Keto-Friendly Milk Alternatives
Healthy Articles

7 Best Keto-Friendly Milk Alternatives & How To Fortify Them

If you’re eating and drinking in the Keto Zone, you’ve likely tried to find the best keto-friendly milk alternatives. You want ones that taste good, have a good mouthfeel, and that work well in the dishes or recipes you enjoy.

And, you’re in luck! There are now many good keto-friendly milk alternatives for different Keto Zone recipes and dishes.

Here’s why cow’s milk is not keto-friendly but not other dairy products are, which other milks you should avoid, and which are the best keto-friendly milk alternatives.

Why Avoid Cow’s Milk on Keto Zone?

There’s no doubt: it’s controversial among keto crowds whether or not to avoid all dairy. However, milk itself is not controversial. For most people, it simply has too many carbohydrates to stay in ketosis.

Milk typically contains 12 grams of lactose, or milk sugar, per 8 ounces. It’s important to note that lactose is a low glycemic index carbohydrate. However, it still doesn’t fit well into keto.

On the other hand, there are dairy products in which the lactose has been broken down, removed, or simply not used. For example, cream and butter are almost 100% fat and contain very little lactose. In fact, 1 tablespoon of butter only has 0.1 grams carbohydrates (1). Cheese, cottage cheese, and cream cheese are mostly fat and protein, with very little lactose.

What’s more, plain full-fat Greek-style yogurt can be eaten on Keto Zone. It’s lower in carbohydrates than milk, and higher in protein and fat. What’s more, the carbohydrates have been fermented, which changes their structure and impact on blood sugars. These fermented sugars are thought to offer health benefits to human digestion and overall health (2). Still, since Greek yogurt can contain 8-12 grams of carbohydrates per 8 ounces, only 1/4 cup or so is suitable per day in the Keto Zone.

And while many dairy products can be used in the Keto Zone, not everyone tolerates dairy well. If you are concerned about dairy intolerance, here are 5 signs you should avoid it.

Other Types of Milk to Avoid on Keto

In addition to avoiding cow’s milk, some milk alternatives are still not suitable for Keto Zone. This can be confusing because some are lactose-free. However, if they are made from a grain, or sweetened, they are still not low-carb or keto-friendly.

Also, avoid:

  • Lactose-Free Cow’s Milk. Although it seems that lactose-free milk should be low in carbohydrates, it’s not. It still contains 12 grams of sugar (carbohydrates) per 8 ounces.
  • Oat milk. Oat milk is made from a grain, oats, which is a high-carb food. Each cup of oat milk (8 ounces) contains a whopping 17 grams of net carbs (3).
  • Rice milk. Rice milk is also made from a grain, and also high in carbs. It contains 21 grams of net carbs per cup (8 ounces) (4).
  • Sweetened condensed milk. Condensed milk has added sugars and is often used in desserts. Each cup contains 165 grams of net carbs(5)!
  • Goat’s, sheep’s, and other animal’s milk. Most animal’s milk is similar in macronutrients as cow’s milk, making it not suitable for keto. However, it may still work well as a cheese or yogurt product within Keto Zone. Each cup of goat’s milk contains 11 grams of net carbs (6).
  • Sweetened non-dairy milk. Also avoid any sweetened or flavored almond, coconut, cashew, or other types of non-dairy milk unless you have verified that it’s low carb. Many contain more carbs than cow’s milk due to sweeteners.

7 Best Keto-Friendly Milk Alternatives

Which options are keto-friendly milk alternatives?

Here are 7 to try:

1. Unsweetened Almond Milk

Unsweetened almond milk is a great choice for keto-friendly cereals, as a drink, and more. It only contains 1.1 grams of net carbohydrates per cup (7). It’s made from simply soaking almonds in water, blending, and straining.

2. Unsweetened Coconut Milk

Unsweetened coconut milk is another great low-carb keto-friendly milk alternative with only 0.6 grams of carbohydrates per cup (8). You can use the type out of the carton. Or, for a thicker, higher-fat version, try full-fat canned coconut milk.

Canned coconut milk is high in fat, and contains medium-chain triglycerides. These healthy fats support energy production, healthy weights, heart health, and more (9, 10).

3. Macadamia Nut Milk

Macadamia nut milk is definitely a pricey option, but it’s very low in carbs. In fact, it has 0 grams net carbs per serving, and a great taste (11).

4. Flax Milk

Flax milk is a healthy option made from flax seeds. Each cup contains only 1 gram of net carbs (12).

5. Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is a creamy option that only contains only 2 grams of net carbs per cup (13). Cashew cream is also a great option to replace milk in soups and recipes when canned coconut milk is not preferred.

6. Pea Milk

Peas are a legume, so they contain both carbohydrates and proteins. Pea milk works in Keto Zone, with only 2 grams of net carbs and a whopping  8 grams of protein per 1 cup (14).

7. Half-and-Half and Heavy Cream

Half-and-half and heavy cream are also good options. Half-and-half is a mixture of heavy cream and milk. Both options contain 8 grams of net carbs per cup, but can be watered down to a milk consistency for only 4 grams of net carbs per cup (using 4 ounces half-and-half or cream and 4 ounces water) (15). Both options are also good choices in smaller amounts for recipes.

Fortifying Keto-Friendly Milk Alternatives

When choosing a keto-friendly milk alternative, it’s important to be aware of what each doesn’t contain. For example, since almond, cashew, and other kinds of milk are strained, they are not necessarily a good source of healthy keto fats or protein. But, you can fortify them yourself.

Easy additions include adding MCT oil powder to increase healthy fats, and/or keto-friendly collagen powder to increase proteins and add probiotics.

Thankfully, most keto-friendly milk alternatives are commercially fortified with calcium and plant-based vitamin D which can support healthy bones (16).

Bottom Line

These days, there’s no shortage of options for keto-friendly milk alternatives. Find one you like, and read the label to understand what it does and doesn’t contain. Make sure it’s low-carb. Fortify it if you’d like.

And, if you’d like more tips, recipes, and help with Keto Zone, try our FREE Keto Zone 21-Day-Challenge today!




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