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The Dairy Keto Guide: Best and Worst Dairy Products for Your Keto Diet

Author: Victoria 9 min read
Jan 26, 2024
The Dairy Keto Guide: Best and Worst Dairy Products for Your Keto Diet

Did you know that incorporating dairy keto into your diet can not only increase your satiety but also improve your overall well-being? In this blog post, we will explore the world of dairy on a keto diet, from understanding its role to discovering the top dairy products and alternatives that are keto-friendly. Get ready to revolutionize your keto journey with the power of dairy keto!

Key Takeaways

  • Incorporating high-quality, grass-fed dairy products into a keto diet can be beneficial.

  • Choose low carb and high fat options such as heavy cream, butter, hard cheeses, soft cheeses and Greek yogurt for best results.

  • Incorporate mindful portion control when selecting dairy products to maintain your keto diet goals.

Understanding Dairy on the Keto Diet

Dairy products can play a vital role in a keto diet, offering not only a delicious taste but also essential nutrients. Considering the carbohydrate content is key when including dairy in a keto diet. Here are some high-quality, grass-fed, full-fat dairy products with low natural milk sugar content that are the best options to help you reach your weight loss goals:

  • Butter

  • Ghee

  • Heavy cream

  • Full-fat cheese (cheddar, mozzarella, brie, etc.)

  • Greek yogurt (unsweetened)

  • Cottage cheese (full-fat)

These dairy products can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a well-balanced keto diet.

Understanding lactose’s role and the benefits of keto-friendly dairy products empowers us to make informed decisions for optimizing our keto diet.

What Makes Dairy Keto-Friendly?

The key to a keto-friendly dairy product lies in its low carbohydrate content and high-fat content. For instance, cheddar cheese and butter are excellent options for a ketogenic diet due to their low carb content. Butter, in particular, serves as an ideal source of fat. Choosing dairy products with these qualities, like grass-fed butter rich in omega-3 fatty acids, paves the way for success in your keto journey.

The Role of Lactose in Dairy Products

Lactose, a naturally occurring sugar found in dairy products, can affect your keto diet. Its presence in dairy products can increase both blood sugar and insulin levels. However, during cheese production, lactose is converted into lactic acid.

This means that lactose-intolerant individuals may still be able to consume small amounts of cheese, butter, and other low-lactose dairy products without issue.

Top 5 Keto-Friendly Dairy Products

Discover the top 5 keto-friendly dairy products that will elevate your keto journey:

  • Heavy cream

  • Butter

  • Hard cheeses

  • Soft cheeses

  • Greek yogurt

These low carb dairy products are not only low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats, but also make excellent choices for those following a ketogenic diet.

Incorporating these dairy products into your diet and eating dairy offers a variety of delicious, nutrient-rich foods that align with your keto goals.

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is a fantastic choice for a keto diet due to its high-fat content and low carbohydrate content. With a fat content of at least 36%, heavy cream can be used to create rich sauces and soups that will keep you satisfied. Plus, with only 2-7 grams of carbohydrates per cup, heavy cream is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of keto-friendly recipes, such as Keto Chocolate Mousse and Low Carb 5-Minute Peanut Butter Mousse, or even as whipped cream for a delicious topping.


Butter is an ideal addition to your keto diet, boasting zero carbs and a high-fat content. Each tablespoon of butter contains 11.5 grams of fat and 0.1 grams of protein. Opting for grass-fed butter provides even more benefits, as it is higher in omega-3 fatty acids essential for maintaining a healthy body and brain.

Explore the various ways you can use butter in your keto diet, from cooking to baking, and enjoy the delicious taste it brings to your meals.

Hard Cheeses

Hard cheeses, such as cheddar, Parmesan, and goat cheese, offer numerous benefits for a keto diet, including their low carbohydrate content and high-fat content. For example, a 34-oz slice of sharp cheddar cheese contains 0g of carbohydrates, 8g of fat, and 6g of protein.

Incorporating these hard cheeses into your keto diet provides a delicious and nutritious addition to your meals, helping you stay within your daily carb limit.

Soft Cheeses

Soft cheeses like Brie, Mascarpone, and creme fraiche are an excellent choice for a keto diet, with their relatively low carbohydrate content and high-fat content. For instance, Brie cheese contains 7.9g of fat and 0g of carbohydrates per serving, while mascarpone cheese has 27.7g of fat and 0.45g of carbohydrates per serving.

Enjoy these delicious soft cheeses, including cream cheese and sour cream, as a snack or incorporated into keto-friendly recipes, providing you with both taste and nutrition.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a valuable addition to your keto diet, offering high protein content and low carbohydrate content. Here are some reasons why Greek yogurt is a great choice:

  • It contains approximately 20 grams of protein per serving, making it a great source of essential nutrients.

  • The high protein content can help keep you feeling full and satisfied.

  • Greek yogurt is low in carbohydrates, making it a suitable option for those following a keto diet.

To ensure your Greek yogurt is keto-friendly, choose plain greek yogurt with a low carb count and enjoy it in smoothies, dressings, or even as a dessert base.

Dairy Products to Avoid on Keto

While many dairy products can be enjoyed on a keto diet, there are some that should be limited or avoided for optimal results. These include:

  • Flavored yogurts

  • Milk

  • Ice cream

  • Processed cheese

These items can interfere with ketosis and impede weight loss.

Avoiding these dairy products and choosing keto-friendly alternatives helps maintain your keto diet and reach your health goals.

Flavored Yogurts

Flavored yogurts should be avoided on a keto diet due to their high sugar content. These yogurts can contain between 10-13 grams of sugar per 100 grams, which can disrupt ketosis and hinder weight loss.

Instead, choose plain, unsweetened yogurts with a lower carb count to stay on track with your keto goals.


Milk is not recommended on a keto diet due to its high carbohydrate content, which can impede ketosis and weight loss. One cup of milk contains approximately 12 grams of carbs per cup.

Instead, consider low-carb milk alternatives like almond milk, macadamia nut milk, flaxseed milk, pea milk, or soy milk to enjoy the creamy taste without the carbs.

Ice Cream

Ice cream is not suitable for a keto diet due to its high sugar and carbohydrate content. A serving of ice cream typically contains around 16 grams of carbohydrates. However, there are low-carb and sugar-free ice cream options available, like Halo Top’s Keto Series and Rebel Creamery, that can be enjoyed while following a keto diet.

Processed Cheese

Processed cheese is not ideal for a keto diet due to its high carbohydrate content and low nutritional value. One serving of processed cheese has 1-3 grams of carbohydrates.

Instead, opt for natural, unprocessed cheeses that are low in carbs and offer nutritional benefits.

Dairy Alternatives for Keto Dieters

For those who prefer dairy alternatives or have a dairy allergy, there are plenty of options available, such as nut milks, coconut products, evaporated milk substitutes, and dairy-free cheese options, which can be great substitutes for traditional dairy foods.

These alternatives can offer similar benefits to dairy products while remaining keto-friendly, allowing you to maintain your keto diet without compromising on taste or nutrition.

Nut Milks

Nut milks, such as almond milk, macadamia nut milk, and coconut milk, are popular dairy alternatives for those following a keto diet. These milks offer a low carbohydrate content and can be used in a variety of keto-friendly recipes, providing a delicious and nutritious alternative to dairy milk.

Coconut Products

Coconut products, such as:

  • coconut milk

  • coconut oil

  • coconut cream

  • shredded coconut

can serve as excellent dairy alternatives in a keto diet. They are low in net carbs and high in healthy fats, making them an ideal choice for low-carb diets. Additionally, coconut products provide other health benefits, such as promoting healthy hair and skin and increasing HDL cholesterol levels.

Dairy-Free Cheese Options

Dairy-free cheese options, such as Treeline Treenut Cheese, Miyoko’s Creamery, and Violife Foods, offer low carbohydrate content and high-fat content, making them suitable for keto dieters. These dairy-free cheeses allow you to enjoy the taste and texture of cheese while adhering to your keto diet and avoiding potential allergens or sensitivities.

Tips for Incorporating Dairy into Your Keto Diet

Incorporating dairy into your keto diet can be simple and enjoyable with a few practical tips in mind. By managing portion sizes, carefully reviewing nutritional information, and exploring different recipes, you can make the most of dairy products while following a ketogenic diet.

Portion Control

It’s important to control portion sizes when consuming dairy products on a keto diet to avoid excessive calorie intake and ensure you stay within your daily carb limit. Be mindful of your portions, and consider drinking water before meals to help with portion control.

Reading Labels

Label reading becomes highly important while selecting dairy products for a keto diet. Check the following on the label to ensure the dairy product is keto-friendly:

  • Carbohydrate content

  • Fat content

  • Amount of added sugars

  • Quality of ingredients

Paying close attention to labels aids in making informed decisions and optimizing your keto diet.

Experimenting with Recipes

Trying new recipes to incorporate dairy products into your keto diet can help you discover different ways to enjoy dairy while still following a ketogenic diet. Dietary taste and nutrition can be enhanced by experimenting with dairy in your keto recipes, such as using heavy cream in sauces and soups or adding full-fat Greek yogurt to smoothies and dressings.


In summary, dairy can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your keto diet. By understanding the role of lactose and selecting keto-friendly dairy products, you can enjoy the benefits of dairy without compromising your keto goals. Explore dairy alternatives and experiment with recipes to further enhance your keto journey. Embrace the power of dairy and let it fuel your path to success on your ketogenic diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dairy allowed in keto?

Yes, dairy is allowed in keto, as long as you have no allergy or sensitivity. Cheese, Greek yogurt, cream, and butter are all great options that can be included in a low carb or keto lifestyle. However, not all forms of dairy are keto friendly, so moderation and consideration are important.

Am I eating too much dairy on keto?

It's important to moderate your consumption of dairy on keto, as overeating can lead to weight gain and knock you out of ketosis. Stick to no more than 1-2 ounces of cheese or cream per meal, and be aware that some dairy products can contain up to 24 grams of carbohydrates. Eating too much high-lactose dairy can also raise both blood sugar and insulin levels.

Why is dairy milk not keto?

Dairy milk is high in lactose, a type of carbohydrate, making it unsuitable for a keto diet. Its high carb content (12g of net carbs per cup) makes it far too much for a traditional keto lifestyle, and it should be avoided on the keto diet.

What are the top 5 keto-friendly dairy products?

Dairy products that are keto-friendly include heavy cream, butter, hard cheeses, soft cheeses, and Greek yogurt.

What are some dairy alternatives suitable for a keto diet?

Nut milks, coconut products, and dairy-free cheese are all great alternatives for a keto diet, making it easy to enjoy your favorite treats without sacrificing taste or nutrition.

Are you ready to start your keto journey?

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