Dairy products like milk have a lot to offer nutrition-wise for anyone following the keto diet. And yet, there are many people out there who will tell you that milk isn’t a proper keto food because its sugar content is too high. So what’s the real deal? Is milk keto? Let’s take a detailed look and find out.
What Makes Milk a Popular Choice for Low Carb Diets?
First off, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why milk is such a popular choice amongst individuals following the keto diet (or other similar low carb diet plans).
- Milk is calorie and nutrient-dense, making it quite a satiating drink option.
- Milk packs plenty of protein per typical serving size.
- Milk provides a solid amount of dietary fat to go along with that protein.
- Milk is an excellent source of other essential vitamins and minerals.
- Milk works great for making keto protein shakes.
Is Milk Keto?
Figuring out whether or not milk is keto isn’t really a simple black or white matter. After all, there’s no denying its sugar content.
However, the fact remains that not everyone on the keto diet needs to severely restrict carbs. Many individuals are able to remain in ketosis, reaping all of the associated benefits, while eating as high as 50-70 grams of carbs per daily.
To them, the notion of milk ‘not being keto’ could seem completely absurd; while someone else yet may steer clear of milk due to the fact they can’t have any more than 10 grams of carbs per day or else they get kicked out of ketosis.
In the end, as long as you follow a couple of common sense keto guidelines (go for whole milk, avoid low fat milk, etc.), and your macros will allow for it, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t include dairy products like milk as part of your keto diet.
Milk Nutrition Facts
Assuming that you’re drinking whole milk (average fat percentage of 3.25%), a one cup serving size will have the following nutritional breakdown:
- 148 calories
- 8 grams fat
- 8 grams protein
- 12 grams carbs
- 0 grams dietary fiber
- 12 grams sugar
- 24.4 mg cholesterol
- 104.9 mg sodium
- 322.1 mg potassium
Health Benefits of Milk
Milk is incredibly nutrient-dense, and as a result of that, it can provide you with quite a few stellar health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits you can gain by drinking milk:
- Build stronger bones. Milk is an excellent source of dietary calcium, which provides you with numerous benefits in its own right, but it’s particularly beneficial when it comes to building strong and healthy bones. Beyond that though, your body also requires calcium in order for your heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly as well. (1)
- Muscle growth and repair. Milk is a rich source of protein that many individuals include in their diets to assist with their goal of building more muscle mass. Using milk in protein shakes in particular is a great way to up your protein intake in a big way.
- May help to protect against disease. There is conflicting studies on this to date, with some evidence showing a link between milk and heart disease; however, other dietary factors can’t be discounted in those cases. There’s just as compelling evidence that milk and other dairy products may actually help to protect against diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (2)
Keto Milk Alternatives
If you’re trying to stay dairy-free while following the keto diet, you’re in luck! There are plenty of keto-friendly viable alternatives. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Full fat coconut milk
- Hemp milk
- Flax milk
- Pea milk