The Ketogenic diet is a very low-carbohydrate and high-fat diet. Reducing carbs is designed to put the body in a metabolic state called ‘ketosis’, where fats are burned for energy rather than glucose (sugar).
Yogurt is high in fat so you might think it was Keto friendly. However, straight up, milk is not Keto! The sugar content in one serving of milk is enough to significantly raise the body’s blood glucose levels and inhibit ketosis. But is this the same with yogurt? Any online enquiry will quickly show you that dairy yogurt is a very controversial food in the Keto-sphere.
Milk is naturally made up of carbohydrates in the form of lactose (milk sugar). In cultured dairy, active bacteria consume some of the lactose, and convert it to lactic acid, which reduces the carbohydrates. The reason yogurt tastes sour is precisely because the bacteria has eaten the sugar. Does this mean any yogurt is safe on Keto? We say no! Commercial yogurts only ferment for 6-8 hours, and, although they have less lactose than milk, they are still not truly low-carb, or low enough for a Keto diet.
Now, carbs aside, let’s take a look at the ingredients of commercial yogurt. Traditional yogurt only requires two ingredients - milk and active bacteria, but, most store-bought yogurts have various added ingredients (sugar, fruit, flavouring, emulsifiers, preservatives – just to name only a few) that are fundamentally not Keto. Unfortunately, even the healthier, unsweetened styles, such as a plain Greek yogurt (with only 2 ingredients) will also stack up too many carbs. If you are following a strict Ketogenic diet, one small serve of store-bought yogurt could kick you out of ketosis.
Thankfully homemade 24-hour dairy yogurt is different. The only way to really reduce the carbs and stay in control of the ingredients is to make it yourself.
Homemade 24-hour yogurt is the only true low carb yogurt. Time and temperature make all the difference when making yogurt and using a yogurt maker puts you in complete control of the culturing process. It’s failsafe and easy! When milk is left to incubate for 24-hours, the bacteria eat almost all of the carbohydrates producing a low-carb yogurt. And the extra time incubating gives the bacteria in the starter culture more time to flourish, resulting in a yogurt that’s packed with more probiotic bacteria than anything you can buy.
The combination of low carbs, good fat, and gut-loving bacteria make 24-hour fermented dairy a Keto-friendly food option. Use this guide to help you choose the best keto-friendly, full-fat milk.
And if you don’t do dairy, there are many nutritional, Keto-friendly milk alternatives available that naturally contain less sugar. At the same time, you’ll get much more plant-based fat as well. Almond milk is probably the most common dairy milk substitute, while coconut milk has the lowest carbs. We love yogurt made from both.
In a nutshell, if you want to enjoy yogurt on Keto, it’s got to be homemade!
We explained why 24-hour yogurt is keto friendly above. This recipe shows you with simple step by step instruction how to make traditional yogurt that is left to ferment for 24-hours. The method is simple and failsafe. For a thicker Greek style yogurt, you can drip your homemade yogurt in a cheesecloth to remove some of the whey. If you leave the yogurt to drip overnight you will be left with delicious, creamy yogurt cheese (curd / Labne). Learn how too here. This method also works with goat milk and raw milk.
Store-bought ‘Greek yogurt’ is made from cow’s milk and is initially made the same way as other dairy yogurts, with the same strains of bacteria. The commercial method takes approximately 6 hours maximum. To make Keto friendly Greek yogurt we recommend up to 24-hours. (This method is linked above.) To make it ‘Greek style’ the yogurt is then strained for a time to remove some of the liquid whey. Besides improving the consistency, straining also increases the protein and removes even more of the lactose sugars which helps to further lower the amount of carbohydrate in the yogurt.
Cultured, cream is the way to eye rolling, probiotic, keto-friendly, food pleasure. The preparation is just like homemade 24 hour yogurt with raw milk, only it’s made with the pure cream. Real cream is basically just fat, so unlike milk, it has only traces of lactose to begin with. If you ferment cream long enough, the little bit of lactose is eaten up by healthy bacteria. The result: good fat with a healthy dose of good bacteria. You must try this!
Quark is a German fermented milk product with a creamy texture which is classified as an unaged, soft cheese. It absolutely divine and tastes somewhere between sour cream and yogurt - but is a little sweeter than both and without the tang.
If you have ventured into making homemade coconut yogurt, you’ve probably discovered that it’s not easy to achieve the texture of store-bought varieties. Many thickening additives in store bought coconut yogurt are not keto-friendly. Typically, canned coconut milk requires some kind of thickener to turn it into creamy, spoonable yogurt. Without this, what you get is closer to drinking consistency. This method using Aroy-d coconut milk requires no added thickener and is a game changer.
Almond milk yogurt can easily fit into your keto diet -- but only if you do it right. There are no short cuts. It must be made from scratch, as additives and preservatives in store bought nut milk are not keto-friendly and may interfere with the yogurt fermentation process. Fortunately, making it at home is very simple. We show you how.
Gelatin is an animal derived product rich in cell healing amino acids that strengthen the gut lining and is known to help lower inflammation - it's truly the perfect gut-loving and keto-friendly thickener. We recommend a premium quality powdered gelatin. This method includes a Youtube video demonstration.
This coconut yogurt method is only way to guarantee you have 100% additive-free coconut cream. Making coconut yogurt from the flesh of fresh young coconuts gives you the added benefit of naturally occurring enzymes that are usually destroyed or altered when exposed to heat during factory processing. Don’t let opening a whole coconut daunt you – we show you how easy it is and we promise you will taste the difference! Bonus! Homemade coconut cream does not require an added thickener. This method produces thick and fluffy coconut yogurt that tastes incredible.