The 7 Best Keto-Friendly Milk Options

For those on a keto diet, the thought of giving up milk might seem daunting. However, you don't have to feel like you're missing out, as there are several excellent keto-friendly milk alternatives that won't disrupt your ketosis. Popular substitutes like nut milk, coconut milk, and heavy whipping cream can easily replace traditional milk in your diet. 

Additionally, there are other less conventional options available for exploration, ensuring you can enjoy the richness of milk without compromising your dietary goals.

Why Regular Cow’s Milk is Not Allowed in Keto

Milk from a cow contains a lot of lactose, which is a naturally occurring sugar. One cup of 1% milk has about 12 carbohydrates. The standard keto diet has dieters consuming less than 50 carbs each day (some dieters stay under 30 net carbs), so milk can derail your diet in a hurry if you are not careful.

This is why most keto dieters steer clear of milk and enjoy keto milk alternatives.

What Milk is Keto Friendly?

When choosing your keto milk alternatives remember that you need to be looking for the unsweetened version of these items:

  1. Coconut Milk: Unsweetened, pure coconut milk is delicious and natural. A vegan-friendly milk replacement, it is refreshing and has an excellent taste for coconut lovers. 
  2. Heavy Whipping Cream: HWC is a dairy milk product that is keto-friendly. High in fat, it gives you that creamy milk taste you are craving. 
  3. Nut Milk: Unsweetened nut milk is made from many different kinds of nuts including almonds, cashews, macadamias, and walnuts. Read labels and find the nut milk with the least amount of ingredients and carbs. Seek out the magic word “unsweetened” to help guide you to the best choices for supporting your keto diet. 
  4. Pea Protein Milk: This product goes by different names including pea milk or plant protein milk. This milk is a popular option because it is dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan. 
  5. Seed Milk: Milk is also made from seeds such as flax and hemp. Again, tread carefully to be certain you don’t pick a product full of added ingredients that raise the carb content. 
  6. Soy Milk: While not naturally low carb, there are keto-friendly soy milk options. 
  7. Hemp Milk: Unsweetened hemp milk is low in carbs and provides a good source of plant-based fats.

Best Keto Milk for Coffee

Although half-and-half is not a terrible coffee option, there are other items you can put in your coffee that are more keto-friendly. Read this article for keto-friendly coffee creamer options!

While you can buy keto coffee creamers. it is super easy (and inexpensive) to make your own. Check out this to find a basic keto coffee creamer you can “snazz up” or drink as is. We also included some of the best keto creamers on the market.

Which Milk Options Should You Avoid?

When following a keto diet, it's important to avoid milk options that are high in carbohydrates, as these can easily push you out of ketosis. Here are the types of milk you should generally steer clear of:

  1. Regular Cow's Milk: Despite being natural, cow's milk is high in lactose, a type of sugar, making it unsuitable for a keto diet. A single cup can contain around 12-13 grams of carbs.
  2. Sweetened Non-Dairy Milk: Many non-dairy milk options are flavored and sweetened, significantly increasing their carb content. Always check the label for unsweetened versions.
  3. Rice Milk: Rice milk is made from milled rice and water, leading to a high carb content that is not keto-friendly.
  4. Oat Milk: Oat milk is another plant-based milk derived from whole oat grains. While popular for its creamy texture and nutritional profile, its high carb content makes it unsuitable for keto.

Always read nutritional labels carefully to make informed choices that align with your dietary needs.