12 Of The Best Low Carb Grains For a Healthy Diet

Grains are one of the foods that are included in many diets around the world, and they are small seeds that distinguish them for being stored for a long time, including wheat, oats, rice and corn, and there are also false grains from other plant families that have properties similar to grains, such as quinoa and buckwheat.


low carb grains

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , the use of low carb grains in diets has increased over the last ten years, because eating low-carb grains maintains a low carbohydrate content with the right amount of fiber, which has a role in many functions. The body, from the health of the digestive system to the feeling of satiety, thus helping to lose weight.

 Low carb grains - 12 types suitable for a specific diet  

You may not be allowed to eat all types of grains if you want to follow a low-carb diet, but there are several types of low carb grains rich in fiber that can be added to the diet in moderation to control the amount of carbohydrates, including:

1- Oatmeal

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Oats are grains that have a high nutritional value and are a great source of many important nutrients, including fiber. 33 grams of cooked oats contain:

More than 8 g of dietary fiber, including beta-glucan, and this type of fiber has been proven to reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the body. Which is one of the causes of heart disease.

21g net carbs.

Rich in many vitamins and minerals, including: manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and thiamine.

It's best to choose rolled or rolled oats instead of instant oatmeal to get its full benefits. Oatmeal can be enjoyed with many meals, including sweet and salty. If you prefer sweet, fruits, cinnamon and nuts can be added to the oatmeal. If you like a salty meal, you can eat a boiled egg and green onions on top of the oatmeal.

2- Quinoa

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Classified as a pseudograin, and often prepared as a grain, quinoa is packed with beneficial antioxidants and polyphenols, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic disease .

It is a grain that is relatively low in carbs, with 1 cup (about 185g) of cooked quinoa having only 34g of net carbs. Quinoa is also one of the most important complete plant protein sources, which means it contains all 9 essential amino acids that the body needs. Plus, they're high in other key nutrients, including manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, copper, and folic acid.

Quinoa can be eaten by blending with beans or lentils for additional plant-based protein, used as a side dish or on top of a salad, or mixed with bananas and honey for a sweet meal or snack option.

3- Bulgur

low carb grains

Bulgur is a versatile and easy-to-prepare grain made from cracked wheat that can be used in a variety of dishes, including tabbouleh salads, porridge, and pilaf. Bulgur is a nutritious grain, as it is a great source of manganese, magnesium, iron and B vitamins. It is also low in carbohydrates, as one cup, or about 182g, of cooked bulgur contains only 25.5g of net carbs. As a result, bulgur is one of the lowest carbohydrate whole grains.

Although bulgur is a good choice for those watching their carbs, it contains wheat so it is not suitable for people with wheat allergies or celiac disease.

4 - Millet

low carb grains

best low carb grains

Millet has been cultivated all over the world since ancient times, because millet is high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help prevent chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Millet is also a good source of fiber, in addition to containing a low percentage of net carbs, as 174 grams of cooked millet contains more than 2 grams of fiber and 39 grams of net carbohydrates. Making it a great addition to a healthy low carb diet.

It is also high in a variety of vitamins and minerals, such as phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, and folic acid. The magnesium content of millet helps maintain bone health and muscle function. Additional nutrients in millet also include iron and zinc.

5- Couscous

low carb grains

Couscous is a processed grain product made from semolina or durum wheat flour. Couscous is a staple in many dishes in the Middle East and Morocco. It is relatively low in carbohydrates, with every 157 grams of cooked couscous having around 34.5 grams of net carbs.

In addition, couscous is a grain full of selenium, and this mineral is one of the rare minerals that have an important role in maintaining heart health, thyroid function, immune health, and more. It also contains many important micronutrients, including pantothenic acid, manganese, copper and thiamine.

6- Wild rice

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Wild rice is a type of grain derived from herbs of the genus Zizania plants, and by comparing it with other types of rice, it is noted that wild rice contains a low percentage of carbohydrates, as one cup (164 grams) of cooked wild rice contains 32 grams of net carbohydrates. In addition, wild rice is rich in antioxidants that have a role in promoting health.

One study showed that the phenolic compounds found in wild rice are ten times more active than the antioxidants found in white rice. Wild rice is also a good source of many nutrients, including zinc, vitamin B6 and folic acid.

Wild rice is also a better source of antioxidants and protein than other types of rice. Wild rice has a stronger flavor and more solid texture.

7- Wheat or peeled wheat

Wheat, or what is called peeled wheat, or what is called dankel wheat, is a whole grain that has been cultivated since ancient times, in order to obtain its health benefits. Whereas, studies show that eating more whole grains, such as spelled, may be associated with a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

Wheat contains carbohydrates and is also rich in fiber. For example, one cup (194 grams) of cooked spelled contains about 7.5 grams of fiber and 44 grams of net carbs. Plus, it's rich in zinc, niacin, magnesium, and manganese.

8- Popcorn

low carb grains

Most people think of popcorn as just a snack, but it's actually a whole grain, and it's a low-carb grain, with a 14g cup of popcorn containing 6.5g of net carbs.

Popcorn is also characterized by its low calorie content, as it contains a high percentage of B vitamins, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. However, it's best to make it at home, because many ready-made varieties are high in unhealthy fats, added sugar, and artificial flavorings, which can cancel out any health benefits you might be getting.

9- Barley

Barley is a nutritious cereal grain that has a nutty flavour, texture and chewiness. Barley is also high in fiber. In 170 servings of cooked barley there is 6.5g of fiber and about 41.5g of net carbs.

Cooked barley also contains good sources of manganese, selenium, magnesium, zinc and copper. However, be sure to choose hulled barley instead of pearl barley whenever possible because hulled barley is less processed and considered a whole grain.

Barley can be added to easy dinner recipes, such as adding it to some soups for a fiber boost, or make a cool salad by combining your favorite raw vegetables, cheese, and vinaigrette with cooked barley.

10 - Teff grains

low carb grains

low carb grains for keto

Teff is a gluten-free African grain and one of the best grains rich in calcium. Half a cup of cooked teff provides:

25 g carbohydrates.

3.5 grams of fiber.

21.5g net carbs.

4.8 g protein.

Thus teff flour is a great alternative to wheat, oat and rice flour.

11 - Buckwheat

It is a cereal that contains a small amount of carbohydrates, in addition to being gluten-free. Half a cup of cooked buckwheat provides:

17 g of carbohydrates.

2 g of fiber.

15g net carbs.

3 g of protein.

Japanese cuisine uses buckwheat noodles (soba noodles ), which are made entirely from buckwheat and water. It is an excellent substitute for spaghetti.

12 - Brown rice

Brown rice is a reliable, low-carb grain that can cook up a large batch for weeknight meals. It can also be added to sauces, such as soy sauce for stir-frying.

Why should we eat high-carb cereals with caution?

Although many types of grains can fit into a healthy low-carb diet, some types of grains are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber. Especially refined grains, they are grain products that have undergone processing to improve their texture and shelf life.

This results in a lower fiber content, which can result in a higher net carb count in the final product. Some examples of grains that are high in carbohydrates include:

white bread.

Refined pasta.

White rice.


Breakfast Cereal.

Pizza dough.

potato chips.


Low carb or keto diets often limit carbohydrate intake to less than 50g per day, making it difficult to fit any grain into your daily carb allotment.

The benefits of cereal

Some of the benefits of grain foods are:

They are inexpensive sources of fibre, nutrients and energy.

The fiber in whole grains improves digestion and helps you feel fuller for longer. This fiber is also a food source for healthy bacteria in the gut. These bacteria are able to partially digest fiber and produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which play key roles in digestive health, blood sugar control, immune health, and neurological function.

Grains can also be a good source of certain vitamins and minerals, such as plant-based iron, B vitamins, and selenium .

How to incorporate low-carb grains into a healthy diet

Here are some ways to easily incorporate grains into your diet, while achieving the desired goal:

Train yourself on cyclical keto

Cyclical keto is a type of keto diet that athletes follow, as they eat high-carb foods on hard training days, and low-carb foods on low-carb days.

Choose whole, unprocessed grains

It is best to eat whole grains in the least processed form, rather than consuming pasta, bread or crackers, to get the most fiber and nutrients and the lowest amount of carbohydrates in the volume of food eaten. In addition, this can help avoid added sugars and additives. other manufacturer.

But it is necessary to pay attention to the size of the daily portion because it is the main key when it comes to including grains in the low-carb diet. If the portion size is not measured, the low-carb diet can become high-carb. cooked it.

Although most grains are not suitable for keto dieters, grains in their least processed form are suitable for a cyclical keto diet or a more flexible low-carb eating pattern, because they are excellent sources of fiber, nutrients and fast-acting energy.

In the end

Many low-carb diets don't mean you don't eat grains at all, because there are many varieties that can fit into a healthy, carb-controlled diet.

Including cereals that are low in pure carbohydrates and rich in fiber, as the body absorbs a small amount of carbohydrates to get the best results. It is also recommended to choose whole grains and stay away from grains that are highly processed or refined.


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