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Is Milk Keto-Friendly?

Milk on a kitchen counter

Milk is one of the staples of our diet, so you may be wondering whether or not you can have it on keto and include it in your recipes. In this article, we'll answer if milk is keto-friendly and shed light on the nutritional components of milk.

Plus, we'll explore a few keto-compatible alternatives to milk that could add variety to your diet.


  • No, regular cow's milk is not keto-friendly due to its relatively high carb content.
  • Milk offers a wealth of nutritional benefits, including essential vitamins and minerals.
  • Discover how to incorporate milk into your keto meal plan creatively.

Is Milk Keto-Friendly?

Milk isn't keto-friendly, mainly because it contains lactose, also known as milk sugar. While it may seem like a healthy choice, the carbs in lactose can quickly add up, potentially knocking you out of ketosis. Milk contains 4.63g of carbohydrates per 100g, making it suitable for a keto diet.

For those on a keto diet, maintaining ketosis requires strict management of carb intake, and even small amounts of sugar can disrupt this balance. So, despite its nutritional benefits, cow’s milk might not be the best option if you’re trying to stay in ketosis.

Can You Have Milk on a Strict Keto Diet?

No. Not, really. Mostly because of the lactose, which is a type of sugar. When you're on a strict keto diet, you've got to really watch how many carbs you eat, and even a little bit of milk can add up fast.

So, even though milk has some good stuff in it, it might not be the best choice if you're trying to stick to a strict keto plan. You might want to go for something like unsweetened almond or coconut milk instead to keep your carb count low.

Carbs In Milk

Milk contains 4.63g of net carbs per 100g.

The glycemic index (GI) of milk generally falls into the low to medium range. For most types of cow's milk, the GI is around 30 to 34, making it a low-GI beverage. This means that milk causes a relatively slow and low rise in blood sugar levels compared to high-GI foods. The exact GI can vary slightly depending on factors like fat content and processing, but overall, milk is considered to have a low impact on blood sugar when consumed in moderation.

Milk Nutrition Facts

A 100g serving of milk offers a diverse range of nutritional components. First, let's talk about the macronutrients.

  • Milk contains approximately 3.4g of protein, contributing to growth and repair in the body.
  • It also has 4.8g of carbohydrates, specifically in the form of lactose, providing energy.
  • The fat content stands around 1g, which is primarily saturated fat.

Now, moving on to micronutrients, milk provides essential vitamins and minerals.

  • It is a significant source of calcium, with about 120mg in a 100g serving, crucial for bone health.
  • Other notable minerals include potassium (approximately 150mg), vital for maintaining healthy blood pressure, and phosphorus (around 93mg), which aids in energy metabolism.
  • In terms of vitamins, milk is rich in Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), with about 0.18mg, and Vitamin B12, with roughly 0.9µg. Both are important for energy production and maintaining a healthy nervous system. Furthermore, it contains small amounts of other B vitamins, including Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), and B6.
Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference4.63g
Total fats3.2g
Sodium, Na38.0mg
Potassium, K150.0mg
Magnesium, Mg11.9mg
Calcium, Ca123.0mg
Vitamin A32.0ug
Vitamin B-60.06mg
Vitamin B-120.54ug
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)0.96ug
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.05mg
Copper, Cu0.0mg
Iodine, I37.9ug
Phosphorus, P101.0mg
Selenium, Se1.9ug
Zinc, Zn0.42mg
Pantothenic acid0.36mg
Choline, total17.8mg
Aspartic acid0.28g
Glutamic acid0.79g
Fatty acids, total saturated1.86g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.69g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.11g
Nutritional data is sourced from the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system. Please see Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards for more information.

Health Implications of Milk on a Keto Diet

Milk is rich in a variety of essential nutrients that make it a beneficial addition to a keto diet. It's packed with minerals such as Calcium, Potassium, and Magnesium, all crucial for various body functions. Milk also provides proteins and vitamins, including Vitamin A, B-6, B-12, and D3, which support immune function, cell growth, and bone health, among other benefits. However, it's worth noting that milk does contain some amounts of sodium and cholesterol, which should be taken into account when incorporating it into a balanced keto diet.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Milk

  1. Almond milk is a popular keto-friendly alternative to milk. It can be used in almost any recipe that requires milk, such as in a keto smoothie or as a base for keto-friendly ice cream. It has a lower carb count than milk, making it an excellent choice for those on a strict keto diet.
  2. Coconut milk is another great option. Its rich, creamy texture makes it ideal for keto-friendly curries or stews. Nutritionally, it's high in healthy fats and lower in carbs than milk, fitting well within a ketogenic dietary plan.

Concluding Thoughts on Milk and Keto

We love milk for its richness of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, but unfortunately, it's simply not keto-friendly.

If you're really used to some milk in your coffee, it's better to switch to cream and milk alternatives!

Since milk is not compatible with a keto diet, exploring alternatives like almond milk or coconut milk can add variety to your meals. Each brings its own unique flavor and nutritional benefits to the table.

Cast Iron Keto's Editorial and Research Standards

Certain rare or exotic food items may not have nutritional profiles in the FoodData Central database. If an exact match is not found in the FoodData Central database, then, the Cast Iron Keto team utilizes a three-prong approach to provide readers with the closest relevant nutritional data, where possible.

First, in the event that nutritional profiles for a rare or exotic food item is not available in the FoodData Central database, we investigate alternative names for that particular food item and use that data, when possible. Second, in cases where no alternate names exist, Cast Iron Keto will use nutritional data for a close relative or similar food item. Finally, if no close relatives or similar items exist, we refrain from publishing nutrient data tables.

When making dietary or health decisions based on FoodData Central's data, we suggest readers consult with a nutritionist or other health experts, particularly if the food in question has a significant role in your diet or if you are using the food item to treat any health disorder(s).

Furthermore, it is important to note that even if a close relative or similar item is used to approximate the nutritional data, different food items can have varying levels of nutrients due to factors such as soil quality, farming practices, and regional differences.


The information on this website is only intended to be general summary information for public use, designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. This information does not replace written law or regulations, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition or are seeking to evaluate the health merits of certain food items for the treatment of any medical condition, you should seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professionals.

The views expressed at, or through, Cast Iron Keto are for informational purposes only. Cast Iron Keto cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. While we use reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information, we make no warranties as to the accuracy of the content and assume no liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this website are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided "as is;" no representations are made that the content is error-free.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, milk is not keto-friendly, and it's best you use milk alternatives like coconut and almond milk.