What Are Keto Cereals, and Are They Any Good?

What Are Keto Cereals, and Are They Any Good?

Cereal is a staple breakfast food. But if you’re watching your carb intake (or maybe even trying out the keto diet), cereal has probably become an off-limits breakfast food. But since the food industry is constantly adapting to the latest trends, there are now tons of low-carb, or “keto,” cereals on the market.

Most traditional cereals are loaded with carbs (around 50g per cup!), tons of sugar, and not much else nutritionally. For those who want a few carbs and sugar, they can pick up a box of low-carb cereal, like the ones reviewed here.

Wait… should you even follow the keto diet?

Keto was first devised to help manage epilepsy, but now many fad-dieters think they can benefit from getting only about 5 percent of their calories from carbs. But it can be argued you’re better off with more carbs than that. They’re your body’s main source of energy, and drastically reducing your carb intake can lead to a lot of unpleasant side effects.

That being said, if you want a way to enjoy a low-carb cereal and get your carbs from other foods throughout the day, then the options below can help you do that.

For full nutrition plans, try out one of Openfit’s programs for free today today; each comes with a meal plan to help keep you on-track! 

 

11 Keto Cereals on the Market

We assembled 11 of the most popular keto, paleo, and low-carb cereals out there, and put them to the test. How do they stack up as far as mimicking the traditional cereal experience? Do they offer great taste, texture, and flavor while still coming in with a low carbohydrate count? All these and more questions are answered in our comprehensive keto cereal roundup!

paleo cereals- bobs red mill muesli

1. Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Style Muesli

Total carbs: 9g; Net carbs: 5g; Calories: 140 per ¼ cup (24g)

Rating: 3 out of 5 Spoons

This is basically a big bag of grain-free coconut flakes mixed with blueberries, cranberries, currants, and strawberries, along with macadamia nuts, almonds, cashews, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Really hearty, and really chewy. It would be more enjoyable mixed with something crunchy for more texture or added into a bit of Greek yogurt.

paleo cereal- bubbas granola

2. Bubba’s Grain Free Ungranola – Bourbon Vanilla

Total carbs: 11g; Net carbs: 9g; Calories: 160 per ⅓ cup (28g)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Spoons

One of the favorites out of all of the cereals because of its more traditional taste and texture. The experience of eating this cereal is pretty close to something like Honey Bunches of Oats. It’s made up of super tasty clusters of coconut flakes, bananas chips, cashews, and sliced almonds. Lots of nice crunch makes it a more interesting bite, instead of a soggy mush.

3. Catalina Crunch – Dark Chocolate

Total carbs: 12g; Net carbs: 5g; Calories: 90 per ⅜ cup (26g)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Spoons

These tasty squares look like Golden Grahams that have been all puffed up. They offer a big, satisfying chocolate flavor from premium cacao powder, with a hint of nuttiness and lots of crunch. The only sweetener is derived from monk fruit, so there’s little of the artificial taste you get from many other cereals. A great breakfast go-to for keto-conscious folks.

paleo cereal- instant hot cereal

4. HighKey Instant Hot Cereal – Coconut Almond

Total carbs: 11g; Net carbs: 2g; Calories: 170 per ⅓ cup (35g)

Rating: 4 out of 5 Spoons

This pleasing cereal has a nice, subtle coconut flavor and an oatmeal-like consistency. There’s good texture provided by coconut flakes and larger nut pieces — it’s like eating a warm porridge. Although it contains sugar alcohols, it also includes monk fruit extract, which cuts down on the artificial sweetener flavor that some alcohols can impart.

keto cereal- keto co

5. Keto and Co Hot Breakfast – Plain

Total carbs: 12g; Net carbs: 4g; Calories: 290 per 2 Tbsp., prepared (20g)

Rating: 1 out of 5 Spoons

This keto cereal was one was the most uninspired and bland of the group. That being said… if you’re a fan of Cream of Wheat, this is the choice for you (no judgment!). There’s not much to recommend here as far as breakfast enjoyment, though it does offer some decent coconut flavor. It’s recommended you add two tablespoons of coconut oil to increase the fat content, and it definitely needs them.

keto cereals- magic spoon

6. Magic Spoon – Cinnamon

Total carbs: 8g; Net carbs: 3g; Calories: 110 per ¾ cup (28g)

Rating: 4 out of 5 Spoons

These Cheerios look-alikes really hit the traditional cereal nostalgia spot in the morning when you hear them clattering into your bowl. They are surprisingly crunchy and are packed with lots of cinnamon spice.

Two downsides: They have a tiny bit of that bitter sugar substitute taste from the addition of stevia, and chunks of the cereal can end up annoyingly sticking to your teeth.

Check out how the other three Magic Spoon flavors stack up in this article!

keto cereal- coconut crunch

7. Nuco Coconut Crunch

Total carbs: 18g; Net carbs: 10g; Calories: 160 per 30g

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Spoons

Though a bit higher in carbs than the true keto cereals, this is probably the closest you’ll get to a low-carb Corn Flakes alternative. The big flakes have a great coconut flavor and an enjoyable hint of sweetness. One deviation from traditional cereal flakes is that they are all flat, so they tend to stick and clump together and kind of become one big mass in your bowl and your mouth.

paleo cereal- paleo krunch

8. PaleoKrunch Grainless Granola – Original

Total carbs: 16g; Net carbs: 9g; Calories: 209 per ⅕ oz (43g)

Rating: 3 out of 5 Spoons

Branded as a paleo breakfast item, this granola cereal still has a pretty low carb count compared to other regular cereals. The flavor was similar to a traditional granola, like a soft Nature Valley bar. A sweet hint of honey coats the clusters of pumpkin seeds, almonds, and coconut — though the chunks were a little too big for spooning, you can easily break them up in your bowl.

keto cereal- paleonola

9. Paleonola Grain Free Granola – Original

Total carbs: 7g; Net carbs: 5g; Calories: 170 per ¼ cup (28g)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Spoons

Also aimed at the paleo crowd, this traditional granola cereal amplifies your breakfast experience with a strong cinnamon flavor mixed with dried berries for a more varied mouthfeel. There are a wide variety of bite-sized clusters that add to a regular cereal experience. All in all, a solid, low-carb morning meal.

keto cereal- purely elizabeth

10. Purely Elizabeth Grain-Free Granola – Coconut Cashew

Total carbs: 10g; Net carbs: 8g; Calories: 170 per ⅓ cup (30g)

Rating: 3 out of 5 Spoons

There’s a solid nutty flavor in this granola cereal, though the chunks of granola are bit too big in your bowl without some smashing. It has a lot of cashews mixed in with coconut flakes and sunflower seeds, all of which are stuck together with cashew butter and a bit of coconut sugar.

keto cereal- protein cereal

11. Wholesome Protein Cereal – Cocoa

Total carbs: 8g; Net carbs: 4g; Calories: 114 per packet (30g)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Spoons

This is a great Cheerios analogue that is sure to please picky eaters. You’ll get 15 grams of protein per serving and a good chocolate flavor with this option, but the artificial sugar-like flavor from the sucralose can be a bit overwhelming. When added to unsweetened almond milk though, the off-putting sweetness is cut down slightly.

 

Should You Eat Keto Cereal?

Although the keto diet is popular and effective in the short term for some, it’s not highly recommended by most nutritionists: “It’s not sustainable,” says Andrea N. Giancoli, M.P.H., R.D., nutrition manager at Openfit.

That said, going for a lower-carb meal, like a keto or paleo “cereal,” can be a good way to cut high amounts of carbs and sugar from your diet while upping the intake of fat and fiber. Most keto cereal concoctions are constructed from varying degrees of coconut, granola, and nuts and seeds — all of which are higher in fat and fiber than your normal cereal ingredients.

However, that also means higher calories, so be sure to check the serving sizes and adjust your intake accordingly. “Just because they’re keto, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be calorie-appropriate,” says Giancoli. “Those calories can really add up so you’ve got to be careful.”

Finally, many of the keto cereals have sugar alcohols in them, which are lower-calorie alternatives to sugar, but are also harder to digest. “You’ve got to be really careful of the sugar alcohols because they can cause gastrointestinal distress,” Giancoli says. If you’re consuming a lot of them you might find that your GI system is not happy.”

Adam Bible

About

Adam Bible is a lifestyle, fitness, nutrition, and health writer and editor with over 15 years experience. His work has appeared in Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, FLEX, Bicycling, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Natural Health, and Whole Living. A former New Yorker, Adam lives in North Carolina where he tends to his 8 chickens and thriving garden while restoring vintage steel bicycles.

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