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Is Milk Keto? How Many Carbs in Milk?

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The Ketogenic diet is all about reducing the intake of carbs, and some dairy products are perfect for helping you achieve your keto goals, but some will do quite the opposite.

Use this simple guide to learn if milk as a dairy product is keto-friendly and which will take you out of ketosis!

Dairy is everywhere. You would be surprised how many store-bought products contain some dairy. But on a keto diet, not all dairy products can support your efforts.

What Are Dairy Products?

Dairy products are all products made from animal milk. The most common animal used to produce milk are cows, goats, sheep, or buffalo.

Dairy products encompass anything primarily based on animal milk and include milk, butter, cream, yogurt, cheese, custard, or ice cream.

The per capita consumption of dairy products in the US was 653 pounds per year in 2019. This amounts to about 1.7 pounds per day per person.

In comparison, China has a per-capita consumption of only 50 pounds per year!

Note: Eggs are not a dairy product! The very definition of dairy excludes them because they are not milk products.

Is dairy keto? Well, there’s no simple answer to that question, so read on to learn all the details!

Is Milk Keto?

All animal milk is relatively similar in their composition.

They are mostly made of water (70% to 90%), lactose (a disaccharide, a carbohydrate molecule containing glucose and galactose), fat, protein, various vitamins and minerals, and a few enzymes.

Because of their high concentration of carbs, no animal milk is really keto-friendly unless taken in minimal quantities.

Is Milk Keto?

How Many Carbs In Milk?

The table below shows the net carbs content for the most common dairy milk per cup (240ml). Almond milk is added for comparison:

Type of milkCarbsFatProteinCalories
Regular Cow Milk11.4g7.8g8g146 kcal
Reduced Fat (2%) Cow Milk11.9g4.6g8.2g122 kcal
Low Fat (1)% Cow Milk12.7g2.3g8.3g105 kcal
Skim Cow Milk11.9g0.2g8.4g83 kcal
Lactose-Free Cow Milk11.4g7.8g8g146 kcal
Sheep Milk13.1g17.2g14.7g265 kcal
Buffalo Milk12.6g16.8g9.2g237 kcal
Goat Milk10.9g10.1g8.7g168 kcal

All data comes from the FoodCentral database.

This table shows that all animal kinds of milk have a very similar net carbs content between 10 grams and 13 grams per cup. For comparison, one cup of almond milk has only 2.7 grams of net carbs.

As a result, if you are following the keto diet, you would have to stop using cow milk, sheep milk, goat milk, and even buffalo milk in your recipes.

Keto-Friendly Milk Alternatives

Even lactose-free milk isn’t keto-friendly because lactose-free milk does not have fewer carbs. it just has its lactose – which can trigger intolerance – broken down into galactose and glucose.

This is why so many of my keto recipes use plant-based milk alternatives instead,  like Almond Milk or Coconut Milk, but make sure to buy unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk!

Conclusion

Not all dairy products are your friends on a keto diet and milk is the one that is the least keto-friendly.

Cheese is generally fine. Butter is keto-friendly. Some yogurts are good in low quantity, and most creams are fine.

But milk needs to be avoided to reach all your keto goals!

Are there any other dairy products that you avoid on a keto diet? Comment below to share with everyone!

Carine Claudepierre

About The Author

Carine Claudepierre

Hi, I'm Carine, the food blogger, author, recipe developer, published author of a cookbook and many ebooks, and founder of Sweet As Honey.

I have an Accredited Certificate in Nutrition and Wellness obtained in 2014 from Well College Global (formerly Cadence Health). I'm passionate about sharing all my easy and tasty recipes that are both delicious and healthy. My expertise in the field comes from my background in chemistry and years of following a keto low-carb diet. But I'm also well versed in vegetarian and vegan cooking since my husband is vegan.

I now eat a more balanced diet where I alternate between keto and a Mediterranean Diet

Cooking and Baking is my true passion. In fact, I only share a small portion of my recipes on Sweet As Honey. Most of them are eaten by my husband and my two kids before I have time to take any pictures!

All my recipes are at least triple tested to make sure they work and I take pride in keeping them as accurate as possible.

Browse all my recipes with my Recipe Index.

I hope that you too find the recipes you love on Sweet As Honey!

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    3 Thoughts On Is Milk Keto? How Many Carbs in Milk?
  1. Hi! What are your thoughts on the “Ultra” versions of milk? Two I know of are Fairlife and Organic Valley. They both claim 6 grams total sugar per cup. Thanks!

    • Hi Tina,
      I have never tried these! From the looks of it, they seem to be ok-ish. They are still quite a bit higher in carbs than plan-based options.
      But as always what matters in keto is the total quantity, so as long as you adapt your servings to their content it’s fine.

      Just a note that the Fairlife Ultra is quite low in fat and high in protein. Even their whole milk has only 8g of fat for 6g of carbs and 13g of protein per cup.
      Given that on Keto, you are aiming at a 5% Carbs, 75% Fat and 25% Fat macros, you might struggle to reach your macros with that much protein and that low fat.

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