The Best and Worst Dairy for Keto

As you’re probably aware, there are 3 main things you need to do when planning meals on a ketogenic diet. You need to make sure it is low in carbs, has a moderate amount of protein, and contains a lot of fat.

The primary goal is to take in as much fat as you can, so that you can stay in ketosis, the state where ketones are your primary source of fuel as opposed to glucose.

Here are some good sources of fat.

What you eat and drink determines how effective you are at staying in a state of ketosis. So, there are a number of things you should or shouldn’t have on a keto diet. Let’s see where dairy products fall!

Dairy Products on Keto?

Fresh dairy products. Milk, cheese, butter and cottage cheese with wheat on the rustic wooden background. Horizontal permission. Selective focus. Copy space.
** Note: Soft Focus at 100%, best at smaller sizes

This has been one of the  most controversial keto topics. Most people have been on the fence as to if dairy products should even make their way into the Keto meal plan or not and with good reason. Dairy products can contain a lot carbohydrates.

However, dairy products are quite nutritious. For instance, milk is an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, which are important for healthy bones. Dairy products also contain casein. Casein is an important protein that can prevent muscle breakdown. It occurs naturally in milk, though it can also be synthesized organically. 

It can be taken in supplement form. 

Dairy products also contain whey, which is the liquid component of milk and

a by-product of cheese. Whey contains protein that can help you lose weight. 

Dairy products also contain certain fatty acids that may prevent cancer.

So, for health and weight loss purposes, you definitely want to include dairy products in your diet. But which ones? Below are the best and the worst dairy products for keto.

Best Dairy Products for Keto

Cheese

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First on the list is cheese. Cheese is a combination of yellow and white coloured morsels of goodness. They are products that are formed as a result of the coagulation of the milk protein casein.

Cheese is generally very low in carbs, high in protein and contains high levels of Conjugated linoleic acid, which

is helpful for weight loss. As a result, they work quite well in a ketogenic diet. 

There are different types of cheese such as hard and soft cheeses. Hard cheeses are better for keto because they contain fewer carbs than soft cheeses. 

So, cheese can be good for you, contrary to popular belief. In fact, if eaten in the correct amounts, they can actually help you shed weight. But, if you eat too much, you may end up with blocked arteries.

Check out this detailed article on what you need to know about cheese.

Here are some cheeses and their nutritional compositions.

Parmesan cheese:

This cheese is native to Italy and contains about 3.22 grams of carbs per 100 grams. 

Water30 g
Energy392 kcal
Energy1641 kJ
Protein35.75 g
Total lipid (fat)25 g
Ash6.04 g
Carbohydrate, by difference3.22 g
Fiber, total dietary0 g
Sugars, total including NLEA0.11 g

 Source: USDA

Mozzarella cheese:

This white or sometimes yellow pound of coagulated buffalo milk contains about 3.57 grams of carbs per 100 grams. It is used a lot in pizza making and is made using an intricate process known as pasta filata.

 

Romano cheese:

This is a close native of Parmesan cheese and can be used in place of it. It is also grater-friendly but has less carbs than Parmesan cheese.is of close nativity to the Parmesan cheese and can be used as its substitute.

Some soft cheeses like Brie cheese, Mascarpone, and Crème fraiche are also good choices.

Nutritional Composition of Various Cheeses per 100 gram serving:

CheeseCaloriesCarbsProteinFatCholesterol
Brie3570g14.3g32.1g71mg
Cheddar3933.57g25g32.14g107mg
Parmesan3643.57g32.14g25g82mg
Swiss Guyere3931.44g 26.96g30.99g93mg
Romano3573.57g28.57g28.57g71mg
Cottage cheese716.41g1.6g1.6g6mg
Blue Cheese3570g28.57g28.57g54mg
Ricotta1564.09g10.44g10.44g41mg

Source: USDA

Butter

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Next on the list is butter. It is  formed from the churning and separation of buttermilk from cream.  It contains 0 grams of carbs and 78.57 grams of fat per 100 gram serving, making it a keto friendly option.

It is better to opt for grass-fed butter rather than grain-fed butter as grass-fed butter contains more heart-healthy omega 3s. Here is a simple way to make home-made butter from All recipes.

Here is  a breakdown of the nutritional composition of 100 grams of butter:

Energy714 kcal
Protein0 g
Total lipid (fat)78.57 g
Carbohydrate, by difference0 g
Sodium, Na643 mg
Vitamin A, IU2857 IU
Fatty acids, total saturated50 g
Cholesterol214 mg

Source: USDA

Ghee

A variant of butter, it contains more calories than butter and the good news is that it is a lactose-free, perfect if you are lactose intolerant. It is a highly clarified butter that is used a lot in Indian cooking. As opposed to butter’s 80% fat and 20% water content, ghee contains 100% fat. It contains 0 grams of carbs and about 13 grams of fat per tablespoon, making it a good option for increasing your fat intake.

You can find it in supermarkets or grocery stores but you can easily make your homemade Ghee by follow this easy technique

Here is a breakdown of the nutritional composition of 100 grams of ghee:

Energy876 kcal
Protein0.28 g
Total lipid (fat)99.5 g
Carbohydrate, by difference0 g
Fiber, total dietary0 g
Sugars, total 0 g
Calcium, Ca4 mg
Cholesterol256 mg

Source: USDA

Yoghurt

Yoghurt is simply bacteria-curdled milk, which can be flavored or sweetened with fruit extracts. However on a keto diet, you need to opt for the plain ones, not the fruit or sugar added options.

 According to the USDA, plain yoghurt contains 1.7 grams of fat and 5.68 grams of carbs per 100g serving. Asides from being a storehouse of calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium and other beneficial nutrients, yoghurts are very rich in protein.

Here are some of the health benefits of yoghurt.

For a ketogenic diet, Greek yogurt is the best option as it is lower in carbs than regular yoghurt. 

Here is a breakdown of the nutritional composition of 100 grams of yoghurt:

NutrientFat-free
Plain
Low-fat plainFat-free GreekFull Fat
Greek
Energy56 kcal63 kcal59 kcal97 kcal
Protein5.73 g5.25 g102 g9 g
Total lipid (fat)0.18 g155 g0.39 g5 g
Carbohydrate, by difference7.69 g7.04 g3.60 g3. 98 g
Cholesterol2 mg6 mg 5 mg13 mg
Calcium, Ca199 mg183 mg110 mg110 mg

Source: USDA

Whipped Cream

Then there’s whipped cream. It’s made from  heavy cream of about 36% fat that has undergone intense agitation and aeration. You can add it to your coffee as it contains about 30% of saturated fat and it is a good sugar-substitute for your coffee. Instead of going to the grocery store every now and then, you can make your whipped cream from scratch like this. 

Here is a breakdown of the nutritional composition of 2 tablespoons of whipped cream, your typical serving amount:

Energy20 kcal
Protein0 g
Total lipid (fat)2.0 g
Carbohydrate, by difference1.0 g
Fiber, total dietary0 g
Sugars, total1 g
Cholesterol10 g

Source: USDA

Worst Dairy Products for Keto

These products are a no-no to maintain a sustainable keto diet.

1. Milk

Ironic? Milk products have been given a green light for keto diet while milk itself is a no-no. 

And for good reason. A cup  ( 244 g) of milk contains about 12 grams of carbs,  while skimmed milk has a little less. 

Here is a breakdown of the nutritional composition of 100 grams of whole milk:

Energy61 kcal
Protein3.15 g
Total lipid (fat)3.25 g
Carbohydrate, by difference4.8 g
Fiber, total dietary0 g
Sugars, total 5.05 g
Cholesterol10 mg

Source: USDA

Energy79.2 kcal
Protein0 g
Total lipid (fat)0 g
Carbohydrate, by difference11 g
Fiber, total dietary0 g
Sugars, total11 g
Cholesterol4.8 g

Source: USDA

2.Processed Cheese products

These products have been made from pasteurized and homogenized cheese. They are bad for you because they contain additives and artificial preservatives like soy which

are not advisable for a keto diet. Also, quite a number of these processed cheese products (shredded cheese, spread etc.) can contain as much as 7 grams of carbs per ounce. 

Here is an example of what happens to your body when you consume processed and preservative-containing cheese products.

Here is a breakdown of the nutritional composition of 100 grams of processed cheese spread:

Energy267 kcal
Protein13.33 g
Total lipid (fat)26.67 g
Carbohydrate, by difference6.67 g
Fiber, total dietary0 g
Sugars, total 6.67 g
Cholesterol167 mg

Source: USDA

Conclusion

Overall, losing weight on a ketogenic diet requires grit, gut, and adequate knowledge. Without adequate knowledge about what you put in your mouth, it can be hard to reach your macros and improve your health. So, keep on learning all you need to learn about nutrition so that you’ll be successful on your ketogenic diet. Good luck!