the opportunity to burn carbs.

As a result, oats must be avoided so as to keep carbs off of the menu!

Four Great Alternatives to Oatmeal

Fortunately, a life without oats does not signify a future without delicious breakfast options, and there are a whole host of keto-friendly foods ready to fill the void left by the absence of oatmeal.

Some of the best tried-and-true replacements for oatmeal include:

Chia Seed Oatmeal

Chia seeds easily integrate themselves into the bedrock of any balanced breakfast. Known as the chameleons of the culinary world, they’re able to easily approximate the taste and texture of oatmeal, as well as its attractive nutritional profile.

Best of all, they provide a lot of the same micro and macro nutrients as oatmeal without smuggling unwanted carbs onto your plate.

Despite offering a gold mine of nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber that make them strong weapons against heart disease, metabolic dysfunction, poor bone health, and diabetes, they come at the cost of only two grams of net carbs per ounce.

Hempseed Alternatives

One of the most versatile seeds available, the hempseed has arrived to offer its help for those trying to stay in compliance with the requirements of the keto diet without sacrificing taste and nutritional value.

Known for its richness in Gamma-Linoleic Acid (GLA), a compound that contributes to the upkeep and repair of muscles, hemp seed can be counted on to provide a hearty injection of Omega-6 acids with a minimal carbohydrate price tag.

At only 1 net carb per serving, you can have your taste buds bouncing with delight to the flavor of a bowl of hemp seed hearts drenched in coconut milk without worrying about disrupting your keto regiment.

Hemp seeds can be eaten raw, roasted or cooked. Hemp seed oil is also very healthy, and has been used as a food/medicine in China for at least 3,000 years[1].


Few seeds can tout as impressive of a resume as the hyper-accomplished flaxseed.

Initially brought to the United States by colonists who intended to use it as material for fabrics and ropes, it was quickly promoted to the role of superfood as people began to catch on to its nutritional benefits.

Bearing ample stores of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), flax seed provides its consumers with one of the most important fatty acids for reducing the damages caused by free radicals during oxidation.

ALA is an important resource in the improvement of cognitive function, the maintenance of vision, and antioxidant production[2].

Don’t be shy about waking up to a bowl of this fantastic superfood, as each serving only contains a meager 110 calories and no net carbs.

Coconut Flakes

One of the rising stars on the health food scene is the coconut flake. Piggybacking on the success of coconut oil, coconut flakes are taking the carb-conscious world by storm with their multipurpose abilities.

Not only can they be eaten as a snack anytime, but they can be toasted and then used in lieu of oatmeal for a perfect breakfast.

Coconut connoisseurs rave about the guilt-free injection of sweetness that this delicious super-fruit brings to a reduced-carb lifestyle, and they delight in the varied spectrum of health benefits that they provide.

Some of these include reducing damage caused by free radicals, improving absorption of minerals and vitamins, raising levels of good cholesterol, and even serving as a buffer against some types of cancers. With a carb imprint of only 3 net carbs, you can feel free to go nuts for coconuts!


Ketosis is a difficult state to achieve, and hard to restore when interrupted. Don’t let a love for oatmeal destroy the hard-won progress you’ve made on your journey through the ketogenic diet.

Instead, grab some of these hearty and healthy alternatives during your next trip to the local grocery store and develop some new carb-conscious breakfast traditions that will fill your stomach and deplete your fat reserves!

More Readings:

Keto FAQ – 27 of The Most Common Keto Questions Answered

Top 30 Foods to Avoid On A Keto Diet

Top 12 Fruits to Eat on the Keto Diet


[1] Callaway, J.C. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica (2004) 140: 65.

[2] Burdge, GC; Calder, PC (2005). Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to longer-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in human adults. Reproduction, nutrition, development. 45 (5): 581–97.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.


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