Oatmeal is a popular breakfast food that is often enjoyed with peanut butter for added protein and flavor. Peanut butter oatmeal can be a nutritious option, but many dieters are concerned about the carbohydrate content. Knowing how many carbs are in peanut butter oatmeal can help you determine if it fits into your daily carb allowance.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the carbohydrate counts for peanut butter oatmeal made with different ingredients and serving sizes. We’ll consider the carbs in regular rolled oats versus steel-cut oats, as well as how peanut butter, milk, fruit, and other mix-ins impact the total carbs. We’ll also provide some tips for lowering the carbs in peanut butter oatmeal.
Carbohydrates in Oats
The main source of carbohydrates in oatmeal comes from the oats themselves. Let’s take a look at the carb content in different types of oats:
Rolled oats, also sometimes called old-fashioned oats, are oat groats that have been steamed and rolled into flakes. One 1/2 cup serving of dry rolled oats contains about 27 grams of carbohydrates, with 4 grams fiber and 1 gram sugar.1
When prepared with water, a 1/2 cup of cooked rolled oats made from dry oats contains about 13 grams net carbs (total carbs minus fiber).
Steel-cut oats are oat groats that have been cut into smaller pieces rather than rolled. They take longer to cook and have a chewier texture.
A 1/2 cup of uncooked steel-cut oats has about 24 grams of carbs, with 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of sugar.1
When cooked, a 1/2 cup of steel-cut oats prepared with water has around 11 grams of net carbs.
So steel-cut oats are slightly lower in carbs than rolled oats when measured dry or cooked. However, the difference is small enough that they can be considered comparable in carb content.
Quick oats are rolled oats that are cut into smaller pieces so they cook more quickly. A 1/2 cup of dry quick oats has about 26 grams of total carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of sugar.1
When prepared with water, 1/2 cup of cooked quick oats has around 13 grams of net carbs, which is the same as rolled oats.
Instant oats are the most processed type of rolled oats. They are pre-cooked and dried so they can be prepared very quickly with hot water.
A 1/2 cup serving of dry instant oats contains about 24 grams of total carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of sugar.1
Cooked instant oats prepared with water have around 12 grams of net carbs per 1/2 cup serving.
All types of oats contain comparable amounts of net carbs when prepared normally with water. Steel-cut oats are slightly lower in carbs than rolled, quick, or instant oats. But the differences are minimal.
In general, you can expect a 1/2 cup serving of any type of cooked oats prepared with water to have around 11-13 grams of net carbs.
Carbohydrates in Peanut Butter
Now let’s consider the carb content of peanut butter:
Regular Peanut Butter
– 2 tablespoons of regular creamy peanut butter has about 8 grams total carbs, 3 grams fiber, and 1 gram sugar.2
– So 2 tablespoons of regular peanut butter has around 5 grams of net carbs.
Natural Peanut Butter
– 2 tablespoons of natural creamy peanut butter has around 6 grams total carbs, 2 grams fiber, and 1 gram sugar.2
– That equates to about 4 grams of net carbs in 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter.
Regular peanut butter has slightly more carbs than natural peanut butter since it often contains added sugar. But they are fairly comparable.
You can expect around 4-5 grams of net carbs from a 2 tablespoon serving of peanut butter.
Carbs in Peanut Butter Oatmeal
Now let’s put it all together to determine the total carbs in peanut butter oatmeal.
A typical serving of peanut butter oatmeal is 1/2 cup cooked oats prepared with water plus 2 tablespoons peanut butter.
Here are the net carb counts for common peanut butter oatmeal combinations:
|Type of Oats||Type of Peanut Butter||Net Carbs|
|Rolled Oats (1/2 cup cooked)||Regular (2 Tbsp)||18g|
|Rolled Oats (1/2 cup cooked)||Natural (2 Tbsp)||17g|
|Steel-Cut Oats (1/2 cup cooked)||Regular (2 Tbsp)||16g|
|Steel-Cut Oats (1/2 cup cooked)||Natural (2 Tbsp)||15g|
As you can see, a typical serving of peanut butter oatmeal prepared with water contains around 15-18 grams of net carbs, depending on the exact ingredients used.
Steel-cut oats with natural peanut butter is the lowest carb option with only 15 grams of net carbs. But rolled oats with regular peanut butter is only slightly higher at 18 grams of net carbs for a serving.
Carb Content With Other Ingredients
Keep in mind that adding other ingredients besides peanut butter can increase the carb count in peanut butter oatmeal. Here are the approximate net carbs of common oatmeal mix-ins:
– 1/4 cup milk: 3 grams 3
– 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt: 3 grams 4
– 1/2 banana (sliced): 15 grams 5
– 1/4 cup blueberries: 4 grams 6
– 1 tablespoon brown sugar: 12 grams 7
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup: 13 grams 8
– 1 tablespoon honey: 17 grams 9
As you can see, adding fruit, sugar, syrup, or honey significantly increases the carb content. To keep carbs low, minimize ingredients beyond the oats and peanut butter.
Lower Carb Oatmeal Tips
Here are some tips for reducing carbs in peanut butter oatmeal:
– Use steel-cut oats instead of rolled oats
– Choose natural peanut butter over regular
– Limit added fruits to small portions of lower carb options like berries
– Use peanut powder instead of peanut butter
– Add seeds like chia, flax, or hemp for extra nutrition
– Mix in unsweetened coconut flakes or slivered almonds
– Choose nut milk like unsweetened almond milk over dairy milk
– Flavor it with cinnamon instead of sugar or syrup
– Top with crushed pork rinds instead of granola for crunch
Following these tips can help keep your peanut butter oatmeal around 10-15 grams of net carbs or lower.
The carb counts listed are based on a typical 1/2 cup oats and 2 tablespoon peanut butter serving. Consuming larger portions will increase the carb count:
– 1 cup oats and 4 tablespoons peanut butter: approximately 30-35 grams net carbs
– 1.5 cups oats and 6 tablespoons peanut butter: approximately 45-50 grams net carbs
Sticking with a 1/2 cup oats and 2 tablespoon peanut butter portion or smaller will help keep carbs in check.
Daily Carb Limits
How many net carbs you can fit into your daily diet depends on your carb tolerance and health goals:
– Standard keto diet: 20-50 grams net carbs per day
– Low-carb diet: Less than 130 grams per day
– Moderate carb diet: 130-225 grams per day
– High carb diet: Over 225 grams per day
A serving of peanut butter oatmeal contains around 15-18 net grams of carbs. This fits easily into a low-carb, moderate carb or high carb diet.
For keto, enjoying peanut butter oatmeal would use up a significant portion of your daily carb limit so you’d need to strictly limit carbs in your other meals. It may be best to avoid it or only have it occasionally on keto.
The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar. Low GI foods are digested more slowly and cause a more gradual rise in blood sugar.10
Oats have a GI around 55, which is considered low to medium on the GI scale.11 This means oats are digested relatively slowly compared to many other carb sources.
Adding peanut butter or healthy fats can further lower the GI of oatmeal since fats help slow digestion and the release of sugars into the bloodstream.12
So peanut butter oatmeal has a moderately low GI, which can help control blood sugar spikes compared to eating pure carbs or sugars.
Despite containing 15-18 grams of carbs per serving, peanut butter oatmeal has some great nutritional benefits:
High in Protein
Peanut butter provides 7-8 grams of plant-based protein per serving.2 This makes peanut butter oatmeal a higher protein breakfast.
Good Source of Fiber
A serving of peanut butter oatmeal provides around 5-7 grams of fiber, which can aid digestion and help you feel full.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Oats contain manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate and B vitamins.13
Peanut butter provides small amounts of potassium, zinc, vitamin E and niacin.2
Together they make a breakfast loaded with essential vitamins and minerals.
Peanut butter delivers heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
A typical serving of peanut butter oatmeal with 1/2 cup oats and 2 tablespoons peanut butter contains around 15-18 grams of net carbs depending on the ingredients used.
Adding fruits, sugars or large serving sizes can increase the carbs significantly. Steel-cut oats and natural peanut butter are lowest in carbs but rolled oats and regular peanut butter are close behind.
Peanut butter oatmeal fits easily into a low-carb, moderate carb, or high carb diet. Limit portions to keep carbs in check if following keto or a strict low-carb diet.
Despite being moderately high in carbs, peanut butter oatmeal is nutritious, high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. It has a low to moderate impact on blood sugar levels.
Overall, peanut butter oatmeal can be included as part of a healthy diet for most people when enjoyed in reasonable portions. Just be mindful of your total daily carb intake from all sources when meal planning.