When people embark on a ketogenic diet, one of the first things they ask is the question of is almond milk keto?
In truth, keto and milk in general is a tricky subject because there are now so many different milks and dairy substitutes out there that it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Ketogenic diets are now all the rage, and whereas people considered them to be a fad once upon a time, nowadays they are recommended by personal trainers, doctors, nutritionists, and health experts alike.
Keto diets are basically low carb, high fat, moderate protein diets that force your body into a state of ketosis. Once in ketosis, you produce ketone enzymes by metabolizing fat, which are then used as energy instead of carbs.
When it comes to what you can and cannot drink on keto, though, that’s where people find themselves becoming confused.
Here’s a look at everything you need to know about almond milk keto drinks, milk and keto, and other plant-based milks on keto.
Is milk keto friendly?
Milk, and other similar dairy alternatives to milk are delicious beverages and have a number of health benefits as well, especially when it comes to their calcium contents. Furthermore, they’re also important ingredients found in a number of popular recipes. Not keto-friendly recipes, though.
You see, keto diets work by restricting carb intakes to around 20 – 50g of carbs per day – the lower the better. Without these carbs, the body struggles to find energy and so it is forced to produce ketone enzymes in the liver instead.
These ketones can only be produced by first metabolizing fat, which is why keto diets are high in fat, and it is why keto diets promote such impressive rates of weight loss.
What does this have to do with milk? Well, basically, in order for a milk to be keto-friendly, it must be low in carbohydrates and sugars.
There are plenty of milks which are suitable on keto, including almond milk which is why we’ll be discussing almond milk carbs a little later on. Some milks, though, must be avoided.
Milks which are not suitable on keto
So, we’ve established that some milks are suitable for keto diets, and that some aren’t. In this section, we’re going to take a look at several milks which are not suitable on keto.
First up for you today we have goat’s milk. To some, goat’s milk may sound a little bizarre and perhaps even unappealing, yet you need to remember that goat’s cheese is one of the most popular cheeses in the world, and where do you think that comes from?
As rich and tasty as goat’s milk is, unfortunately if you’re on keto it is unsuitable as it contains too many sugars in the form of lactose. Just one cup provides 11g of net carbs, which is a lot, especially to be drinking. (3)
Cow’s milk is the most common type of milk in the world today, and it is one which is also unsuitable for people on keto diets.
Cow’s milk is rich in lactose, which is basically naturally occurring milk sugar that can knock you out of ketosis and is therefore unsuitable for people on keto.
One cup of cow’s milk contains even more lactose that goat’s milk, providing around 12g of net carbs.
Evaporated milk, raw cow’s milk, UHT milk, and ultra-filtered milk are also off the menu here for very similar reasons. (4)
People often wonder is almond milk keto, as well as whether a number of other plant-based milks are keto friendly. Well, in answer to that question, it all depends on what type of plant-based milk you happen to be using.
Oat milk, as you can probably guess, is made from oats, and if you know your macros, you’ll know that oats are very high in complex carbohydrates. As beneficial as complex carbs can be in general, on keto when you’re looking to avoid carbs, they’re no good in the slightest.
Oat milk is made by simply soaking rolled oats in water, blending them finely, and then filtering them so that you’re left with a smooth and milking liquid resembling milk, that tastes of oats.
Oat milk is still very high in carbs and as a result it is unsuitable for people on keto diets.
One cup of oat milk will provide as many as 18g of carbs, which is almost your entire daily allowance when following keto. (5)
No prizes for guessing where rice milk comes from.
Yes, rice milk is indeed made from rice, and just like oats, rice is naturally rich in carbs and is therefore not ideal on keto.
Rice milk is made very similarly to oat milk, except for the fact that rice is used instead of oats. If anything, rice milk is even higher in carbs than oat milk, as one cup will provide around 21g of net carbs.
For some people, this is more than their total allowance of carbs for the entire day, and that is just one average-sized glass. (6)
If you’ve ever tasted condensed milk, you’ll know just how sweet it tastes and so it should come as no surprise to learn that condensed milk is in fact NOT keto friendly.
Condensed milk is often enriched with added sugar to make it even sweeter, which is why it is used to make a number of rich and sweet-tasting desserts, including caramel sauces and fudge.
Some of the milks listed above, you could get away with having a very small serving, as long as the rest of your foods and drinks for the day were virtually carb-free.
With condensed milk, though, you shouldn’t even try. One cup of sweetened condensed milk provides a staggering 165g of net carbs, which is more than five times your typical daily allowance for carbs whilst on keto.
What milk is best for keto?
Okay, we’ve looked at milks to avoid on keto, but now let’s take a look at what milk is best for keto as we look at several of the best plant-based milks to consume if you’re following a keto diet.
There are plenty of plant-based milks to consider on keto, but nutritionally, how well do these milks stack up against cow’s milk and which are the best ones to consider?
If you’re asking is almond milk keto, well, the answer to that question is yes. Almond milk carbs are very low compared with other plant-based milks and it tastes great as well.
Almond milk keto options are made by taking raw almonds and grinding them into a very fine powder with water. The mixture is then taken and filtered extensively until a thin liquid is obtained which resembles milk.
Typically, almond milks are also enriched with added vitamins and minerals such as riboflavin, calcium, and vitamin D and E, to help enhance the nutritional content.
You can make almond milk at home if you wish, although there are plenty of commercial brands to choose from as well.
Some almond milks, however, are unsuitable for keto, but don’t worry, we’ll get to those a little later on.
Coconut milk is another great plant-based milk suitable for ketogenic diets.
Coconut milk is made in a similar way to the other plant-based milks you’ll read about today, in that the flesh of ripe coconuts is taken and is blended with water before being processed and filtered until you have a rich and creamy milk-like liquid that tastes of coconuts.
Just be aware that 1 cup of coconut milk can contain as many as 5g of net carbs, which, whilst not high, is still higher than a lot of the plant-based milks we’ll be looking at today. (12)
Flax milk is made from flax seeds, which are very healthy and good for you as the oil contained in them is rich in essential fatty acids and is great for the heart, the brain, and the rest of your body as well for that matter.
Flax milk is not only rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but it is also low in carbohydrates. One cup of flax milk contains 1g of net carbs. (13)
Macadamia nut milk
You can no doubt guess where macadamia nut milk comes from.
This milk is probably the most expensive keto-friendly milk on our list today, but it also happens to be the milk which is the lowest in carbohydrates.
Cashew nut milk
Cashew nut milk comes from cashew nuts, and again, it is made in virtually the same way as the other milks on our list today.
Cashew nut milk has a nutty taste, with a rich and creamy texture, and at just 2g of carbs per cup, it’s very low in carbohydrates and is a great option to consider. (16)
Soy milk is made from soya beans and provides just 3g of net carbs per cup. It is also rich in soy protein.
Half and half
If you absolutely, positively, 100% do not want to give up cow’s milk completely but still want to stick to your keto diet plan, half and half is a great compromise.
Half and half is made by combining whole cow’s milk with heavy cream and it is surprisingly low in carbs.
Ordinarily on a diet, heavy cream would be strictly off the menu because it is so high in calories and fats.
On keto, though, heavy cream is ideal. Heavy cream is the fatty section that is removed from the surface of cow’s milk and as a result it contains virtually no lactose at all. This is what makes it ideal for keto.
Per 30ml, again, it only provides 1g of net carbs.
What’s the best almond milk for keto?
We’ve answered the question of is almond milk keto, but what is the best almond milk for keto?
Well, there are heaps of brands of almond milks to choose from, but when it comes to almond milk carbs, it’s important to avoid the unsweetened varieties.
You see, raw almond milk does have a nutty, slightly bitter taste that is not to everybody’s taste. To counteract this bitterness, manufacturers add sugar or syrups to give the milk some sweetness, which can bump up the carb contents and the calories.
Is almond milk or coconut milk better for keto?
We’ve looked at both almond milk and coconut milk and how they’re both suitable for keto diets, but which is best?
Well, if you’re talking strictly from a carbs point of view, almond milk would be better as it contains fewer carbs than coconut milk.
Coconut milk however, can be used in more recipes as the flavour is more palatable, so that too is worth considering.
That brings today’s article to a close. Who knew that there were so many different types of milk to choose from?
Whether you decide to go for almond milk keto products, coconut milk, or any other keto-friendly milks we’ve looked at today, as long as you measure your carbs and track the rest of your meals and drinks, you’ll reap the benefits without the guilt.