Is Granola Keto-Friendly?

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Written by Rahul Malpe, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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Most households have become accustomed to eating granola. A versatile food, granola can be eaten fresh as a snack, added to Greek yogurt for a filling breakfast, used to top off your parfait with a crunchy topping, or even eaten as a healthy snack to keep you energized all day long.

But if you are following a ketogenic diet, you may be concerned about whether granola is low enough in carbs.

We are going to discuss the most important characteristics of this food in order to explain if it is compatible with keto. In detail, we will cover whether it is keto-friendly or not,  as well as how many types there are. And if it doesn't suit your diet, what are your other options? Find out more by reading on.


What is granola?

It is a type of breakfast cereal that is made from rolled oats, nuts, and sometimes dried fruit. It is often sweetened with honey or brown sugar. It is high in fiber and protein, and it is a good source of vitamins and minerals. 

It can be eaten on its own or added to yogurt or milk. It can also be used as a topping for pancakes or waffles. Some people add this food to their morning smoothie. It can be found in the cereal aisle of most supermarkets.

It is made by first mixing together rolled oats, nuts, and other ingredients. The mixture is then spread out on a baking sheet and baked until it is crispy. Once the mixture has cooled, it can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month when homemade. Packaged versions can often be stored for longer but may have added preservatives.


Nutrition facts

One serving of this food contains the following nutrients:

Serving size: 1/4 cup (28 g)  

  • Calories: 130 kcal
  • Fat: 8.1 g
  • Net carbs: 11 g
  • Total carbs: 13 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Keep in mind that nutrition information will vary depending on the type and brand you buy, or what ingredients you put in your own homemade version. This is just one example to give you a general idea.

This food is made from a variety of ingredients, including oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. It contains both fiber and protein, and it also contains important vitamins and minerals. 

Especially when ingredients such as nuts and seeds are added, its antioxidant content can help to protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Unfortunately, as you can see, this food is quite high in its overall carb content, putting into doubt its suitability for a ketogenic diet.




Can you have granola on a keto diet?

When we talk about traditional types, the answer is no, granola is not keto-friendly.

However, it depends on the ingredients. 

Most commercial granolas are not good for keto because they are made with oats, honey, and dried fruit, all of which are high in carbohydrates.

Luckily there are also many recipes for homemade "low-carb" versions that use ketogenic ingredients such as nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. 

So if you're craving a crunchy breakfast cereal on your keto diet, you may be able to make your own — just be sure to choose a recipe that fits your macronutrient goals.


How much granola can you have on the keto diet? 

Traditional granola is not low enough in carbs to be easily included in a ketogenic diet. Just ¼ cup can have 11 g of net carbs or more. 

Still, you may be able to find a brand with a low-carb version. Compare the ingredients and nutrition label on different products to see if you can find a viable option, ideally with less than 5 grams of net carbs per serving. 

To stay in ketosis — the metabolic state that causes your body to burn fat for energy — most people need to consume fewer than 50 grams of net carbs per day. So, how much you can eat of any one food depends on how many carbs it has and how many carbs you eat during the rest of the day. There is some room for give and take, just measure your portion, count the carbs, and plan your other meals accordingly.

When choosing this food, try to avoid ingredients that are not keto. Examples include honey, sugar, and dried apples, raisins, or other dried fruit. 

What kind of granola can you have on keto?

While traditional types are high in carbohydrates and added sugar, keto-friendly granolas use alternative ingredients to fit a low-carb diet. 

Lakanto Keto Granola: It is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate product with healthy fats and proteins. It is sweetened with monk fruit extract and has a nutty, crunchy texture. 

Livlo Keto Nut Granola: It is a grain-free product made with a blend of nuts, seeds, and spices. It is sweetened with erythritol and has a dense, chewy texture. 

Perfect Keto Nola Bars: They are low-carbohydrate, high-fat granola-type bars that are convenient for on-the-go snacking. They are made with almonds, cocoa butter, and coconut oil and are sweetened with stevia.

Things to look for when choosing keto-friendly granola: 

  1. First, make sure it is low in carbs, and watch out for added sugars. 
  2. Second, see if it has healthy fats and protein. 
  3. Third, check the ingredients list for unhealthy additives. 
  4. Finally, choose a flavor that you enjoy. 
  5. Commercial granola and granola bars may be highly processed, so it’s best to have them only in moderation.


What can you have it with?

While this food is traditionally thought of as breakfast food, a small amount can actually be a great addition to a number of low-carb dishes. 

For instance, it can be used as a topping for a spinach and feta omelet, or it can be added to kale and chicken salad for some extra crunch. 

It can also be used to make a delicious and low-carbohydrate alternative to rice pudding. Simply substitute the rice and enjoy a satisfying and nutritious dessert. 

Keto-friendly granola alternatives

As we know by now, including traditional versions of this food is not possible on a keto diet. Fortunately, there are some alternatives that can help you start your day off right. 

Low-carb breakfast ideas:

  • Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen berries. Add almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds for the crunch you may be craving.
  • Green smoothie with spinach, avocado, and almond or coconut milk.
  • Omelet with mushrooms, tomatoes, arugula, and cheese.

Another option is to make your own granola using a mix of nuts, seeds, and spices. You can try substituting the oats for coconut flakes. Or, purchase a commercially prepared ketogenic granola, which can be found at most health food stores. 


FAQ about granola on a keto diet

Interested in learning more about this food? Here are some answers to questions you may have.

There are many keto brands on the market, including IQBAR, think!, and Munk Pack. 

These brands are available online and in some health food stores. Whatever brand or recipe you choose, be sure to read the label carefully to make sure it fits within your overall ketogenic diet plan. 

And remember, these types of bars may be highly processed foods. You can enjoy them occasionally, but it’s better to lean toward choosing minimally processed foods more often.

Look online for low-carb recipes of this product for the perfect breakfast or snack. You can experiment by using a combination of:

  • Coconut flakes
  • Walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts
  • Peanut butter, almond butter
  • Chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds

To sweeten it, you can use erythritol and stevia instead of sugar, or try eating the granola with fresh or frozen berries to sweeten it naturally. The end result is delicious and nutritious low-carb granola that can be enjoyed guilt-free.

No, oats are too high in carbs. Half a cup of dry oats can have around 23 grams of net carbs. This is why low-carb granolas do not contain oats and instead use ingredients like coconut flakes, nuts, and seeds. 

Yes, you can use a small amount of granola to add some crunch and nutrients to a low-carb bread. Since you’ll only eat a slice or two at a time, you can spread out the carbs contained in the granola. 

Try adding it to keto banana bread!

No, it is not, due to its high carbohydrate and sugar content (from the added honey and concentrated syrup). These simple carbohydrates are quickly absorbed by the body and spike blood sugar levels, which is not conducive to a ketogenic lifestyle. 

Yes, it can be. Iron, vitamin D, folate, and zinc are among the important micronutrients found in them. However, it often contains added sugars and may be highly processed, so it depends on the type.

While there may be some health benefits to granola, it's important to remember that it's not a low-calorie food. So if you're watching your weight, you might want to limit your intake. Its high carb content also makes it incompatible with a keto diet.