Is Lifeway Kefir Keto Friendly?

  • Date: January 1, 2022
  • Time to read: 3 min.

So let’s find out, is Lifeway Kefir Keto Friendly? Have you ever heard of kefir? Surprisingly, it’s not really a popular product in the US, even though this dairy product has a long history and is quite popular in Europe. Since it’s a dairy product and most dairy products are safe to consume on keto, it’s quite natural for a keto dieter who wishes to diversify their diet to be interested in products like Lifeway Kefir. Be careful though. Products like Lifeway Kefir are the exact reason a keto dieter should always check labels on products they’re buying. 

What is Lifeway Kefir?

Lifeway Kefir is one of the most popular brands on US supermarket shelves. 

Kefir is a fermented milk product, somewhat similar to thin yogurt. Have you ever noticed bottles of drinkable sweetened yogurt on the shelves of your local supermarket? Kefir is somewhat similar in texture, though not in taste.

In taste, it’s closer to greek yogurt – tangy, slightly acidic, but smooth and creamy.

Lifeway Kefir, in particular, aims to bring mass-produced kefir as close to classic, farmer-made kefir as possible. The product is GMO-free, gluten-free, has no added sugar, and comes in multiple varieties with choices ranging from “traditional” to “made from organic whole milk” to “low” or “non-fat”.

Most of these options come in several varieties themselves, a “plain” and several types of “flavored”.

A Keto-Cap (aka A Keto Recap!)

If you’re new to keto and want a bit more information, check out our keto beginners guide.

As a quick summary, if you need it, the keto (also known as the ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high-fat diet.

The whole concept of the keto diet is that your body transitions from burning glucose, in simple terms, sugars or carbohydrates, to burning fat as its primary fuel source.

For a keto diet, people will restrict their macros to eating;

  • 70% of their calories from fat
  • 25% from protein
  • 5% from carbohydrates

Sticking to these macros for a period of time will put your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is when your body has transitioned from burning carbohydrates as its primary fuel source to burning fat for fuel. It is at this point that you will start to see and feel the benefits of the keto diet.

There are a lot of new terms and abbreviations that you may come across, sometimes it can feel like a new language that you need to learn. In order to help you out and keep you on the right track, we have created a keto terms and keto abbreviations guide, bookmark these to make your keto journey easier.

Some people can be put off the keto diet because of the side effects, however, these are only short-lived and the health benefits of keto far outweigh the side effects.

One of the main benefits which attract people to the keto diet is that it can cause significant reductions in insulin levels (by up to 75%) and blood sugar levels, which can be attractive to those that struggle with diabetes, amongst other health complaints.

What is the Nutritional Value of Lifeway Kefir?

Here’s the nutritional value of whole milk plain* Lifeway Kefir per 1 serving, which is defined by the Lifeway brand itself to be 1 cup (240ml):

  • Carbs: 9 grams
  • Protein: 10 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Sugar: 9 grams 
  • Calories: 150

*nutritional value varies per kefir varieties. 

How Many Net Carbs are there in Lifeway Kefir?

Whole milk plain Lifeway Kefir contains no fiber, so all carbs you get from it are net carbs. This particular variety contains 9 grams of net carbs per serving.

Carb content for Lifeway Kefir varies per its many varieties by between 1-10g of carbs, with plain varieties netting much less than flavored ones. But it invariably stays high – for example, plain low-fat Lifeway Kefir contains 12g net carbs per serving.

Is Lifeway Kefir Keto Friendly?

Unfortunately, no variety of Lifeway Kefir, be it full-fat or low-fat, organic and grass-fed or “regular”, plain or flavored, is keto-friendly. The amount of net carbs they all contain is always far too high.

You may be able to incorporate ⅓ of a serving of a plain variety in a smoothie if you’re determined to give it a try, but it’s simply not worth the hassle.

What are the Best Keto Alternatives to Lifeway Kefir?

There are recipes for more keto-friendly kefir alternatives made from coconut and/or almond milk on the internet, so you can make some yourself if you’re determined.

Otherwise, a mixture of greek yogurt and low-carb milk, such as almond milk would be your best bet to satisfy your kefir cravings.


Staying hydrated on the keto diet is really important, for more on how much water you should be drinking, check out our guide to staying hydrated on the keto diet.

If you’re planning on dehydrating yourself(!) and drinking alcohol on the keto diet, check out our ultimate guide to drinking alcohol on a keto diet. Also, you may be interested in, how to recover from a cheat day.

Summary: Is Lifeway Kefir Keto Friendly?

In summary, no Lifeway Kefir is unfortunately not keto friendly. It is high in net carbs and therefore could soon push you over your macros limit and potentially knock you out of ketosis. So as delicious as it is, kefir is not on the keto menu.

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