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Is Oatmeal Keto Friendly? Everything You Need To Know In 2024
Ketogenic-style diets have taken the world by storm. The idea behind this diet is to put the body in a state of ketosis where it will begin eating away at its fat. This requires some strict dietary restrictions like significantly decreasing your carbohydrate intake.
For food lovers who want to try the keto diet, they may have to cut out some of their favorite foods. Grains, starch-containing vegetables, and fruits all have sugars, making them non-ketogenic.
Even some ‘healthy’ foods are not permitted. If you are a breakfast lover you might be asking, is oatmeal ketogenic? Since oatmeal is a high carbohydrate breakfast it is not recommended for a strict ketosis diet.
However, there are some alternatives to oatmeal, and different methods of the keto diet where oats can be incorporated.
Is Oatmeal Keto Friendly?
Can you eat oatmeal on keto? Although oatmeal is a healthy breakfast choice, it is not recommended for the keto diet. Oatmeal supplies the body with ample carbohydrates and fiber in the morning making you feel full for longer.
However, the keto diet suggests that an individual should decrease their net carbs to 50 grams per day. Unfortunately, oatmeal is hard for a low-carb diet, but there are some alternatives:
- Low-carb oatmeal
- Hemp seeds
- Keto oatmeal porridge
- Protein oat
- Chia seeds
What Is The Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high-fat diet initially used to treat neurological disorders including epilepsy. Now, this diet has made its way into pop culture and the fitness world because of its fat-reducing qualities.
Carbohydrates are the body’s normal source of energy since they are quickly metabolized to become glucose– one of the energy currencies in the body.
When carbohydrates decrease in concentration, the body will begin to break apart adipose tissue (also known as fat) to produce fatty acid chains and become metabolically active. This is why the body stores fat: for times when carbohydrates are low.
The idea behind the ketogenic diet is to change which macromolecule (fatty acids, or carbohydrates) is used as the primary energy source. By reducing carbohydrate intake, the liver will primarily degrade fatty acid chains and release ketones into the body. This switch from low to high ketone concentration in the bloodstream is termed ketosis and has many benefits for weight loss.
What Does A Keto Diet Look Like?
Low carb intake is required for the keto diet to switch the body’s energy source from carbs to fats. The recommended daily macromolecule intake is:
- Low Carb: This should be about 5-10% of your daily amount of calories. This equates to around 20 – 50 grams
- Medium Protein: This should be between 20- 30% of your daily amount of calories. This equates to around 100-125 grams.’
- High Fat: About 70-80% of your daily amount of calories. This equates to around 200 grams of fat.
To properly keep track of your macromolecule intake, you can check out the best keto apps!
Oatmeal: An Introduction
Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast option made from oats, which are a grain harvested from oat plants. When oats are soaked with hot milk or water they become a creamy breakfast dish. Oatmeal is highly nutritious and rich in dietary fibers. However, oats have high amounts of carbohydrates making them less keto-friendly than other options.
If oatmeal is your choice of breakfast there are other ways to still incorporate it in your diet. You can substitute oatmeal for a keto-friendly alternative with the same taste and consistency, or adjust the amount of oatmeal you have for breakfast.
Why Oatmeal And Keto Don’t Suitable?
Oatmeal is generally not recommended for a strict keto diet. While oatmeal is an excellent source of dietary fiber, it is filled with a high amount of carbohydrates and a small amount of proteins and fats.
With that being said, a serving of oatmeal does fall below the recommended amount of carbohydrates per day, so it is possible to incorporate low-carb oatmeal into your diet.
Nutritional Information Of Oatmeal
The nutritional content of oatmeal can depend on the brand and if there are any flavors added, but on average these are the nutritional contents for one cup of oatmeal:
- Calories: Around 160
- Carbohydrates: Approximately 54 grams, 8 grams of which are from fiber
- Fat: Around 3 grams
- Protein: Approximately 6 grams
But is oatmeal good for weight loss? Yes, it is still a healthy breakfast option but for a strict ketogenic diet, oatmeal is on the high side of carbohydrates. However, there are variations of the keto diet including the cyclical ketogenic diet or targeted ketogenic diet which aim to adjust the amount of carbs consumed at times of physical activity.
In these keto diet variations, oatmeal can be a good addition to your diet!
3 Keto Oatmeal Recipes
Oatmeal does make for a delicious breakfast and there are keto-friendly options for oatmeal. These meals use low-carb oats or oat alternatives to help keep your body in ketosis:
- Keto oatmeal porridge: One low-carb oatmeal recipe is a mixture of flaxseed, chia seed, and flax known as keto oatmeal porridge. This recipe helps decrease your net carbs but still have an oatmeal-like meal.
- Low-carb keto oatmeal: There are low-carb oatmeals because they contain resistant starch which is non-digestible by humans. Therefore, the body does not recognize this carbohydrate which allows the body to keep blood sugar levels low.
- Protein Oats: Since regular oatmeal is high in carbs, decreasing the amount of oatmeal while adding healthy fats, like peanut butter, or proteins, like protein powder, can help you decrease oat consumption but still feel full.
Alternatives To Keto Friendly Oatmeal
While there are quite a few keto-friendly oatmeal options, there are many low-carb alternatives to eating oatmeal. The options below all have lower net carbs than oatmeal making them a great alternative for a keto lifestyle!
Chia seeds are more than just small black, white, and brown seeds used to decorate the heads of famous figures. Chi-Chi-Chi-Chia is a superfood! They contain high amounts of nutrients and fibers necessary for a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, they can be eaten in many different ways:
- Dried or whole
- Soaked to make chia pudding
- Ground or as a flour alternative
Chia seed pudding has a lower amount of carbs than oatmeal and can replace it for a delicious breakfast meal. Chia seed pudding can be prepared with almond milk or coconut milk to add a natural sweetness and stay keto-friendly. Using chia seeds for weight loss and ketosis is possible!
Flax seeds can be enjoyed as a keto-friendly alternative to oatmeal in various ways. Ground flax seeds can be mixed with hot water or unsweetened almond milk to create a porridge-like consistency. Additionally, flaxseed can be mixed with chia seeds and flax to make a keto-friendly oatmeal.
Hemp Heart Cereal
Hemp heart cereal is a great keto-friendly alternative to oatmeal due to its low carbohydrate content. It can be cracked open, and the nutrient-rich inside can be eaten as cereal. When this is paired with unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk the cereal is still well below the recommended carb limit and is a delicious breakfast option.
The ketogenic diet restricts carbohydrates to promote fat burning, and oatmeal is generally not recommended for strict keto. However, oatmeal is still a healthy breakfast option and there are ways to keep it in your diet. Alternatives like low-carb oatmeal, hemp seeds, keto oatmeal porridge, protein oats, and chia seeds offer lower-carb options. Chia seed pudding is a tasty keto-friendly alternative to oatmeal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Mostly no, but it is possible to incorporate it in your diet with proper planning. The keto diet is a very low-carb diet and since oatmeal is filled with carbohydrates, it is not normally recommended for this diet.
Some alternatives include keto oatmeal porridge, hemp seed cereal, and chia seeds. Oatmeal can still be eaten but in reduced amounts to keep your body in ketosis.
A strict keto diet is no adjustment of carbohydrates to physical exercise. People following a strict keto diet most commonly have under 50 grams of carbs per day.
+ 5 sources
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- McGaugh, E. and Barthel, B. (2022). A Review of Ketogenic Diet and Lifestyle. Missouri medicine, [online] 119(1), pp.84–88. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9312449/.
- Marzena Ułamek-Kozioł, Czuczwar, S.J., Januszewski, S. and Pluta, R. (2019). Ketogenic Diet and Epilepsy. [online] 11(10), pp.2510–2510. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11102510.
- Alessio Basolo, Magno, S., Santini, F. and Ceccarini, G. (2022). Ketogenic Diet and Weight Loss: Is There an Effect on Energy Expenditure? [online] 14(9), pp.1814–1814. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14091814.
- Dowis, K. and Banga, S. (2021). The Potential Health Benefits of the Ketogenic Diet: A Narrative Review. [online] 13(5), pp.1654–1654. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051654.
- Ullah, R., Nadeem, M., Khalique, A., Imran, M., Mehmood, S., Javid, A. and Hussain, J. (2015). Nutritional and therapeutic perspectives of Chia (Salvia hispanica L.): a review. [online] 53(4), pp.1750–1758. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-015-1967-0.