Oatmeal is a delicious and comfortable breakfast that is also a good source of fiber, vitamins and nutrients. Does this mean that it is usually considered a healthy eating option, but is oats keto-friendly? Here’s what you need to know.
When you choose what to eat with the keto diet, it really all comes down to carbs.
The ketogenic diet (keto) is designed to be very low in carbohydrates, high in fat and moderate in protein. In general, you will reduce your carbohydrate intake to about 20 to 50 grams per day (although some people are more or less strict with this). The idea is that fats should replace the carbohydrates that are removed and should account for about 75 percent of total calorie intake. Carbohydrates should be restricted by about 5 percent, while protein makes up the rest of your calorie intake.
Without carbohydrates, the body begins to break down fat to produce substances called ketones. Your body is beginning to use them as an alternative source of energy. Eating more fat than carbohydrates essentially forces the body to depend on fat as its main source of energy, and this is known as achieving the metabolic state of ketosis.
For many, the great attraction of ketosis is that it contributes to weight loss, especially in the short term. It can help suppress appetite, which can also lead to weight loss. Ketosis also has some health benefits. It has been shown to be an effective treatment for epilepsy and may improve insulin sensitivity for people with type 2 diabetes.
FYI: Please note that there is some evidence that the keto diet may increase the risk of hypoglycemic episodes in some people. Talk to your doctor before starting this diet, especially if you have type 1 diabetes or a liver condition.
Oatmeal is full of nutrients and is generally considered healthy. Here is the nutritional information for 1/2 cup whole grain rolled oats:
- Protein: 12.5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 67.5 grams
- Sugar: 0 grams
- Fibers: 10 grams
Oats are a whole grain that contains micronutrients such as vitamin E, folate, zinc, iron, selenium, copper, manganese and carotenoids. While oats include a long list of health benefits, such as making you feel fuller and lowering your cholesterol, their high carbohydrate count keeps them off the list of ketological foods.
Can’t stand the idea of giving up oats completely to get ketosis? There are many recipes for low carb oat keto options that taste almost as good as the actual offer while keeping you in ketosis:
- Easy low-carb oatmeal keto flour. If you like a little variety in your oatmeal game, check out this ceto oatmeal recipe with 5 ingredients. The base is a simple blend of seeds that mimic the texture and taste of oatmeal. You can also choose from four different recipe options for different flavors, such as cinnamon and strawberry roll and cream.
- Low-carb keto oatmeal. This mixture of almond flour, seeds, almond milk, coconut, cinnamon and more is sweet enough without adding topping. It’s versatile and very easy to put together a bunch of basics you probably already have on hand.
- Keto oatmeal. Flaxseed flour, coconut flour, almond milk and a few simpler ingredients make a surprisingly compelling oatmeal substitute. Feel free to add everything you want on top of that to make it your perfect “oatmeal” bowl.
- Baked oatmeal. Baked oats are certainly better than regular oatmeal because it’s easy, but they still taste delicious. This recipe uses some pretty basic ingredients to create a baked breakfast or lunch. Or dinner, you do.
- Low-carb keto oatmeal overnight. Oats at night can be even better than baked oats. You do not need to use the oven and you can save them for a quick and comfortable breakfast. These use an easy combination of flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut and sweetener to create an overnight oat substitute that is compatible with keto.
You may not be able to have the actual deal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pretend. There are certain keto-friendly seeds that are an excellent substitute for oats. You may notice the difference, but with the right accessories you can create something that you will love so much!
When combined with almond milk or coconut cream, flax seeds become less like a seed and more like an abundant oatmeal.
It also comes with many health benefits. Flaxseed is a source of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Research suggests that flaxseed may improve cardiovascular health and even help prevent cancer.
One study found that people with high cholesterol were able to lower their cholesterol by consuming three tablespoons of flaxseed every day for 3 months.
Dried chia seeds may not look like a good substitute for oatmeal, but soak them in a little vegetable milk for a few hours and you will find that the texture and consistency have completely changed.
Chia seeds are also high in nutrients and low in calories. They contain a lot of antioxidants and fiber, which can make you feel full for longer. This can also make them a good choice if you want to lose weight. One study found that eating chia seeds daily helped people with obesity and type 2 diabetes lose more weight than a placebo.
Some studies have found that chia seeds can also significantly lower blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Hemp seeds (also known as hemp hearts) are very low in carbohydrates, making them keto-friendly. If you use them as a substitute for oats, they work best when soaked in vegetable milk. You can also mix them with other seeds, such as flaxseed or chia seeds. Since they are actually a nut, they have a nice nutty flavor.
Hemp seeds are a great source of protein and contain vitamin E and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc. They also contain large amounts of the amino acid arginine. This produces nitric oxide and can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Because hemp seeds are also a good source of fiber, they can also help with digestion.
Because it is so high in carbohydrates, oatmeal is not compatible with keto and should be avoided if you are trying to reach a state of ketosis. If you love your oatmeal but want to follow your keto diet, there are low carb alternative recipes. Flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds are excellent ketogenic options that can be surprisingly good substitutes for oatmeal.