We get it, your keto diet has you missing dairy products! Fortunately, there are a few great alternatives to dairy milk that not only taste as good as the real stuff, but they also pack excellent nutritional benefits such as essential vitamins and fiber—perfect for the keto diet.

Before we dive into five of the best alternatives to traditional dairy milk on a keto-diet, let’s review why dairy isn’t the best thing to be consuming on your diet.

Why Dairy Milk is a No-No on Keto

Dairy milk could delay the progress of your keto-diet—it’s high in both sugar and carbs making it a dangerous ingredient to add to your drinks and meals.

Let’s look at the nutritional values of whole milk.

one-cup of whole milk contains:

  • 11.7 grams of carbs
  • 0 grams of fiber

Meaning that the net carbs are 11.7 grams! The sugar content is also high at 12.3 grams per one-cup serving, making it something to avoid while attempting to maintain ketosis.

An alternative like soy milk, on the other hand, has only 4 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fiber in the same one-cup serving, resulting in 3 grams of net carbs!

#1 Unsweetened Almond Milk

Almond milk is keto-friendly as it gets. It contains zero sugar content and very low carbs.

A cup of almond milk holds:

  • 2 grams of carbs
  • 1 gram of that being fiber – making it only a gram of net carbs!

Additionally, almond milk contains vitamin E, with a one-cup serving containing 20% of your recommended daily intake. This vitamin boost will help keep your eyes and skin stay healthy while also decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease [1].

Compared to the calcium content of cow’s milk, the calcium levels in almond milk are far superior. This nut-based product contains 45% of your recommended daily intake, which will contribute to maintaining strong bones and teeth.

#2 Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is filled with nutritional goodness. For a start, it’s excellent for keto as it contains MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) which are known for being easier to break down in comparison to other chains.

Thermogenesis [2], the production of heat, becomes more efficient in this process and makes your body more efficient at burning fat. Furthermore, you can add coconut milk to a variety of foods such as curries, soups, and cereals, making it a versatile addition to your keto-diet. Just be careful and try to consume it in moderation, as the saturated fat levels vary from brand to brand.

#3 Hemp Milk

Hemp has been used throughout history for its many medicinal benefits and recreational uses. You can even make a tasty milk substitute by blending the seeds in with water. It’s a great replacement for milk as it only has 1 gram of carbs and 2 grams of fiber per one-cup serving.

You may be concerned about hemp and the fact that it contains the psychoactive substance known as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is found in Marijuana, but the final product of hemp milk retains only trace amounts of the substance and it won’t cause you to feel any unwanted effects [3].

Hemp milk is also a source of Iron which is known to help produce red blood cells that carry oxygen around your body.

#4 Flax Milk

Usually consumed in seed form, flax milk is another fantastic alternative to dairy-based milk. The carb content is very low, with a one-cup serving only having one gram of net carbs and zero sugar, making it a great addition to your keto diet.

Adding it to cereals and curry-based dishes will give it a new dimension of flavor, but keep in mind that one drawback of flax milk is that it doesn’t contain much protein and should be alternated between the other options.

Related: Are Flaxseeds Keto Friendly?

#5 Pea Milk

You may have heard of the supplement, pea protein, which is often used as an alternative to whey protein powder. But did you know that you can find it in milk-form?

Pea milk is full of nutrients and is low in sugar and carbs. One cup of Ripples pea milk contains 45% of your daily calcium intake and 30% of your Vitamin D intake, helping maintain healthy bone and teeth structure. It has a generous amount of protein as well with the same serving containing 8 grams of protein.

Other Low-Carb Substitutes

You can enjoy other low-carb substitutes if those on our list aren’t for you. Another popular one is cashew milk, which only contains 1 carb per cup. It goes great with cereal and has a nice, nutty flavor.

Heavy cream has become very popular for the keto-diet—it acts as a great milk-substitute when you’re making your morning cup of coffee and it can be added to dishes from many different cuisines. While it’s still a dairy product, it doesn’t contain any carbs or sugar.

Its low-sodium content is also useful too since this can help lower blood pressure and, therefore, reduce the risk of heart problems.

Conclusion

As you can tell by now, all of these milk substitutes have their own variety of health benefits and unique flavors. You don’t need to worry about sacrificing your calcium intake, and they’re proven to be versatile in the kitchen by having the ability to incorporate themselves into an assortment of cooking styles.

There’s no reason why you can’t make the switch over from dairy as there are certainly enough options to keep things exciting in the kitchen while maintaining ketosis!

More Reads:

Top 10 Keto Friendly Substitutes: Low-Carb Substitutes

The 5 Best Low-Carb, Keto-Friendly Noodle Substitutes

7 Reasons Why Almonds Are A Great Choice For A Keto Diet

Is Coconut Butter Keto Friendly?: A Healthy Decision On Keto

MCT Oil Versus Coconut Oil: What is the difference?

References:

[1] Vitamin E and cardiovascular disease. Saremi A1, Arora R. Am J Ther. 2010 May-Jun;17(3):e56-65. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0b013e31819cdc9a.

[2] Rial S.A., Karelis A.D., Bergeron K.F., Mounier C. Gut microbiota and metabolic health: The potential beneficial effects of a medium chain triglyceride diet in obese individuals. Nutrients. 2016;8:281 doi: 10.3390/nu8050281. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef]

[3] Bosy TZ, Cole KA. J Anal Toxicol. 2000 Oct;24(7):562-6. Consumption and quantitation of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol in commercially available hemp seed oil products.

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Jessica Cotzin is a freelance writer, web developer, and avid traveler. Born and raised in South Florida, she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Multi-Media Journalism from Florida Atlantic University and currently resides in Miami Beach. Her passions lie in reading great literature and traveling the world, bumping blindly into new adventures.

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