The keto diet is one of the most popular low-carb, high-fat diets.
Although it is theoretically possible to follow a vegetarian keto diet or even potentially vegan keto diet, when most people think about what you can eat on the keto diet, meats and animal products are certainly at the heart of the daily caloric intake.
But, can you eat yogurt on keto? Is yogurt keto friendly? Does yogurt have carbs? What is the best yogurt for keto dieters?
In this article, we will discuss whether or not you can eat yogurt on the keto diet, the carbs in yogurt, and the best and worst keto yogurts, ultimately answering your question, “Is yogurt keto friendly?”.
We will look at:
- Is Yogurt Keto Friendly?
- Yogurt Nutrition Facts
- What Are the Best Keto-Friendly Yogurts?
Let’s get started!
Is Yogurt Keto Friendly?
Although certain types of yogurt can be nutritious, yogurt can contain a fair amount of carbohydrates, which means that not all yogurt is keto friendly.
The keto diet is a high-fat, very low-carbohydrate diet. Most proponents of the keto diet recommend limiting carbohydrate intake to no more than 25 to 50 grams per day.
Yogurt contains natural sugars from milk, mainly lactose, so most yogurt contains at least some carbohydrates unless it is a specific keto diet yogurt.
Therefore, while not all yogurts are “prohibited“ on the keto diet, there are some yogurts that you should avoid on keto and others that are particularly low-carb yogurts and thus are the best yogurts for keto.The other things to keep in mind when eating yogurt on the keto diet are your serving size, how often you are eating yogurt, and how you are eating your yogurt.
Almost all yogurts, even the best keto diet yogurts, contain some carbs, so yogurt should not be a mainstay in your keto diet meal plan for numerous meals or snacks in the day.
One or two servings of yogurt spread throughout the day can work if the majority of your daily carb intake on keto is coming from yogurt rather than from other food sources.
It is best to spread out your daily keto carbs throughout the day in order to remain in ketosis rather than flood your body all at once with 50 grams of carbs or so, as this may take you out of ketosis.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that fruits and vegetables are also very important for overall nutrition, as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, and they are also one of the few food sources of fiber in the keto diet aside from avocados, nuts, and seeds.
You don’t want to be eating so much yogurt that it is not possible to have an adequate number of servings of vegetables to stay within your keto carb limit, as vegetables should take precedence over eating more servings of keto-friendly yogurt.
This is mainly due to the fact that even the best keto yogurt doesn’t usually contain nutrients that you cannot find in other keto diet-friendly foods, whereas fruits and vegetables do provide unique micronutrients and more fiber, which is often difficult to get elsewhere with keto diet foods.
Finally, if you do make space in your diet for keto-friendly yogurt, you want to make sure that you are eating a reasonable serving size and eating your keto yogurt in a way that best supports the keto nutritional needs.
Essentially, even if you are eating the best yogurt for keto, you need to make sure that you are not exceeding the yogurt serving size.
Having a lot of yogurt all at once, even if the yogurt is technically a “keto-friendly yogurt,“ will provide too many grams of carbs all at once.
This will shift your body out of metabolic ketosis and allow your cells to start relying on the carbs in the yogurt you just ate rather than ketones from oxidizing fat.
Thus, when you are looking at the carbs in yogurt, it is imperative that you look at the serving size of the yogurt if it’s not in a single-serve cup and make sure to stay at or below this serving size.
You can also reduce the serving size of the yogurt itself and bulk up the percentage of nuts and seeds that you add to your yogurt for keto. That way, you can enjoy some of the health and nutritional benefits of yogurt while staying in ketosis.
Adding roasted or raw mixed nuts, almonds, seeds, or a seed-based unsweetened granola is a great way to balance out the carbs in yogurt with a higher fat content to help better match the nutritional needs for keto.
Stay away from sugar-sweetened granolas and high-sugar fruits like cherries, tropical fruits, bananas, and sugary cereals to top your keto yogurt.
Even muesli and cereals like Grape Nuts, while low in sugar that often provide a nice topping for yogurt, are high in carbs and should be avoided on the keto diet.
These sorts of high-carb toppings will quickly take a low-carb keto yogurt to a high-carb snack that will use up all of your allotted daily grams of carbs.
Yogurt Nutrition Facts
The term “yogurt“ actually refers to quite a range of products when you really take a look at what’s available in the dairy aisle at most major grocery stores.
There is traditional yogurt and flavored yogurt, Greek yogurt, yogurts made with different types of milk (cow, soy, coconut, or other plant-based milk), Skyr yogurt, and even individual yogurt cups that come with attached mix-ins like granolas, cookie crumbs, or even chocolate pieces.
Of course, the nutrition facts for yogurt will depend on the type of yogurt that you choose.
While plain Greek yogurt is typically considered the healthiest yogurt due to the high protein and low sugar content, some packaged yogurts are essentially ice cream or pudding masquerading as a healthy breakfast item, yet they are packed with added sugar and contain very little nutritional value.
In fact, some popular yogurt cups have as much sugar as a dessert, and there may be artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, and other chemical ingredients in them.
For example, a small, 6-ounce cup of Oreo M&M’s yogurt has 23 grams of carbs and 18 grams of sugar (12 grams of added sugar).
Even worse, a single serving of Yoplait Original yogurt cherry flavor has a whopping 31 grams of carbs, including 23 grams of sugar (18 grams of added sugar).
Some of the “light“ yogurts have unhealthy artificial sweeteners such as sucralose and aspartame.
While these types of yogurts can be potentially considered keto-friendly and are considered low-carb yogurt, you should be mindful of the fact that the artificial sweeteners in these yogurts are far from healthy, and they are highly processed.
Thus, the best keto yogurts are plain Greek yogurt with no added sugar or specific keto yogurt that is unsweetened but may be made with non-dairy milk such as coconut milk or almond milk.
Keto yogurts tend to be higher in fat, which is ideal since the keto diet is a high-fat diet more so than a low-carb diet.
The benefit of choosing a keto yogurt designed specifically for the keto diet is that the higher fat content provides more satiety so that you will feel fuller for longer than if you choose a light, sugar-free yogurt made with fake sweeteners such as Yoplait Light & Fit.
This product may be very low in calories and can be considered a keto-friendly yogurt for some people depending on the rest of your diet and how many carbs you are eating on keto.
However, you will get very little nutritional value, and the yogurt will do little to quench your appetite for any appreciable amount of time.
The best keto yogurt is usually a full-fat yogurt (whole milk yogurt) with no added sugar and as few carbs as possible.
Minimally-processed yogurts are also best on keto when you are looking to have a high-quality diet as much as you are looking to eat keto-friendly foods and stick within your keto macros.
What Are the Best Keto-Friendly Yogurts?
So, can you eat yogurt on keto? Yes, but choose from the best options. Here are some of the best low-carb yogurts for keto:
- Ratio Food KETO Friendly Cultured Dairy Snack (3 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 17 g protein, 17 g fat)
- Two Good Greek Yogurt (4 g carbs, 2 g sugar)
- Siggi’s Skyr Lower Sugar (4 g carbs, 2 g sugar)
- Chobani Greek Yogurt Zero Sugar (5 g carbs, 0 g sugar)
- Fage Greek Yogurt 5% (5 g carbs, 5 g sugar)
Curious to learn about some alternatives to keto-friendly yogurt that you can have for a low-carb breakfast on the keto diet? Check out our guide to low-carb breakfasts here.