Three of the best low carb cereals recommended by a registered dietitianShare on Pinterest

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Cereal is a breakfast favorite. But most cereals are high in carbs and low in protein and fiber, so they may not be the best choice for a meal that can help you power through to lunchtime.

Whether you’re following the keto diet, reducing your carb intake to help manage diabetes, or just trying to eat less sugar in the morning, you may be looking for a low carb cereal.

There are several varieties on the market to choose from, including ones that my family eats on a regular basis.

Keep reading for our picks of the 10 best low carb cereals.

When shopping for the best low carb cereal, you’ll want to consider the nutritional content, ingredients, price, available flavors, taste and texture, and degree of processing.

Carb content

The number of carbs to look for depends on how strictly you’re limiting your carb intake.

For example, if you’re following a keto diet and counting net carbs — total carbs minus indigestible fiber and sugar alcohols — you’ll want to look for cereals that contain 5 grams or less of net carbs per serving.

On the other hand, a more moderate low carb diet may allow for cereals with up to 20–30 grams of total carbs per serving.

Keep in mind that unless you eat your cereal dry, you’ll also need to account for the carbs provided by your milk or milk alternative of choice.

Ingredients to watch out for

You may want to avoid certain ingredients when choosing a low carb cereal.

For example, artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame may interfere with your gut health (1).

Additionally, many cereals contain artificial colors or flavors or other highly processed ingredients that may be associated with health issues — such as hyperactivity in children or an increased risk of obesity and chronic disease (2).

Fiber and sugar alcohol content

Fiber and sugar alcohols are both indigestible, so the presence of more of them will decrease the net carb count in a cereal.

Plus, fiber offers several health benefits, including improved digestion, better gut health, and a reduced risk of several chronic diseases (3).

However, keep in mind that cereals containing sugar alcohols may cause digestive upset when eaten in large amounts. With these cereals, it’s best to stick to a single serving (4).

Amount of protein

Many low carb cereals are high in protein. Protein can help you feel full longer, especially when paired with fiber (5).

A good general rule is to look for a cereal that contains at least 5 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving.

Available flavors

Many of the most popular brands of low carb cereal are available in traditional cereal flavors such as chocolate, fruity, frosted, and cinnamon. However, not all brands offer the same flavors.

Many brands on our list offer a variety box, which is a great option if you’re not sure which flavor your family will like best.

Price

Most low carb cereals are significantly more expensive than other types of cereal, ranging in price from roughly $1.00–$2.75 per serving.

If you want low carb cereal to be a regular part of your routine, you may want to stock up on your favorite when it goes on sale.

Taste and texture

I grew up eating sugary cereal and have now tried lots of low carb cereals, and my advice is not to expect a low carb cereal to taste just like regular cereal.

Although the texture of many low carb cereals is a perfect substitute, the sugar alternatives used in these cereals don’t taste exactly like sugar — and if you’re not used to the taste of these alternatives, you might find yourself regretting your purchase.

Degree of processing

Another thing to keep in mind is that most cereals — including low carb cereals — are highly processed.

Highly processed foods have been linked to obesity and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Therefore, you should try to limit your intake of low carb cereals, even if they’re made with healthier ingredients than a typical cereal (6, 7).

Some exceptions include unsweetened low carb “oatmeals” and unsweetened low carb granolas. Because they typically contain only nuts and seeds, these products wouldn’t be considered highly processed.

  • Carb content. The cereals on this list contain 20 grams or less of total carbs per serving or 14 grams or less of net carbs per serving.
  • Ingredients. For the most part, we included cereals that are free of artificial sweeteners and other artificial ingredients. For certain brands, we noted that some flavors don’t contain these ingredients, but other flavors might.
  • Taste and texture. Although many low carb cereals are “love it or hate it,” we included only those that we’ve personally tried (and approved of) and those that have mostly positive reviews for taste and texture.
  • Vetting. All the products included have been vetted to ensure that they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.

A note on price

General price ranges are indicated below with dollar signs ($–$$$$). One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas four dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $0.73–$2.75 per serving, or $4.99–$14.99 per package, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $1.00 per serving
  • $$ = $1.00–$1.50 per serving
  • $$$ = $1.51–$2.00 per serving
  • $$$$ = over $2.00 per serving

Best overall

Magic Spoon

  • Price: $$$
  • Flavors: Fruity, Peanut Butter, Cocoa, Cinnamon, Frosted, Blueberry, Maple Waffle, and Cookies & Cream, plus some seasonal and limited edition flavors
  • Pros: variety of flavors, no sugar alcohols
  • Cons: expensive

Magic Spoon cereals are low in carbs and high in protein, with varieties containing 4–5 grams of net carbs and 12–14 grams of protein per 1-cup (36-gram) serving (8).

Magic Spoon cereals come in a variety of classic cereal flavors that make them a favorite among adults and kids alike.

In addition to being grain-free and sugar-free, Magic Spoon cereals are free of sugar alcohols.

Instead, they’re sweetened with a blend of monk fruit extract and allulose, an indigestible form of sugar that doesn’t appear to cause the same digestive problems in high doses. Allulose can also be subtracted from total carbs when calculating net carbs (9).

I’ve tried several Magic Spoon flavors, and for the most part, they taste great.

While I found the Frosted flavor cloyingly sweet, some of the other flavors were really tasty. My current favorite is the Cookies & Cream.

I also love the texture and crunch of Magic Spoon cereal — it fully satisfies my cereal cravings. Best of all, my 6-year-old loves it too!

Nutrition per 1-cup (38-gram) serving of Magic Spoon Fruity (8):

  • Calories: 150
  • Total carbs: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Net carbs: 4 grams
  • Protein: 13 grams

Best budget-friendly low carb cereal

Kashi GO Keto Friendly Breakfast Cereal

  • Price: $
  • Flavors: Dark Cocoa, Cinnamon Vanilla
  • Pros: inexpensive, lightly sweetened, no sugar alcohols
  • Cons: not appropriate for keto

Although many low carb cereals can be expensive, this one from Kashi is significantly less so — plus, it’s really tasty.

Despite its name, Kashi GO Keto contains too many net carbs for most keto diet. However, it’s an excellent choice for other, more moderate low carb diets. It also contains an impressive 12 grams of protein per 1-cup (40-gram) serving.

Kashi GO Keto is sweetened with monk fruit extract and allulose, so it’s free of sugar alcohols.

This cereal is one of my favorites. The Dark Cocoa flavor has the perfect level of sweetness, and the Cinnamon Vanilla flavor reminds me of some of my childhood favorites. Both flavors also have a really good crunch.

Nutrition per 1-cup (40-gram) serving of Kashi GO Dark Cocoa (10):

  • Calories: 150
  • Total carbs: 19 grams
  • Fiber: 8 grams
  • Net carbs: 10 grams
  • Protein: 12 grams

Best keto cereal

Snack House Keto Cereal

  • Price: $$$$
  • Flavors: Banana Maple French Toast, Fruity Puffs, Cinnamon Swirl, Chocolate, PB Cup, Wild Berry
  • Pros: keto-friendly, no sugar alcohols
  • Cons: food dyes and artificial sweeteners in some flavors

With certain flavors containing only 1 gram of net carbs per 2/3-cup (27-gram) serving, Snack House Keto Cereal is perfect for people following the keto diet.

The cereal is sweetened with a combination of allulose (which reduces the net carb count), stevia, and monk fruit.

Best of all, reviewers rave about the flavor.

Just keep in mind that the Fruity Puffs flavor contains artificial food dyes, which have been linked to some health problems, such as hyperactivity in children (2).

Additionally, the Banana Maple French Toast flavor contains the artificial sweetener sucralose, which may affect gut health and metabolic health (11).

Nutrition per 2/3-cup (27-gram) serving of Snack House Fruity Puffs Cereal (12):

  • Calories: 115
  • Total carbs: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Net carbs: 1 gram
  • Protein: 15 grams

Best low carb cereal for kids

Schoolyard Snacks Cereal

  • Price: $$$$
  • Flavors: Peanut Butter, Cocoa, Fruity, Cinnamon Bun, Cookies & Cream
  • Pros: low in total and net carbs, no sugar alcohols, individually packaged
  • Cons: expensive

Schoolyard Snacks cereal is made from minimal ingredients, low in sugar, and packaged in single-serving (26-gram) bags, making it a perfect after-school or on-the-go snack for kids.

Each flavor is sweetened with a blend of allulose and monk fruit and contains a maximum of nine ingredients.

However, reviewers are really mixed regarding the taste. Some love the taste of the cereal, while others say it has a distinct aftertaste from the sweeteners.

Nutrition for 1 single-serving (26-gram) bag of Schoolyard Snacks Cocoa (13):

  • Calories: 100
  • Total carbs: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 1 gram
  • Net carbs: 1 gram
  • Protein: 13 grams

Best low carb cereal with the most flavors

Catalina Crunch

  • Price: $$
  • Flavors: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Fruity, Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon Toast, Maple Waffle, Honey Graham, Chocolate Banana, Mint Chocolate Chip
  • Pros: zero sugar, high in fiber, no sugar alcohols
  • Cons: small serving size, some reviewers say the stevia leaves an aftertaste

Catalina Crunch cereals come in a variety of popular cereal flavors, as well as some unexpected ones like Chocolate Banana and Mint Chocolate Chip.

The cereals are sweetened with stevia and monk fruit and contain an impressive 9 grams of fiber per 1/2-cup (36-gram) serving, keeping net carbs low.

However, some reviewers say the stevia aftertaste is prominent and can make the actual flavors of the cereal seem muted.

I personally like Catalina Crunch, but it’s not one to reach for if you’re looking for something very similar to a conventional cereal. It’s harder than most other cereals and very crunchy, so you may want to let it soak in milk for a minute or two before digging in.

Another potential downside is that the serving size is relatively small compared with those of others on this list.

Still, I regularly purchase Catalina Crunch because I enjoy all the flavors (especially the Dark Chocolate) and don’t mind the stevia aftertaste.

Nutrition per 1/2-cup (36-gram) serving of Catalina Crunch Chocolate Peanut Butter (14):

  • Calories: 110
  • Total carbs: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams
  • Net carbs: 5 grams
  • Protein: 11 grams

Best low carb hot cereal

Pure Traditions Instant Keto “Oatmeal”

  • Price: $$$
  • Flavors: Unsweetened, Maple, Power Protein
  • Pros: made with real food ingredients, high in fiber
  • Cons: some reviewers say cinnamon taste is too strong

Pure Traditions Instant Keto “Oatmeal” is a great option if you’re missing oatmeal, grits, or cream of wheat on your low carb diet.

In addition to being keto- and paleo-friendly, this hot cereal is minimally processed and contains only whole food ingredients, including ground coconut, tree nuts, seeds, and konjac root (which is also used to make low carb shirataki noodles).

The brand also offers a Maple flavor that’s sweetened with real maple sugar. While it has about twice the amount of total carbs per 1/2-cup (40-gram) serving compared with the Unsweetened option, the Maple variety is still lower in carbs than traditional sweetened oatmeal.

Overall, reviewers are impressed with both the flavor and the texture of the cereal, though many say that the cinnamon — which is in all the flavors — can be overwhelming.

Nutrition per 1/2-cup (40-gram) serving of Pure Traditions Unsweetened (15):

  • Calories: 240
  • Total carbs: 10 grams
  • Fiber: 8 grams
  • Net carbs: 2 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams

Best low carb granola

Livlo Granolo

  • Price: $$
  • Flavors: Cinnamon Almond Pecan, Chocolate Hazelnut, Frosted Blueberry
  • Pros: good reviews for taste, keto-friendly
  • Cons: contains sugar alcohol

Looking for a low carb granola to snack on or sprinkle on top of yogurt? Livlo Granolo ticks all the boxes, as it contains just 1–2 grams of net carbs per 1/3-cup (35-gram) serving, depending on the flavor.

Livlo Granolo contains a mixture of nuts and seeds for crunch, a coating made from coconut oil, and 5 grams of erythritol per serving for sweetness.

Just keep in mind that eating large amounts of erythritol-containing foods could result in digestive discomfort.

I’ve only tried the Chocolate Hazelnut flavor, which I found to be really delicious. I’m not a huge fan of coconut, so I appreciated that the coconut wasn’t the star of the show (as it is in many other low carb products).

Thanks to the textures from the nuts and seeds and the hint of sweetness from the chocolate coating, I found it to be indistinguishable from a more carb-laden granola — with a comparable serving size too.

Nutrition per 1/3-cup (35-gram) serving of Livlo Granolo Chocolate Hazelnut (16):

  • Calories: 180
  • Total carbs: 10 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 1 gram
  • Protein: 5 grams

Best low carb granola runner-up

Lakanto Granola

  • Price: $$
  • Flavors: Cinnamon Almond Crunch, Chocolate Crunch, Berry Crunch
  • Pros: fairly inexpensive, good taste according to reviewers
  • Cons: contains sugar alcohol, lower in protein than other low carb cereals

Lakanto is a well-known brand of sugar-free sweeteners made from monk fruit and erythritol. They also sell various snacks, drink mixes, and other foods made with their sugar alternative.

One of their offerings is this low carb granola, which contains just 2 grams of net carbs per 1/3-cup (30-gram) serving.

Containing mostly coconut and sunflower seeds, it has a great crunch and is a good alternative to traditional granola. Reviewers say it tastes great with yogurt or on its own.

Just keep in mind that because the granola contains 5 grams of sugar alcohol per serving, it’s best to stick to one serving at a time to avoid an upset stomach.

Nutrition per 1/3-cup (30-gram) serving of Lakanto Granola Cinnamon Almond Crunch (17):

  • Calories: 160
  • Total carbs: 10 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Net carbs: 2 grams
  • Protein: 3 grams

Best grain-free cereal

Three Wishes

  • Price: $$
  • Flavors: Cinnamon, Honey, Unsweetened, Cocoa, Fruity, Frosted
  • Pros: fairly inexpensive, several flavors available
  • Cons: not appropriate for keto, some find the texture too crunchy

Three Wishes cereal is grain-free and vegan, so it’s ideal for people following a gluten-free or dairy-free diet.

It’s also low in sugar and carbs, with the Unsweetened version containing 17 grams of total carbs per 3/4-cup (35-gram) serving and sweetened flavors containing 3 grams of additional carbs per serving from added sugar.

While these cereals aren’t appropriate for ultra low carb keto diets, they are a good fit if you’re following a more moderate low carb diet or if you’re just trying to reduce your sugar intake.

Reviewers are happy with the taste and texture overall, though some say the cereal is a little too hard and crunchy.

Nutrition per 3/4-cup (35-gram) serving of Three Wishes Unsweetened (18):

  • Calories: 110
  • Total carbs: 15 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Net carbs: 12 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams

Best no-added-sugar cereal

Seven Sundays Keto Rise & Shine Grain Free Muesli

  • Price: $
  • Flavors: Strawberry Banana Nut, Golden Hour Turmeric Blueberry, Lucky Day Matcha Hemp
  • Pros: inexpensive compared to other keto cereals, no added sugars, made with whole food ingredients
  • Cons: some reviewers say there’s too much almond and coconut

Muesli cereal is similar to granola in that it mostly contains nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. However, the ingredients aren’t baked, and the cereal is typically soaked overnight in milk before being eaten.

While muesli is often high in carbs, Seven Sundays Strawberry Banana Nut Keto Rise & Shine Grain Free Muesli is a great choice for those following a low carb diet.

Made from almonds and coconut, the cereal is free of added sugar and sweetened using only real fruit, including coconut, dates, cherries, bananas, and strawberries.

Many reviewers enjoy the taste, though some complain that the strawberry banana flavor is overpowered by the almonds and coconuts.

The company offers two other grain-free muesli flavors, Golden Hour Turmeric Blueberry and Lucky Day Matcha Hemp, both of which are low in carbs but do contain some added sugar.

Nutrition per 1/3-cup (30-gram) serving of Seven Sundays Keto Muesli Strawberry Banana Nut (19):

  • Calories per serving: 170
  • Total carbs: 9 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Net carbs: 5 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams

What is the lowest carb cereal available?

Based on both total and net carbs, the lowest carb cereal available is Schoolyard Snacks. The Cocoa and Cookies & Cream flavors each contain just 6 grams of total carbs and 1 gram of net carbs per package (13).

What milk has the fewest carbs?

The amount of carbs in milk and milk alternatives varies by brand and flavor.

In general, milks with the least amount of carbs include unsweetened almond and coconut milks, which contain approximately 3 or 2 grams of carbs per 8 ounces (240 mL), respectively (20, 21).

Because cow’s milk contains 12 grams of carbs per 8 ounces (245 ml), it’s not suitable for those following a very low carb diet like the keto diet. However, small amounts can fit into a more moderate low carb diet (22).

Sweetened milk and sweetened plant-based milks contain high amounts of added sugars and should be avoided on a low carb diet (23, 24).

How many carbs should you eat at breakfast?

The amount of carbs to eat at breakfast depends on several factors, including the type of dietary pattern you’re following, how carbs make you feel in the morning, your preferences, your activity level, and what else you’ll be eating that day.

For example, people following a keto diet with a limit of 25 grams of net carbs per day may not want to exceed 7 or 8 grams of net carbs at breakfast, whereas people following more flexible low carb diets may be able to have a breakfast containing 25–40 grams of carbs.

People who have really active jobs or lifestyles may want a higher carb intake at breakfast because carbs provide a readily accessible form of energy (25).

What cereals can I have on keto?

Because the keto diet limits carbs to about 25 grams of net carbs per day, look for cereals that contain 5 grams or less of net carbs per serving.

Some of the most popular keto cereal brands are:

Is it OK to eat oatmeal on a low carb diet?

In many instances, oatmeal can be eaten on a low carb diet.

Diets containing roughly 130 grams or less of total carbs per day can be considered low in carbs, and 1/2 cup (40 grams) of dry oatmeal contains only 27 grams of total carbs — so it can easily fit into a more moderate low carb diet (26, 27).

However, for stricter low carb diets like keto or Atkins, oatmeal contains too many carbs and can easily take up your entire day’s carb allotment in a single serving.

Several low carb cereals are available that allow you to enjoy the taste and crunch of cereal without all the sugar.

Some cereals are extremely low in carbs and are therefore appropriate for the keto diet, while others are moderately low in carbs and offer a satisfying alternative to sugar-laden cereals for people looking to reduce their sugar intake.

Ideally, choose cereals that are free of artificial sweeteners and other artificial ingredients. It’s also a good idea to select a product that’s high in protein and fiber to help you feel full longer.

Because a number of healthier options are available, cereal can most definitely be part of your low carb diet.