Keto-Friendly Milk: Learn What Milk you can Use on a Keto Diet, and which to avoid.

  • Date: June 7, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

If you have been living a keto lifestyle for any time, you will be well aware that you cannot have traditional cows milk on keto. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to miss out! We will take you through milk you can use on a keto diet, that isn’t cows milk! Read on to find out everything that you need to know.

My guess is that if you are reading this article, you are already living or considering living a low-carb diet/keto lifestyle. If not check out this beginners guide, which takes you through all of the basics, including how many carbs per day you can eat to stay within your macro allowance, and therefore in ketosis.

Why is Cows Milk not Keto-Friendly?

Cow’s milk contains lactose, also known as milk sugar. 250 ml of cow’s milk contains around 12 grams of carbs, making it relatively high in carbs before we even consider the blood sugar spike that the lactose may cause.

Carbohydrates In Different Types of Cows Milk per 250ml

In this day and age milk comes in so many different varieties, below you will see the number of carbs in milk, by type.

Milk TypeCarbsFatProtein
Skimmed Milk13g0g8g
1% Milk13g3g8g
2% Milk12g4g8g
Whole Milk12g8g8g

As you can see the carbohydrates in dairy milk are too high for a keto lifestyle.

Is Whole Milk Keto?

From the table above we can see that whole milk has 12 grams of net carbs per 250ml. As you are only allowed to eat 20 grams of net carbs a day, drinking milk can soon take you over this, even if you are only having a small amount in your coffee, the carbs will soon add up.

Imagine having 6 cups of tea or coffee a day?

6 x 25ml = 150 ml = 7.5 net carbs

Nearly half of your daily carb allowance

Can I have Soy Milk on the Keto Diet?

Can I use Soy milk on the Keto diet? No. While soy milk (or soy milk alternatives) is great for those who like to drink milk for its protein content, however, it is not recommended for those on a keto diet. Soy milk contains around 6 grams of carbs per 100 ml, which makes it high for a keto diet.

Can I have Oat Milk on the Keto Diet?

Oat is a grain and grains are not permitted on a keto diet. What is more, oat milk contains around 13 grams of carbs per 100 ml, which makes it high in carbs for a keto diet (even higher than dairy milk!).

What are the Alternatives to Dairy Milk?

There are a number of different kinds of milk which can be used as alternatives to dairy milk. They all come with their own health benefits and are perfect for anybody on the ketogenic diet, or just wanting to reduce their carbohydrate intake.

Here is a lineup of our favourite non-dairy, keto-friendly milk options.

Heavy Whipping Cream (HWC) aka Double Cream

Heavy cream / heavy whipping cream / double cream, whatever you call it! This can be a perfect keto-friendly alternative to milk.

Double cream has around 3.75 grams of net carbs per 250 ml, which makes it a lot lower in carbs than regular milk. 

Some people find cream too thick to use in coffee and tea. There is a simple solution though! Water down the cream and then add it to your drink.

TOP TIP: Mix your cream and water in the morning and keep it in the fridge in a small pouring jug so it’s ready for you when you need it.

Double cream is also a great milk substitute in cooking and baking.

Almond Milk 

This must be unsweetened almond milk

Coconut Milk

This must be full-fat coconut milk, do not be seduced by anything that says, ‘low-fat’ also, ensure that it is unsweetened coconut milk, so it had no added sugars. Unsweetened coconut milk has a carbohydrate content of 3.5 grams per 100ml.

Coconut Cream

Whereas coconut milk is similar in consistency to cow’s milk, coconut cream is much thicker and richer, much like regular extra thick cream. Coconut cream has around 2 grams of carbs per 100ml.

Coconut Oil

Yes, coconut oil can be added to your tea or coffee in the same way as milk can be. It is a staple in keto coffee as it adds to the fat content. It contains less than 1 gram of carbs per 100ml.

Hazlenut Milk

With only 3 grams of carbs per 100ml, hazelnut milk is not only a fantastic choice if you are eating a low-carbohydrate diet, it also tastes amazing and is full of healthy anti-oxidants.

Macadamia Nut Milk

With only 2.5 grams of carbs per 100 ml, macadamia nut milk is a great choice for a keto lifestyle. It is higher in good fats than almond milk.

Cashew Milk

Cashew nut milk contains around 3 grams of carb per 100ml, meaning that this is also a good dairy-milk alternative for those either wanting to avoid dairy or eat a keto, low-carb lifestyle.

Flax Milk

With only 3 grams of carbs per 100 ml, flax milk is a great choice for a keto. It is perfect if you want dairy-free, nut-free, keto-friendly milk!

Hemp Milk

Unsweetened hemp milk has less than 1 gram of carbs per 100 ml, making it great if you are really trying to cut down on the number of carbs.


Kefir is a less known dairy milk alternative and has around 4 grams of carbs per 100 ml.

Let’s look at the carb count for all of these different keto-friendly kinds of milk.

Keto Milk AtlernativeGrams of Carbs per 25m’
Heavy Whipping Cream1.5 grams
Coconut Milk3.5 grams
Coconut Cream2 grams
Coconut Oil<1 gram
Hazlenut Milk3 grams
Macadamia Nut Milk2.5 grams
Cashew Milk3 grams
Flax Milk3 grams
Hemp Milk<1 gram
Kefir4 grams

As you can see, there are a number of different types of milk that you can use on a keto diet. You do not have to be restricted at all, we would recommend trying ou non-dairy milk to see what you think.

TOP TIP: Ensure that you read the nutrition label on any milk before you buy it; some may contain ingredients that are not keto-friendly.

So, Which is the Best Keto-Friendly Milk?

For me, the best keto-friendly milk is almond milk. It is low in carbs and relatively inexpensive and can be bought in most stores.

Final Thoughts

We have established that cows milk (regular milk) is not appropriate for a keto diet, however, there are a number of keto milk alternatives out there, ready and waiting for you to try them.

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