As we know by now, the consumption of dairy milk is completely off the table for those of us undergoing the keto diet.
We’ve been told time and time again that it is the lactose in the milk that contributes to the number of net carbs. So if we take away the lactose in lactose-free milk, does that make it keto-friendly?
Unfortunately, not. To our surprise, lactose-free milk is not keto-friendly milk for keto, and we’ll explain the reasons as to why that is.
So, continue reading this comprehensive review to find just why lactose-free milk is not keto-friendly and how you can find the best milk for keto.
What Is Lactose-Free Milk?
Lactose is a sugar that is commonly found in dairy products, particularly cow’s milk. Many people who suffer from a lactose-intolerance are unable to break this sugar down which in turn causes them a variety of digestive issues.
Lactose-free milk is dairy milk that has extra lactase added to it, which is the enzyme that breaks down lactose in the body into various digestible sugars.
Lactose-free milk is otherwise very similar to normal whole milk which is dairy as the only difference in the manufacturing process is the addition of lactase.
So what does this mean for you?
Well, what this means is that lactose-free milk contains a very similar nutrient profile to regular milk, as we will display below.
Nutrients And Net Carbs
As a brief recap, the macronutrient profile we need to abide by on the keto diet is as follows:
- 70% Fat
- 25% Protein
- 5% Net Carbs
So let’s take a look at the macronutrient and net carbs profile of 1 cup (244g) of lactose-free milk:
- 4.7 grams of fat
- 11.2 grams of net carbs
- 8.5 grams of protein
As you can see, with 11.2g of net carbs per cup that come from lactose-free milk, and the fact that it is not high in fat, the macronutrient profile does not fit in with that of the keto diet.
Additionally, lactose-free milk contains the same nutrients found in dairy milk, and can therefore be used as a suitable dairy milk substitute if you are lactose-intolerant, given that you are not on a low carb diet.
Can I Have Lactose-Free Milk On Keto?
Lactose-free milk is simply just normal dairy milk with the addition of lactase. The lactase added breaks down lactose into more digestible sugars, and so the carb content of lactose-free milk is similar to that of dairy milk.
As evident from the net carbs and nutrient profiles listed above, lactose-free milk is not keto-friendly. The 11.2g of the net carb content of lactose-free milk is simply too high and so consuming just one cup of lactose-free milk can knock us out of ketosis.
In order to maintain your state of ketosis, it is vital that you stay within 20-50g of net carbs depending on the type of keto diet which you are following.
Lactose-free milk is easier to digest, but that is because it lacks lactose.
However, did you know that there are various plant-based milks available that are all keto-friendly?
If you wish to use milk as part of your regular keto diet, we recommend you opt for a dairy-free milk alternative.
Lactose-Free Keto Milk Substitutes
Whether it’s the best keto milk for your tea or coffee, or to simply enjoy a keto-friendly oven bake that needs milk, we have you covered with our list of the best keto milks around.
Many people are familiar with coconut milk, especially due to its popularity in a variety of Southeast Asian dishes.
However, did you know that even though coconut milk tastes sweet, the unsweetened varieties are keto-friendly?
Coconut milk is great for the keto diet because it is high in fat, low in carbs, and will not kick you out of ketosis.
Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of 1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk:
- 45 Calories
- 4.8 g of fat in a single serving size
- 0.6g of net carbs per 1 cup
- 0.5g of protein
As you can see, this high-fat milk alternative is not only low in carbs but has a wonderful sweet taste that can give you sweeter coffee with little impact on your state of ketosis!
Almond milk is probably the best milk keto-dieters can find. If you ever find yourself asking the question “is almond milk keto?” then you’ve come to the right place.
Firstly, before we discuss just how amazing and low carb almond milk is, why don’t we take a look at the nutritional value in a serving size of 1 cup of almond milk which is unsweetened:
- 30 Calories
- 2.6g of Fat
- 0.3 g of net carbs
- 1.1 g of protein
There you have it. You can see why it’s our favorite keto milk alternative right?
with only 0.3g of net carbs in a single serving size, unsweetened almond milk is one of our favorite plant-based types of milk.
Its subtle, nutty flavor works perfectly in a cup of coffee or even to be used in various baked goods!
Mushy peas, peas, and vegetables, chicken and peas, these are just some of the few things we think about when we mention the word peas.
But, did you know that peas can actually make milk?
Well, it’s true. Peas can be milked to make pea milk, which is a fantastic alternative to lactose-free milk which is also suitable for the keto diet.
One serving size of unsweetened pea milk contains 0g of net carbs, 8 grams of pea protein, and 4,5 grams of fat. (*)
Additionally, pea milk is rich in a variety of nutrients typically found in peas, and contains a lot of pea protein, making it beneficial for your diet.
Again, a general rule of thumb for all milk alternatives is to make sure that you opt for the unsweetened varieties as these will be more keto-friendly and contain less sugar and net carbs.
Unlike a lot of other keto-friendly types of milk, hemp milk is not made from nuts and is instead made out of hemp seeds.
This makes it a perfect keto diet milk because not only is the unsweetened version low in carbs and high in fat, but it allows us a wonderful non-dairy substitute for those who have nut allergies and a lactose intolerance.
Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of one cup of unsweetened hemp milk:
- 80 Calories
- 7.3 g of Fat
- 0.7g of net carbs
- 4.7g of protein
Consuming hemp milk as your keto milk of choice helps you considerably cut down on your carb intake as it is low in carbs and tastes fantastic.
Hemp milk also contains more protein than the majority of other types of milk.
Flax seeds can be milked to make flax milk. Similar to hemp milk, flax milk can be used as a wonderful alternative for those who have a nut allergy and want a lactose-free milk alternative.
Flax milk has a very low net carb content and contains high levels of calcium and omega 3. Both calcium and omega 3 help maintain strong bones and teeth, and so the nutrient benefits can be compared to that of dairy milk.
The nutritional content of one cup of unsweetened flax milk is as follows (*):
- 25 Calories
- 1.5g of fat
- 1g of net carbs
- 0g of protein
Although flax milk lacks in protein and fat, the fact it is very low in carbs makes it a wonderful addition to your keto diet.
Soy milk is without a doubt the most popular dairy-free milk.
Soy milk is made out of a legume called soybeans, which has had certain controversies in the keto diet as legumes are known not to be keto-friendly.
Soy milk comes in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties, and so the best option for those doing the keto diet is to use unsweetened soy milk.
The nutritional value in one cup of unsweetened soy milk is:
- 35 Calories
- 1.7 g of fat
- 0.5 g of net carbs per single serving
- 3.5 g of protein
This low-carb keto milk can be used as much as you like in moderation within the keto diet.
Rice Milk And Oat Milk
We classify both of these milk alternatives together as they both share the same issue: high carb content.
Rice and oats are both notoriously known to be carb powerhouses that help give us the energy needed for the day.
However, they can be milked. The unsweetened varieties of these have significantly reduced net carbs than their full-fat counterpart.
Let’s take a look at the net carb and nutrition content in one cup of unsweetened oat milk:
- 120 Calories
- 3 g of Protein
- 5g of Fat
- 14g of net carbs
And that of rice milk:
- 45 Calories
- 4g of net carbs
- 1g of Protein
- 2g of Fat
Although rice milk is seen as the evident winner between the two, they both show to have a considerably higher net carb count than the other milk alternatives.
Lactose-free milk comes with added sugars due to the enzyme lactase that is added to normal dairy milk which breaks down lactose.
These added sugars contribute to the carb count found in lactose-free milk, making it not keto-friendly.
If you are doing the keto diet and wish to incorporate a milk alternative into your diet, we recommend you try one of the keto milk substitutes listed above, with our favorite being almond milk.