We all want to fit into our clothes but we don’t know where to start and no one has the magical answer for us. When you look at the research involving keto or low-carb diets, it seems like the options are endless and the only problem is choosing which one to try.

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that’s often used to treat epilepsy in children. It’s also been shown to be effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, autism, and other neurological disorders. The ketogenic diet has gotten a lot of media attention in recent years because of Hollywood stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Ellen DeGeneres and even Oprah Winfrey who tout the diet as a lifestyle and health choice.

Today, when you think of the words ‘good’ and ‘dairy’, you probably think of a glass of milk or a bowl of ice cream. Chances are, you don’t consider dairy good for you, but it’s a safe bet that you wouldn’t eat a cheeseburger without it. And for the most part, you have no reason to resist dairy. It is a nutritious and beneficial food that has been part of our diet for thousands of years.

Updated 16. June 2021, based on a medical opinion from

Is it okay to eat fatty and creamy dairy products on a low-carb diet? Yes, in certain instances.

On a low-carb or keto diet, for example, not all dairy is created equal. Furthermore, responses to dairy products may differ from one individual to the next.

This article will teach you about the benefits and drawbacks of dairy products, as well as how to make smarter low-carb choices.

The most important discoveries

  • Individual reactions to various dairy products vary; some individuals handle huge quantities of dairy products well, while others avoid them entirely.
  • Cheese, whole milk Greek yogurt, cream, and butter are just a few of the great dairy items that are appropriate for ketones.
  • While dairy is likely to fit into a low-carb or ketogenic diet, you may wish to restrict it to break free from weight loss plateaus or to address acne or digestive problems.

Visual support

The quantity of carbs in various dairy products is shown in the table below. Unless otherwise stated, all figures are based on 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of each product.

So, what exactly are dairy products?

Dairy products are foods or beverages made from the milk of animals. Cow’s milk products are eaten much more often in the United States and Europe than other kinds. Some cultures, however, prefer goat and sheep milk.

Milk is a nutrient-dense food that is high in proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates:

  • Casein and whey are the two major proteins found in milk. Casein makes up approximately 80% of the protein in milk, while whey makes up the remainder.
  • Saturated fats are abundant in milk. Milk fat is made up of 70% saturated fat, 25% monounsaturated fat, 2.5 percent polyunsaturated fat, and 2.5 percent natural trans fat.
  • Lactose (milk sugar) is a kind of carbohydrate that may be found in milk. It is broken down into two sugars in the digestive tract: galactose and glucose. After that, the glucose enters the circulation, raising the blood sugar level.

Cream, cheese, butter, and yogurt are milk-based dairy products, and the quantity of carbs in these products varies greatly.

Various milk products’ carbohydrate content

Why do certain dairy products have a high carbohydrate content while others have a low carbohydrate content? It depends on how they’re digested and how much lactose is left behind after that.

Milk that has been fermented with bacteria has less carbs than milk that has not been fermented.

When producing cheese, for example, bacteria are added to the milk, causing the lactose (sugar) to ferment into lactic acid, removing the majority of the carbs. Furthermore, the liquid whey generated during the processing, which includes protein, water, and lactose, is eliminated, leaving mostly casein.

Similarly, milk is treated with various strains of bacteria that ferment the lactose into lactic acid in the creation of yogurt. It does, however, contain somewhat more carbs than other cheeses due to the presence of lactose.

The fermentation period determines the quantity of carbs in yogurt. The longer the fermentation process goes, the more lactose is eaten, and the end product has less carbs.

The carbohydrate content of some of the most popular dairy products is as follows:

Carbohydrate content is the lowest (0-3 g per 100 g/3.5 oz).

  • Butter and ghee are produced from milk fat, and only traces of lactose (sugar) and whey are present (protein). Ghee is another name for butter. Ghee has been stripped of lactose and whey. Per 100 grams of butter, there are just 0.1 grams of carbs and 0.1 grams of protein. As a result, it, like ghee, has almost no carbs.
  • Matured soft cheeses, such as Velvety Brie, Camembert, and other comparable soft cheeses, have the fewest carbs, with just 0.5 grams per 100 grams.
  • Hard cheese (ripened): Lactose is extremely low in hard cheeses including cheddar, Swiss, and provolone. They’re great for the keto diet; most have around 1 gram of carbs per 100 grams, but some have as much as 3.
  • Semi-sweet cheeses, such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and havarti, are flexible and extensively used in the United States, falling halfway between hard and soft cheeses in terms of firmness. They have approximately 2 to 3 grams of carbs per 100 grams, which is somewhat higher than other hard cheeses. Gorgonzola and Stilton are blue-veined cheeses that fit under this group.
  • Plain Greek yogurt is by far the greatest option for a low-carb or keto diet if you enjoy yogurt. Because more of the liquid whey (which includes the milk sugar lactose) is filtered out during processing, it has less carbs and is thicker than other yogurts. Greek yogurt contains approximately 3 grams of carbohydrates every 100 grams (just under 12 cup) and 5 grams each 170-gram (34 cup) container, but the quantity varies somewhat from brand to brand.
  • Heavy cream is produced by skimming the fat from the top of the milk in a heavy milk jug. It is not a carbohydrate-free product, despite the fact that it contains much less carbs than milk. Per 100 grams of heavy cream, there are approximately 3 grams of carbs (about 0.5 grams per tablespoon).

Carbohydrate content on average: (4-7 grams per 100 g/3.55 oz)

  • Feta and Parmesan cheeses have somewhat more carbohydrates than other cheeses, but they are still suitable for a keto or low-carb diet. Both products include around 4 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams (about 2/3 to 1 cup), or slightly over 1 gram per ounce (30 grams).
  • Light cream has 4 grams of carbs per 100 grams, or 0.5 grams per tablespoon, similar to heavy cream but with less fat.
  • Sour cream: Lactic acid bacteria are added to light cream to make a sour cream with a nice sour flavor. It also thickens the finished product without affecting the carbohydrate level, which remains same at 4 grams per 100 grams.
  • Curd is made by inoculating milk with acidic bacteria, which causes casein to coagulate and produce curds, which are separated from the whey. The bumpy look of the quarry is due to these pieces. Per 100 grams (about 1/2 cup), it contains around 4 grams of carbs.
  • Fifty-fifty is a popular and appropriately called cream type that includes 50% milk and 50% cream. It has a carbohydrate content of approximately 5 grams per 100 grams, or 0.6 grams per tablespoon.
  • Whole-milk sourdough, like Greek yogurt, is produced using microorganisms that convert the majority of lactose into lactic acid. The yogurt has slightly more carbs than Greek yogurt since it is unfiltered: approximately 5 grams per 100 grams, or 9 grams every 170 gram (34 cup) container. The quantity of carbs varies depending on the brand.
  • Kefir is a thick drink produced by fermenting milk with bacteria and yeast, similar to yogurt. Depending on the manner of preparation, the carbohydrate content ranges from 4 to 7 grams per 100 grams.
  • Ricotta cheese: Ricotta is a soft, somewhat sweet cheese produced traditionally from the liquid whey left over after making hard cheese. Fresh whole milk and vinegar are now used to make it. Whole-milk ricotta has 4-7 grams of carbs per 100 grams (about 12 cup), but this varies by brand. Low-fat versions usually have a higher carbohydrate content.
  • Cream cheese has 5 to 7 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, despite the label implying that it is low in carbs. It’s produced by combining milk and cream with lactic acid bacteria, then heating the mixture to create a rich, creamy texture. If eaten in moderation, it may be an excellent option for a keto diet.

Carbohydrate content is the highest (12-25 grams per cup).

  • Milk: While the quantity of fat in different kinds of milk varies, the amount of carbs in all types of milk is the same: 12 grams per cup of whole milk, skimmed milk, and low-fat milk (250 ml).
  • Buttermilk is low in fat and rich in carbs, despite its name. It contains the same 12 grams of carbohydrates per cup as regular milk.
  • Sweetened yogurt, whether sweetened or with fruit flavor, is rich in carbs, with more than 20 grams every 170 gram (34 cup) container.
  • Light yogurt: How about low-fat or light yogurt? Many low-fat yogurts include additional sugars, while being promoted to health-conscious customers. Make certain you read all of the labels. Some low-fat yogurt products include as much as 18 grams of carbs every 170-gram (34-cup) carton.

What are the advantages of eating dairy products as part of a low-carb or ketogenic diet?

Dairy products are beneficial to a low-carb diet for a variety of reasons.

Protein is abundant in many low-carbohydrate dairy products.

It is important to eat adequate protein in order to maintain excellent health. Eating extra protein, especially dairy, makes you feel fuller and may somewhat speed up your metabolism, making it easier to lose and maintain weight. Furthermore, diets rich in protein and dairy products promise to aid in the loss of body fat and the development of lean muscle.

When it comes to protein content, most hard and soft cheeses are an excellent choice: they offer approximately 6 to 8 grams of protein per ounce (30 grams), or 18 to 25 grams per 100 grams.

Which cheese is the most protein-dense? Parmesan cheese takes the top spot, with 35 grams of protein per 100 grams of cheese.

Greek yogurt is extremely rich in protein, with many kinds supplying 15-18 grams every 175-gram (34-cup) container.

Vitamins and minerals are found in dairy products.

Vitamin A, vitamin K2, vitamins B6 and B12, and zinc are all found in high amounts in cheese and yogurt.

Dairy products are well-known for being high in calcium, but certain varieties contain more than others.

Hard cheeses have the greatest calcium: Parmesan has approximately 1,000 mg, Swiss has 720 mg, and Cheddar has 790 mg per 100 grams.

All kinds of cheese and yogurt, on the other hand, include a significant quantity of this essential mineral. So pick and choose whatever dairy products you want to consume. Calcium may also be found in non-dairy foods.

Milk intake has been linked to improved health.

Butter, cream, and cheese have all been recommended to be consumed in moderation in recent decades due to their high saturated fat content, which was believed to raise the risk of heart disease.

This advice, however, seems to be mainly unjustified based on the majority of research performed to far.

In reality, high-fat fermented dairy products like cheese and yogurt have no impact on heart health and may even lower the risk of heart disease.

Conjugated linoleic acid, a naturally occurring trans fat found in full-fat dairy products, has been shown in preliminary tests to have a preventive impact on heart health. More study is required, however, to validate this beneficial link.

Finally, a comprehensive analysis of 52 clinical trials published in 2017 found that dairy intake may assist individuals with metabolic disorders including diabetes and obesity lower inflammatory markers. Dairy products have neutral or beneficial effects on inflammatory markers in healthy individuals and those with metabolic disorders, according to a research published in 2020.

Dairy products are filling and delicious.

There’s no disputing that many dairy products are tasty and may even enhance the flavor of other meals. Adding butter or cream sauce to veggies or a lean steak, for example, may dramatically improve the taste and fragrance of your meal.

If you don’t like broccoli or spinach, you probably haven’t cooked it correctly with butter and sprinkled it with genuine salt, as medical director Dr. Bret Sher likes to remark.

Cheese may be extremely tasty in addition to its flavor. Cheese, as opposed to cream or whipped cream, decreases appetite and promotes the release of satiety hormones, according to a randomized controlled study (RCT).

Surprisingly, a comprehensive analysis of 13 RCTs in adults published in 2017 showed that, although all kinds of dairy products seemed to enhance feelings of fullness and decrease sensations of hunger, they did not lead to a reduction in food consumption on following days. These trials, however, were done on individuals who ate a high-carbohydrate diet.

Unfortunately, no research have yet been conducted to compare the low-carb diet to the dairy-free diet.

What are the potential drawbacks of include dairy products in a low-carb or keto diet?

Insulin levels may be raised by certain dairy products.

Carbs have been found to increase blood sugar the greatest of the three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat). The pancreas secretes insulin as blood sugar levels rise.

Consumption of lactose-rich dairy products may increase blood sugar and insulin levels because lactose (milk sugar) is converted down into glucose during digestion.

Avoid lactose-rich dairy items including milk, flavored yogurt, and other dairy products if you want to maintain your insulin levels low.

However, certain keto-friendly dairy products, such as B. Cheese, may raise insulin levels to dangerous levels. It is the proteins, particularly the amino acids, that induce a rise in insulin levels in this instance, not the carbs.

What is the reason behind this? Proteins are broken down into separate amino acids during digestion and absorbed into the circulation. Insulin is then secreted by the pancreas, enabling amino acids to enter the muscles.

This is true of all protein products, but some are more prone to it than others. Hard cheese, for example, increases insulin levels more than eggs, but not as much as fish or meat. These four high-protein meals, on the other hand, increase insulin levels considerably more slowly than carbohydrate-rich diets.

Furthermore, whey proteins in dairy products are absorbed more quickly than casein. Intake of whey-containing dairy products may therefore raise blood insulin levels faster than consumption of fermented dairy products, which do not include whey.

What about cream and butter? They have almost little impact on insulin levels since they contain very little protein.

A modest, transient increase in insulin levels following a high-protein meal, on the other hand, is unlikely to have the same detrimental health effects as persistently elevated insulin levels.

Milk desires may be triggered by dairy products.

Although many individuals perceive dairy products to be delicious, some people want more when they consume them. The first slice of cheese is followed by the next and the next. It may be almost difficult for some individuals to quit eating.

This does not happen to everyone, and it is unlikely to happen to the majority of individuals. And there aren’t a lot of high-quality research on the subject.

However, whether dairy products are addictive is a point of contention.

Despite the lack of solid scientific data, clinical experience indicates that dairy products cause certain individuals to desire food more and more, successfully bypassing hunger signals.

Too much dairy may cause weight reduction to stall.

The whole milk yogurt, cheese, and cream are all excellent. They do, however, have the drawback of being so delicious that it is extremely simple to eat too much of them.

Yes, these items are usually beneficial to those following a low-carb or ketogenic diet. However, whether it’s due to too many calories, too many carbohydrates, or a mix of the two, eating too much may result in a setback in weight loss.

Some physicians who specialize in low-carb diets advise their patients to consume these items in moderation. Dr. Eric Westman, for example, advises restricting cream to fewer than 2 tablespoons per day and cheese of any type to less than 4 ounces (116 grams) per day on his no-sugar, no-starch diet. These sums are still very substantial.

If weight reduction slows or stops, some individuals may find it beneficial to reduce or eliminate dairy products.

Acne and other skin issues may be worse by dairy products.

Are dairy products capable of causing or exacerbating acne? This is a possibility for certain individuals. IGF-1, a hormone that promotes sebum production and seems to have a role in acne, has been found to be increased by dairy products.

Observational studies in children, adolescents, and young adults have shown that all kinds of dairy products, including cheese and yogurt, are detrimental to acne sufferers.

Read the whole guide. Is it true that a keto or low-carb diet may help with acne?

Dairy products may cause allergic reactions in certain individuals.

In some individuals, dairy products may cause stomach issues or other symptoms. Lactose intolerance, which is caused by a lack of the enzyme lactase, is the most frequent issue linked with dairy products.

Lactose cannot be adequately digested and absorbed without this enzyme. Instead, it makes its way into the colon, causing stomach discomfort, bloating, gas, nausea, and/or loose stools.

Lactose intolerance is a very prevalent condition. It is estimated that two-thirds of the world’s population is affected. People of European ancestry, on the other hand, are considerably less likely to have it.

Although some individuals are sensitive to tiny quantities of lactose in these goods, persons with lactose intolerance can typically take dairy products with low lactose content, such as cheese or yogurt, without issues.

An allergy to one or more of the milk proteins may occur in certain individuals. True cow’s milk allergy is uncommon in adults, despite the fact that cow’s milk allergy is quite prevalent in children. After consuming dairy products, those who are allergic to milk may suffer symptoms such as rashes, indigestion, vomiting, and even anaphylaxis.

Some individuals seem to be sensitive to beta-casein A1, the most prevalent kind of protein found in cow’s milk, which may produce stomach symptoms comparable to lactose intolerance.

People who are sensitive to A1 beta-casein may find that sheep and goat milk, as well as milk from cows that produce milk containing A2 beta-casein, is easier to digest. However, this is a problem that needs to be researched more.

On a keto or low-carb diet, should I consume dairy products?

Dairy products, like many other meals, may cause a wide range of responses.

Most individuals may easily include cheese, butter, Greek yogurt, and other low-carb dairy products into their keto diet. You may eat a variety of dairy products that are appropriate for the keto diet.

If you have a milk allergy, which is uncommon in adults, you should avoid dairy products.

If you’re lactose intolerant, you may consume tiny quantities of low-lactose cheese, butter, and other dairy products. If you have a reaction to even a little quantity of lactose, you should avoid dairy products entirely.

If you find that dairy products make you desire food, are difficult to consume in moderation, or cause skin rashes or other symptoms, a dairy-free diet may be a smart option. Allow three to four weeks for results, since they may take some time to appear.

During your dairy-free phase, you may add coconut or almond cream to your coffee or tea. Delicious dairy-free recipes and dairy-free meal planning are also available. (Are you a non-member? To test out our meal plans and get access to other helpful member resources, sign up for a 30-day trial.

If you want to maintain your weight reduction but don’t want to completely give up dairy, consider restricting yourself to a few tablespoons of cream and a few grams of cheese each day.

You’ll soon figure out what kinds and quantities of dairy products work best for your keto or low-carb diet with a little trial and error.

The ketogenic diet is without a doubt one of the most popular diets today. It has grown in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate, adequate protein, and high fat diet which switches the body into a fat burning state. Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet has a wide array of health benefits, which include weight loss, increased energy, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.. Read more about almond milk low carb and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What dairy is OK on keto?

Butter, cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, sour cream, and ghee.

Can dairy kick you out of ketosis?

Dairy is not a food that will kick you out of ketosis. It is actually one of the foods that can help you maintain or enter ketosis.

What is the lowest carb milk alternative?

This is a difficult question to answer. There are many low-carb milk alternatives, but they all have different nutritional values and tastes.

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • keto milk alternative
  • low carb dairy milk
  • is whole milk keto friendly
  • almond milk low carb
  • lactose free milk keto
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