Home / friendly / dairy-and-non-dairy / Is Yogurt Keto-Friendly?

Is Yogurt Keto-Friendly?

Yogurt on a kitchen counter

Embarking on a ketogenic diet requires a careful examination of what's on your plate, and yogurt is no exception.

A common question that arises is - 'Is Yogurt Keto-Friendly?' While yogurt is a nutritious food choice packed with probiotics and other beneficial nutrients, it's not particularly keto-friendly due to its carbohydrate content.

However, that's not to say it's completely off-limits.

With strict portion control and careful planning, you can enjoy yogurt in very moderate amounts on your keto journey.

This article delves into the carbohydrate content of yogurt, explores its health implications on a keto diet, offers strategies to limit its consumption, and suggests keto-compatible alternatives.Let's dive in and explore the complex relationship between yogurt and the ketogenic diet.


  • Yogurt, while nutritious, is not particularly keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content.
  • Overconsumption of yogurt could lead to the 'keto flu', a group of symptoms associated with the body's adaptation to a reduced carbohydrate intake.
  • Eating yogurt without strict portion control could potentially interrupt ketosis, disrupting your ketogenic diet.

Is Yogurt Keto-Friendly?

Let's cut to the chase - is yogurt keto-friendly? To answer this question, we need to dive into the nutrient profile of yogurt.

In its purest form, yogurt is a fermented dairy product made from milk and active bacterial cultures. It's a powerhouse of proteins, calcium, and beneficial probiotics. But what about carbohydrates? That's where the yogurt's compatibility with the keto diet comes into question.

A 100g serving of plain, unsweetened yogurt typically contains approximately 5.57g of net carbs. In comparison, the standard keto diet recommends limiting daily carb intake to between 20-50g to maintain ketosis - the metabolic state where your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.

That means a single serving of yogurt can potentially take up a significant chunk of your daily carb allowance, depending on your specific dietary guidelines. This is why we emphasize caution and portion control when it comes to integrating yogurt into a ketogenic diet.

Beyond carbs, yogurt is relatively low in fats - another crucial aspect of the keto diet. Fats should make up the majority of a keto follower's daily calorie intake, and yogurt, as a naturally low-fat food, doesn't quite fit the bill.

Remember, the purpose of the ketogenic diet is to shift your metabolism towards fat and away from carbohydrates. Any food, regardless of its other nutritional benefits, must align with this fundamental principle.

Can Yogurt be Incorporated into a Strict Keto Diet?

Adopting a strict keto diet involves intricate planning and attention to detail, especially when it comes to carb content. Given that yogurt contains about 5.57g of carbs per 100g, it presents a challenge. Can it be incorporated into a strict keto diet? The answer is nuanced and depends largely on careful portion control and understanding your overall dietary intake.

In the context of a strict ketogenic diet, where carb intake is kept very low (often around 20g per day), even a small serving of yogurt can consume a large portion of your carb budget. While yogurt does bring valuable nutrients to the table, its moderate carb content makes it less than ideal for those adhering to a strict keto regimen.

It's important to remember that the ketogenic diet is not just about reducing carb intake, but also about maintaining a balance with other dietary components - particularly fat and protein. Consuming yogurt could potentially disrupt this balance, as it's not only relatively high in carbs but also low in fats. This could make it difficult to meet your other nutritional targets while staying within your carb limit.

That being said, if you are particularly fond of yogurt and want to incorporate it sparingly into your ketogenic diet, we advise you to do so with the utmost caution. Strict portion control is a must. Consider limiting yourself to small amounts of plain, unsweetened yogurt and track your carb intake diligently. Tools such as meal tracking apps can be invaluable for this purpose, helping you to keep a close eye on your daily macro-nutrient intake.

However, bear in mind that consistently maintaining ketosis on a strict keto diet while consuming yogurt may be challenging. It's essential to stay mindful of your carb intake and adjust your diet accordingly to continue reaping the benefits of the keto lifestyle.

Delving into the Carbohydrate Content of Yogurt

Diving into the nitty-gritty of yogurt's carbohydrate content is crucial for anyone planning to incorporate it into a ketogenic diet. So, let's get down to the details.

The carb content in yogurt can vary based on factors such as the type of yogurt (Greek, plain, flavored), the brand, and how it's prepared. However, as a general rule, 100g of plain, unsweetened yogurt contains approximately 5.57g of net carbs, which are the total carbs minus the fiber.

Net carbs are a significant measure on a ketogenic diet. They represent the carbohydrates that are actually absorbed by your body, contributing to your total carb intake. Since fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can't digest, it doesn't contribute to the total net carbs.

Let's put this into perspective with real-world serving sizes. A typical serving size for yogurt is about 150g. This means a single serving of plain, unsweetened yogurt contains roughly 8.36g of net carbs (5.57g per 100g times 1.5 for a 150g serving). If you're following a strict ketogenic diet where the daily carb limit is around 20g, almost half of your daily allowance would be consumed in this one serving of yogurt alone. This illustrates why yogurt, while nutritious, can pose challenges for those on a keto diet.

The carbohydrate content can increase significantly when sugar or flavorings are added to the yogurt. This is why we recommend sticking with plain, unsweetened yogurt if you're considering incorporating it into your keto diet.

Nutritional Snapshot of Yogurt

In a 100g serving of yogurt, you'll find a wealth of nutritional components, each playing a different role in supporting overall health when consumed in moderation.

The macronutrients carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are present in yogurt in quantities of 5.57g, 4.48g, and 3.82g respectively. This balanced macronutrient profile makes yogurt a versatile food, fitting into many dietary plans.

In terms of micronutrients, yogurt is notably rich in calcium (126.8mg) which is crucial for healthy bones and teeth. It also contains 101.2mg of phosphorus, an essential mineral that works in tandem with calcium to promote bone health.

Sodium and potassium are present in yogurt in quantities of 41.78mg and 164.1mg respectively. These nutrients play a key role in maintaining fluid balance and promote heart health.

Yogurt also contains notable amounts of Vitamin D3 (0.78ug), essential for absorbing calcium and promoting bone growth, and Vitamin B-6 (0.05mg), which is involved in brain development and function.

The presence of thiamin and riboflavin, both forms of Vitamin B, further enhance yogurt's nutritional profile. Thiamin (0.06mg) plays a crucial role in energy production, and riboflavin (0.24mg) contributes to cellular functions and growth.

Zinc (0.43mg) and iodine (32.33ug) in yogurt support the immune system and thyroid function respectively.

Nutrient NameAmount and Unit per 100g
Carbohydrate, by difference5.57g
Total fats4.48g
Sodium, Na41.78mg
Potassium, K164.1mg
Magnesium, Mg11.45mg
Calcium, Ca126.8mg
Vitamin B-60.05mg
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)0.78ug
Copper, Cu0.0mg
Iodine, I32.33ug
Phosphorus, P101.2mg
Zinc, Zn0.43mg
Manganese, Mn0.0mg
Fatty acids, total saturated2.32g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.87g
This data was provided by the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central system.
'Yogurt' was not found in FoodData Central, so nutritional data for 'Yogurt, plain, whole milk' was used instead under Cast Iron Keto's editorial and research standards.

Health Implications of Yogurt on a Keto Diet

The incorporation of yogurt into a ketogenic diet isn't just about counting carbs - we also need to consider other health implications. So, let's explore the potential impact of consuming yogurt while following a keto diet.

Firstly, the most immediate challenge is maintaining ketosis. As we've discussed, yogurt's carbohydrate content, even in smaller servings, can consume a significant portion of your daily carb allowance in a strict keto diet. This could potentially knock you out of ketosis, especially if you're not meticulous about portion control or if you consume other carb-containing foods in the same meal.

Furthermore, yogurt is naturally low in fat, which doesn't align ideally with the high-fat requirement of the keto diet. You would need to compensate by consuming additional high-fat foods to maintain your fat intake within the recommended range for the keto diet.

On the positive side, yogurt is packed with probiotics, live bacteria that are beneficial for gut health. A healthy gut can improve digestion, boost immune function, and even enhance mood and mental health. This is a property of yogurt that can contribute to overall health and wellness, even on a keto diet.

However, these benefits need to be balanced against the potential challenges that yogurt can create for maintaining ketosis. Overconsumption of yogurt may make it difficult to stay within your daily carb limit, potentially disrupting ketosis and the benefits that come with it.

Importance of Limiting Yogurt in Your Keto Meal Plan

Navigating the yogurt territory while on a ketogenic diet can be tricky. However, with careful planning and portion control, it's possible to enjoy yogurt in moderation without sacrificing your keto goals.

The key lies in limiting your intake of yogurt to avoid consuming too many carbs and possibly interrupting ketosis. A single serving of yogurt can consume a large chunk of your daily carb allowance, making it crucial to keep portions in check.

One method is to use yogurt sparingly as an ingredient rather than a standalone snack. For instance, a dollop of plain, unsweetened yogurt could be incorporated into a keto-friendly chicken salad, adding a tangy flavor while keeping carbs to a minimum. You might also consider adding a small scoop of yogurt to a nutrient-dense, low-carb smoothie for a touch of creaminess and a boost of probiotics.

Another recommendation is to balance your serving of yogurt with other low-carb foods. If you're indulging in a small portion of yogurt, make sure the rest of your meal is particularly low in carbs to keep your overall intake within the recommended range for ketosis.

It's also worth noting that overconsumption of yogurt, or any high-carb food, can potentially lead to what's known as the 'keto flu'. This is a group of symptoms, including fatigue, headaches, and irritability, that can occur as your body adjusts to a drastic reduction in carbohydrate intake. Limited consumption of yogurt can help ensure you remain within the optimal carb range and avoid these unfavorable symptoms.

Beyond just portion control, choosing the right type of yogurt can also make a significant difference. Opt for plain, unsweetened varieties that are lower in carbs compared to their flavored and sweetened counterparts.

Keto-Compatible Alternatives for Yogurt

While yogurt has its health benefits, its relatively high carb content can pose challenges for those adhering to a keto diet. But fret not, there are several delicious and keto-compatible alternatives that can be used instead of yogurt. Let's explore some of them.

  • Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is strained more thoroughly than regular yogurt, making it thicker and creamier. It is lower in carbs due to the straining process, which removes some of the lactose (milk sugar). A 100g serving of plain Greek yogurt typically contains about 4g of carbs, slightly less than regular yogurt.
  • Coconut Cream: Coconut cream is a versatile ingredient that can be used to replace yogurt in a variety of dishes. It's keto-friendly due to its high-fat, low-carb profile. A 100g serving of coconut cream contains about 6g of carbs and a whopping 34g of fat, making it an excellent choice for maintaining your high-fat intake on a keto diet.
  • Avocado: With its creamy texture and neutral flavor, ripe avocado can be an excellent alternative to yogurt in smoothies and other dishes. A 100g serving of avocado contains just 2g of net carbs and 15g of healthy fats, making it a keto superstar.

Each of these alternatives can be integrated into your meals in a variety of ways. Greek yogurt can be used as a base for a low-carb dip, avocado can be blended into a creamy green smoothie, and coconut cream can be whipped into a decadent dessert topping or mixed into a morning coffee for added richness.

While these alternatives can't replicate the exact taste and texture of yogurt, they offer their own unique flavors and nutritional profiles that can add variety to a ketogenic diet. They can be excellent options for maintaining ketosis while enjoying a creamy, satisfying treat.

Concluding Thoughts on Yogurt and Keto

As we've discussed throughout this article, incorporating yogurt into a ketogenic diet can be a challenging affair due to its relatively high carbohydrate content. A standard serving of yogurt can consume a significant portion of your daily carb allowance on a strict keto diet, potentially making it difficult to stay in ketosis.

It's crucial to remember that maintaining ketosis isn't merely about reducing carb content, but also ensuring a balance with other dietary components. Yogurt, while packing some valuable nutrients, is relatively low in fats - a crucial component of the keto diet. Therefore, incorporating it into your meal plan might necessitate additional adjustments to ensure you're still meeting your dietary targets.

In light of these considerations, it's generally advised to limit or even avoid yogurt consumption on a strict ketogenic diet. Some practical ways to achieve this include using yogurt sparingly as an ingredient rather than a main dish, balancing yogurt consumption with lower-carb foods, and replacing it with keto-friendly alternatives like Greek yogurt, coconut cream, or avocado.

Nevertheless, if you're a die-hard yogurt lover and cannot imagine your diet without it, you might want to consider homemade yogurt using full-fat milk. The fermentation process can further reduce the carbohydrate content, and you can control the ingredients and portion sizes better. However, it's crucial to remember that even homemade yogurt will still contain some carbs and should be consumed in moderation.

Ultimately, the decision to include yogurt in your keto diet depends on your personal dietary preferences and goals. With careful planning, diligent tracking of your macronutrient intake, and smart food choices, it's possible to maintain your keto lifestyle while enjoying a bit of yogurt occasionally.

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

While yogurt is nutrient-rich, its relatively high carbohydrate content makes it less keto-friendly. However, with strict portion control and careful planning, you can include moderate amounts of yogurt in your keto diet.