If you’re looking for healthy low carb breakfasts, you’ve found the right place. I’ve decided to update my post on healthy low carb breakfasts with more tasty and healthy recipes!
When looking to lose weight, exercise is a must. But the right nutrition is equally important. One of the most challenging tasks can be creating a healthy routine of low carb breakfasts. Not only do you have to avoid higher-carb choices like white bread and bagels, but you can’t forget about all the high-fat treats either — think buttery pancakes and syrup.
Healthy Low Carb Breakfasts
Trying to cut back on unhealthy carbs from foods like white bread and sugar? Start your day with one of these satisfying breakfasts, each of which keeps the carbs to a minimum.
Paleo Steak and Egg Salad
This protein-packed steak and egg salad is paleo-friendly and the perfect way to start your day. Red onion is soaked in cold water to take the edge off — an easy trick you can use over and over again.
Get the Recipe: Paleo Steak and Egg Salad
Keto Mint Chip Breakfast Smoothie
This mint chip ice cream look-alike, in the form of a keto smoothie, is perfect for a quick breakfast on the go.
Get the Recipe: Keto Mint Chip Breakfast Smoothie
Sweet Potato Toast with Ricotta, Berries, Honey and Almonds
Trade bread for a toasty sweet potato alternative, topped with honey-drizzled ricotta, berries and sliced almonds.
Healthy Low-Carb Breakfast Recipes
Whether you have diabetes, stick to a Mediterranean diet, or are on keto, these nutritious and creative morning meal ideas fit the bill.
Pancakes on a low-carb diet? It’s possible!
When trying to slash carbs from your diet, the hardest meal to make that happen for may be breakfast. For one, breakfast has traditionally been something rich in carbohydrates, which tend to be convenient to make, says Emily Spurlock, RD, who’s based in Boise, Idaho. “Cereal and toast are quick, easy options,” she says.
However, switching up your morning meal to a dish where carbs aren’t the main event can lead to benefits you may not expect. “I find that people have more sustained energy and avoid the midmorning slump when they move away from high-carb breakfast options,” she says. A lower-carb meal is better for helping you feel full and satisfied compared with a low-fat one, according to a randomized, controlled trial published in June 2016 in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases. What’s more, you’re also likely eating higher-fat foods (like nuts or seeds) at the meal, which can keep blood sugar stable and thereby help decrease cravings for sugary foods, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health points out.
There are various types of low-carb diets, including a standard low-carb diet, the Atkins diet, the ketogenic, or “keto,” diet (both low carb and high fat), and a low-carb Mediterranean diet. (For some of the below recipes, we include net carbs, which signify the total carbohydrates minus fiberand sugar alcohols, according to Atkins, and are often counted on diets including keto.) Each of these plans has different guidelines and rules, but in general, if you are following a standard low-carb diet, you will likely aim for 20 to 60 grams (g) of carbs per day, according to the Mayo Clinic. Spurlock recommends keeping breakfast to less than 20 g of carbohydrates. (If you’re following keto and aiming for 20 g of net carbs per day, as some people do, you will need to adjust accordingly and will be more limited in recipes.)
Easier said than done, you may be thinking. But you don’t have to eat eggs cooked in butter, topped with cheese, and paired with bacon to go low carb. For healthier (and more varied) options that are still low carb, think plant based and balanced. That means your meal will contain lean protein, unsaturated fat, and fiber from veggies, recommends Bonnie Nasar, RDN, of Freehold, New Jersey
For creative ideas that snap you out of breakfast boredom, turn to food bloggers, who are always up for easy, simple, and accessible meals that work for various taste preferences, diets, and budgets. Here are 15 great, healthy low-carb breakfast ideas:1
2. Farmers Market Breakfast Bowls
“What I want to see is a breakfast that’s half vegetables and contains some protein and healthy fat,” says Nasar. That trifecta will help regulate your body’s blood sugar response. She also encourages clients to expand their views of breakfast and simply see it as another healthy meal you eat in the morning. That could help if you’ve avoided adding vegetables to breakfast in the past. This breakfast bowl from Love & Lemons has a base of carrot rice, salad greens, beets, radishes, and tomatoes, all topped with an herby Greek yogurt sauce. Per serving (half of the recipe with one-quarter cup of dressing), there are 217 calories, 13 grams g of fat, 17 g of carbs, and 10 g of protein.
2. Low-Carb Granola Cereal
Granola doesn’t have to mean oats and a ton of sugar. This healthier spin from Wholesome Yum can work on a ketogenic or paleo diet. It’s made with a mix of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans) and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, and flax), and it comes together with an egg white, butter, and vanilla extract for a light, sweet flavor. Making it a goal to consume more plant seeds is a worthy one: A review published in the journal Circulation concluded that seeds — which are rich in unsaturated fats, minerals, fiber, and plant compounds called phytosterols — lead to lower inflammation, may help improve blood flow, and reduce blood pressure, all of which works together to reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. A quarter cup of this granola has 278 calories, 26 g of fat, 7 g of carbs, and 7 g of protein.
3. Low-Carb Breakfast Bowl
This breakfast bowl from Lena’s Kitchen will completely transform the way you view breakfast. The bowl is brimming with vegetables, including radishes, onions, cauliflower, kale, and herbs, and is great for a low-carb Mediterranean diet. If you’re not an egg eater, you can absolutely omit the soft-boiled egg on top. The egg will offer an additional 6 g of satiating protein, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). However, unlike many egg-based breakfast dishes, this recipe does not need the egg to be delicious, filling, and successful. Also, if you’re watching calories, use portion control, as this recipe is high in them. Each serving (half of the recipe) has 814 calories, 63 g of fat, 41 g of carbs, and 28 g of protein.
4. Bacon and Zucchini Eggs in a Nest
If you find that you succumb to busy mornings, freezer meals are your friend. “Dishes that are easy to make ahead of time and freeze well are perfect. Cook a veggie-and-egg recipe in a muffin tin, freeze, and take them out when you’re ready to eat,” says Nasar. Try this recipe from I Breathe I’m Hungry. This low-carb breakfast is ideal for keto, paleo, and gluten-free dieters. It’s made in a heavy-bottom pan, but you can easily adapt it to fit into a muffin tin. Even better: You’re only working with four ingredients: zucchini noodles, bacon, cheese, and eggs. Per serving (one egg in a nest), there are 242 calories, 19 g of fat, 6 g of carbs, and 14 g of protein.
5. Caprese Crustless Quiche
If you’re confused about what a crustless quiche is, call it a frittata. If you’re an egg lover, you’re going to want to try this recipe from Wholesome Yum, which is low enough in carbs to be appropriate for a keto or other low-carb, high-fat diet. “The healthiest way to have eggs for breakfast is to pair them with veggies,” says Spurlock. This take on a caprese salad combines tomatoes, basil, garlic, and mozzarella pieces. You can also make this as part of a weekly meal prep and pop out a slice from the fridge for a super fast breakfast. One slice (six slices per frittata) has 218 calories, 14.6 g of fat, 3.5 g of carbs, and 17.4 g of protein.
6. Low-Carb Keto Oatmeal
“It’s possible to make a low-carb version of oatmeal that’s delicious, hearty, and filling, and is similar to a hot cereal you’re used to,” says Nasar. This Wholesome Yum recipe can be changed up into several versions so it never gets boring. The base is a mix of flaxseed meal, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and coconut milk. “Hemp seeds provide protein, fiber, and fat,” explains Nasar. The recipe makes a single serving, which has 592 calories, 47 g of fat, 9 g of carbs, and 31 g of protein. If you’re watching your caloric intake, eat half this morning and save the other half for tomorrow.
7. Nutty Granola
This granola recipe from Ditch the Carbs stands out because it’s free of shredded coconut, which many low-carb granolas incorporate but some people don’t like the taste of. There is coconut oil in here, but the flavor is far more mild. This granola, which is suitable for a keto, Atkins, or a standard low-carb diet, is packed with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts. The USDA says that one Brazil nut contains 96 micrograms of selenium — 175 percent of your daily value — a mineral that has antioxidant properties and may provide protection against certain cancers, according to the National Institutes of Health. A quarter cup of this grandola has 222 calories, 21 g of fat, 6 g of carbs, and 5 g of protein.z
8. Low-Carb Keto Pancakes
If you’re on the keto diet but really missing staples like pancakes, there are ways you can make pancakes that fit your macros. This version from The Novice Chef contains 4 g of net carbs per serving. To create a fluffy stack, these are made with a base of eggs, cream cheese (hello, pleasing tang), and almond flour. Almond flour is the key here — it is the ingredient that mimics a traditional pancake’s texture for fewer carbs. Case in point: A quarter cup of almond flour has 6 g of carbs and 2 g of fiber, while the same serving of all-purpose flour has 24 g of carbs and less than 1 g of fiber, notes the USDA. In a serving of three pancakes, you’ll get 391 calories, 33 g of fat, 7.8 g of carbs, and 14.9 g of protein.
9. Creamy Avocado Banana Green Smoothie
Bananas are thought of as off-limits on a low-carb diet, but with carb counting and the right portion size, you can still enjoy them. This avocado and banana green smoothie from Minimalist Baker contains 18 g of carbs (and about 13 g of net carbs). The banana lends sweetness to the smoothie; the avocado gives it creaminess and, as Harvard Health Publishing notes, contains unsaturated healthy fat. The protein powder provides satiating protein, and the greens pack antioxidants, per the USDA. It’s perfect if you’re following a vegan, vegetarian, or Eco-Atkins low-carb diet. Get your greens in early! One smoothie is a serving, containing 146 calories, 6 g of fat, 18.2 g of carbs, and 6.9 g of protein.
10. One-Sheet Pan Sweet Potato Breakfast
Want to impress your family? Throw this sheet pan breakfast from Lena’s Kitchen into the oven before they get up on a Saturday morning. The Whole30 meal will appeal to you whether you follow Whole30 or are just looking for a breakfast that hinges on whole foods. This meal is made with sweet potatoes, red cabbage, chicken apple sausage, eggs, and avocado (definitely don’t forget the avocado). And yes, you can still fit sweet potatoes into a low-carb breakfast. In fact, a small sweet spud offers just 13.5 g of carbohydrates, including 2 g of fiber, notes the USDA. The recipe makes six servings; one serving has 359 calories, 22 g of fat, 29 g of net carbs, and 14 g of protein.
12. Keto Cinnamon Almond Butter Breakfast Shake
When you want something sweet for breakfast, this smoothie from I Breathe I’m Hungry will answer that call. Combine the nut milk of your choice with almond butter, flax, cinnamon, almond extract, and stevia, and whirl it up in a blender. (The recipe calls for collagen peptides, too: The ingredient adds protein, but it is a specialty product that comes with extra cost, so you can omit it depending on your budget.) Also, play around with the nut butter you use to mix things up. For instance, the USDA notes that almond butter offers 98 calories, 3 g of protein, 3 g of carbs, and 9 g of fat per tablespoon. Comparatively, cashew butter has 97 calories, 2 g of protein, 5 g of carbs, and 8 g of fat per tablespoon. One smoothie has 326 calories, 27 g of fat, 11 g of carbs, and 19 g of protein.
13. Nourishing Bone Broth Tonic
Not everyone is a breakfast person. If you’re not into it but still like something nourishing and warm to start your day, consider warm bone broth. This one from Minimalist Baker uses chicken bone broth, seasoned with nutritional yeast, turmeric, garlic, and onion. One interesting thing about bone broth is that it’s packed with protein. It’s suitable for a standard low-carb diet, gluten-free low carbers, and those on Whole30. As the USDA notes, just a cup of bone broth has 9 g of protein, 7 g of fat, and 4 g of carbs — making it far more filling than you’d assume. And garlic has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can have favorable effects on cholesterol, and may help reduce inflammation, according to Oregon State University. A 10-ounce serving has 86 calories, 3.9 g of fat, 4.2 g of carbs, and 8.4 g of protein.
14. The Best Low-Carb Bagels
Yes, this is a real recipe (from The Novice Chef), and it works for both Atkins and keto diets. It’s possible to make a chewy, almost-like-the-real-deal bagel when you trade white flour for almond flour. It is also packed with cheese (cream and mozzarella), plus everything-bagel seasoning ($2.29, Target.com) for a big hit of flavor. Then it’s all in how you top your bagel. Add an egg and several juicy tomato slices, or spread on a thin layer of cream cheese (you can opt for dairy-free cream cheese made with nut milk to cut down on saturated fat) and top with last night’s leftover veggies. In one bagel, there are 344 calories, 28 g of fat, 9 g of carbs, and 17 g of protein.
Cinnamon Coffee Smoothie
Here’s a new way to combine your morning coffee with your breakfast: a coffee smoothie. Love & Lemons has a great one that includes banana and almond butter (for carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber), along with vanilla protein powder. If you prefer things on the sweeter side, throw in a date for a natural source of sugar without having to rely on a liquid sweetener. For an extra boost, maca powder is an optional ingredient. The Peruvian root supplies a caffeine-free buzz, according to the company Gaia Herbs. This is ideal for a vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free low-carb diet. The recipe makes two smoothies; each one has 119 calories, 6 g of fat, 16 g of carbs, and 3 g of protein, not accounting for the optional ingredients.
15. Crispy Portobello Mushroom “Bacon”
What better way to give bacon a nutritional lift than by making it with mushrooms? This recipe from Minimalist Baker leans in to the smoky notes and chewiness of bacon by using meaty portobello mushroom slices tossed in smoked paprika and liquid smoke. Switching from bacon to mushrooms cuts your intake of saturated fat. According to the USDA, 1 ounce of cooked bacon contains 133 calories and 3.4 g of saturated fat, while an ounce of mushrooms has 8 calories and no saturated fat. It’s ideal for a low-carb (or Eco-Atkins) vegan diet. In excess, saturated fat is especially dangerous for your heart because consuming it raises levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, according to the Mayo Clinic. Pair your slices with an egg and sautéed vegetables to round out your meal. The recipe makes four servings: One serving has 100 calories, 7 g of fat, 8.5 g of carbs, and 1.2 g of protein.