Breakfast cereal is a popular meal choice, however, many cereals are high in carbs and low in protein and fiber, making them less ideal for providing sustained energy until lunchtime. If you’re following a low-carb diet such as keto, managing diabetes by reducing your carb intake, or simply looking to consume less sugar in the morning, you may be searching for a low carb cereal option. Fortunately, there are several varieties available on the market, some of which my family enjoys regularly. Check out our top 10 picks for the best low carb cereals.
How to choose a low carb cereal
To find the best low carb cereal, there are several factors to consider, including nutritional content, ingredients, price, available flavors, taste and texture, and degree of processing.
When it comes to carb content, the number of carbs to look for depends on how strictly you’re limiting your carb intake. For those following a keto diet, cereals with 5 grams or less of net carbs per serving are ideal, while a more moderate low carb diet may allow for up to 20-30 grams of total carbs per serving. Keep in mind that milk or milk alternatives also add to the carb count.
Ingredients to watch out for include artificial sweeteners and highly processed ingredients that may be linked to health issues. Fiber and sugar alcohols can decrease the net carb count and offer health benefits, but excessive consumption of sugar alcohols may cause digestive issues.
Protein is important for satiety, so look for cereals with at least 5 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving. Available flavors vary by brand, and variety boxes can be a good option for trying different flavors.
Low carb cereals are generally more expensive, so it may be worth stocking up when they go on sale. However, don’t expect them to taste exactly like regular cereals, as they often use sugar alternatives. Most cereals, including low carb options, are highly processed, which has been linked to chronic diseases. Exceptions include unsweetened low carb “oatmeals” and granolas made with only nuts and seeds.
How we chose the best low carb cereals
Here’s how we selected the best low carb cereals:
We considered carb content, and all cereals on our list have 20 grams or less of total carbs per serving or 14 grams or less of net carbs per serving.
We prioritized cereals that are free of artificial sweeteners and other artificial ingredients, though some flavors of certain brands may contain these ingredients.
Taste and texture are important, so we only included cereals that we’ve personally tried and enjoyed or that have positive reviews.
We vetted all products to ensure they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.