If you’re here reading this article, it’s probably because you’ve started or hold some interest in the ketogenic diet, and may have even heard that consuming dairy milk is a big no-no.
While dairy milk is full of fats — something you want on the keto diet — you should also remember that its highest macronutrients are carbohydrates (enemy #1 on a ketogenic diet) as well as lactose, two things you don’t want.
And now for a quick science lesson! Lactose is essentially sugar which is composed of galactose and glucose and is responsible for that mildly sweet taste in milk that we love so much.
While milk and dairy products come with a whole host of great benefits, unfortunately, it has no place in the keto diet due to its carb content.
So move over milk, it’s time to introduce the real star of the show. The creamy, nutty-flavored, cholesterol and lactose-free, almond milk!
Almond milk is a plant milk, made out of, well…almonds! It’s a favorite imitation of milk among our vegan and keto friends, and can easily be found in stores in the form of sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla, chocolate, plain or with coconut.
You can even make it in your own kitchen, which is often the best idea since you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
You can even throw in some stevia or add a few drops of vanilla extract for a little boost in flavor and sweetness. It’s also a great idea to save the leftover almond pulp to serve as a delicious base for a low-carb, keto desserts such as cheesecake if you’re feeling adventurous.
In case you’re wondering, almond milk comes with its own slew of health benefits, including:
- It’s naturally rich in vitamins, especially vitamin E and minerals.
- A cup of almond milk has more fat than a cup of dairy milk, but fewer calories and carbs.
- It also has thiamin, riboflavin, and magnesium.
- The unsweetened version of almond milk is best because it’s high in fat and very low in carbs, so it doesn’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels, making it perfect choice of diabetics1 as well as those who are on a low-carb diet.
- It is dairy free, so it is a great alternative for those who are intolerant or allergic to milk.
- Almond milk producers often enrich it with calcium2 so consumers aren’t missing out.
- It reduces the risk of heart disease.
- Almond milk is rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that can help fight inflammation and stress in the body3
- Almond milk is high in vitamin D as well, a vitamin many people are deficient in. So they are at risk of fatigue and weak muscles as well as brittle bones.
Having the right amount of macronutrients is essential on the keto diet, so you want to make sure that we are purchasing or producing the right type of almond milk.
Unfortunately, the super sweet and tasty varieties of almond milk you may find in grocery stores do not contain the same macronutrients as in unsweetened almond milk.
In a nutshell, if you’re on a low-carb diet and find yourself craving a creamy and flavorful alternative to dairy milk, your best bet is opting for unsweetened almond milk since it’s low enough in carbs that you can have even two cups without worrying about being kicked out of ketosis.
Unless you have a nut allergy, then consuming almond milk is a safe bet on the keto diet and other low-carb diets, you just want to make sure you are keeping track of how many carbs you’re taking in and don’t overdo it.
Just because something is keto-friendly doesn’t always mean you can consume without moderation!
Additionally, almond milk may not be a suitable dairy replacement for young children or infants since it’s very low in digestible protein when compared to dairy milk.
Even children with dairy allergies would be better suited for more specialized formulas to get the vitamins they need.
Almond milk is a totally natural, plant-based alternative to dairy milk and is the most popular for keto dieters who want to comfortably maintain a state of ketosis. It comes with a nice bevy of health benefits, it satisfies that craving for creamy deliciousness, and it’s low in carbs.
Just remember to always go for unsweetened almond milk rather than the sweet chocolate or vanilla you find in stores, as these may contain an extra bump in carbs.
If you decide to brew your own batch at home, you can always experiment with the flavor yourself by adding in some vanilla extract or even cinnamon.
Almond milk can also be used in a variety of ways, similar to regular dairy milk. You can have it in your morning cup ‘o Joe, make smoothies with it, use it for baking, and so much more.
 Lau DC1, Teoh H. Benefits of modest weight loss on the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Can J Diabetes. 2013 Apr;37(2):128-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2013.03.023. Epub 2013 Apr 23.
 Sethi S1, Tyagi SK1, Anurag RK2. Plant-based milk alternatives an emerging segment of functional beverages: a review. J Food Sci Technol. 2016 Sep;53(9):3408-3423. Epub 2016 Sep 2.
 Winklhofer-Roob BM, Rock E, Ribalta J, Shmerling DH, Roob JM. Effects of vitamin E and carotenoid status on oxidative stress in health and disease. Evidence obtained from human intervention studies. Mol Aspects Med. 2003 Dec;24(6):391-402.