Milk is commonly used in various beverages and dishes, and for those following a low-carb ketogenic lifestyle, finding keto-friendly milk options is essential. If you’re unsure about the compatibility of the milk you typically consume with your keto diet, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explore the best and worst milk alternatives for a low-carb, ketogenic diet.
When it comes to keto milk, what should you look for?
For a ketogenic diet, which is low in carbs, high in fat, and moderate in protein, it’s important to choose milk with low net carbs, no added sugar, and no fillers. Some coconut and almond milks may contain rice powder, which thickens the milk but also increases the carb content. To stay in ketosis, it’s crucial to consume foods that don’t exceed your daily net carb limit.
The worst milk options for keto
Here are some milk options that are not suitable for a ketogenic diet:
- Cow’s milk: Varieties like evaporated milk, ultra-filtered milk, and raw cow’s milk contain lactose or milk sugar, with each cup of whole cow’s milk containing 12g of net carbs.
- Goat’s milk: With naturally occurring sugars, one cup of goat’s milk contains 11g of net carbs.
- Oat milk: Made from oats, oat milk has a high carbohydrate content, with one cup containing 17g of net carbs.
- Rice milk: High in carbs, with one cup containing 21g of net carbs, rice milk is not suitable for a ketogenic diet.
- Sweetened condensed milk: This sugary milk product commonly used in desserts contains a whopping 165 grams of net carbohydrates per cup.
What makes milk keto-friendly?
If you’re following a keto or low-carb diet, there are plenty of milk alternatives with low carb content to choose from. Opt for unsweetened products over those with added sugars. However, it’s important to note that carb counts can vary between brands due to different components and methods of production. To ensure you’re staying within your carb limits, check the nutritional facts and ingredient labels.
Here are some keto-friendly milk options listed from lowest to highest net carbs:
1. Macadamia nut milk
Derived from macadamia nuts, this milk option is rich in monounsaturated fats that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Macadamia nut milk has the lowest carb content among milk alternatives, with zero grams of net carbs per cup.
2. Almond milk
Almond milk is a popular dairy-free, vegan, and low-carb option. It’s high in Vitamin E, calcium, and potassium. Unsweetened almond milk contains just 1g of net carbs per cup, making it a great choice for keto dieters. Be sure to choose varieties without fillers like rice.
3. Flax milk
Flax seeds are known for their anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Flax milk has just 1g of net carbs per cup and has a relatively neutral flavor, making it an ideal base for smoothies and soups.
4. Whipping Cream or Double Cream
Double cream, made from the fat separated from fresh cow’s milk, is a high-fat and low-carb option. With 1g of net carbs per cup, it can provide that creamy texture you may crave. It’s perfect for coffee creamer and adding a delicious touch to keto-friendly desserts.
5. Cashew milk
Though less common than almond or coconut milk, cashew milk is an excellent keto-friendly option due to its higher fat content. It contains 2g of net carbs per cup and adds a slightly salty, sweet, and nutty flavor to your dishes.
6. Pea milk
Pea milk is a great choice for those with dairy, nut, and vegan dietary restrictions. It is rich in protein, with 8g per cup, and contains 2g of net carbs. Its thick and creamy texture makes it perfect for adding to porridge or smoothies.
7. Soy milk
Soy milk is a low-carb alternative, although it has some controversies. It contains 1 to 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 3 grams of net carbs per cup. While it’s not recommended to have soy milk regularly, occasional consumption is unlikely to kick you out of ketosis.
8. Coconut milk
Coconut milk can be a keto-friendly option, but you need to choose carefully as some brands may contain up to 5g of net carbs per cup. Opt for unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk, and pay attention to the nutritional labels. It adds a distinct coconutty flavor to soups, curries, desserts, and salad dressings.
9. Lactose-Free Milk
Lactose-Free milk is an excellent choice for those sensitive to lactose, as it contains fewer carbs than regular cow’s milk. With only 4g of net carbs per cup, it can be used as a substitute in cooking and baking recipes. It provides the same nutritional benefits as regular cow’s milk, including protein and calcium.
In conclusion, there are numerous milk alternatives available for those following a low-carb, ketogenic diet. By choosing the right milk options, you can enjoy your favorite beverages and dishes without worrying about excessive carbs. Share your preferred milk option and any brand recommendations in the comments!
Image Source: Hook’d Up Bar and Grill