When starting keto you may wonder – can you eat yogurt on keto? After all, plain Greek yogurt is a diet staple, with its high protein content and low calorie count. Plus, dairy snacks just seem more filling when every last calorie matters.
But now that carbs count more than calories, is yogurt keto friendly? The good news is keto friendly yogurt does exist! The not so good news: which keto friendly yogurt is best is a little more complicated.
Keep reading to learn what makes yogurt keto. You’ll also learn the health benefits that make yogurt a great addition to a keto diet, how to fit keto yogurt into your plan, and the best low carb yogurt brands.
Is It Keto?
Before we talk about yogurt, let’s talk about the oh-so-common phrase – is it keto?
There’s literally not one person who can answer that since foods don’t fall into categories of keto or not keto. There are only foods that are better for keto vs. foods that aren’t.
In fact, there are foods I can eat while easily staying in ketosis that might kick you immediately out. Them’s the breaks, kid.
The only way to tell if a food like yogurt is keto for you is to test it out. Since you don’t want to constantly eat foods that might kick you out of ketosis, using the macros (including the carb count) is a great way to figure this out.
The best way to do this is to learn your personalized macros. Then check the nutrition label to find out if the yogurt will fit into your plan. If this seems confusing, we’ll talk more about this in a minute.
How is Yogurt Made?
Yogurt is made by adding bacteria to milk. Since milk contains the natural sugar lactose, that means yogurt does have sugar. How much sugar depends on how the yogurt was made, as well as how much sugar was added during processing.
When you open most yogurts, there’s a liquid typically floating on top. This is mostly lactose. Technically you can drain the excess liquid instead of stirring it in, which will make the yogurt lower in carbs. However, there are two problems with draining the top liquid:
- That liquid contains nutrients (like calcium, Vitamin B12, and phosphorus).
- There’s no way to know how much sugar you’re removing from the yogurt. If you’re someone who counts carbs, it will be hard to determine the amount of carbs to add to your daily total. Since some keto dieters only eat 20 total carbs daily, that little bit could make or break your plan.
Health Benefits of Yogurt
Natural sugars aside, there are some health benefits to including yogurt in your low-carb diet. Here’s why adding more keto-friendly yogurts is a great option:
- It’s satiating: If you struggle with hunger on a keto diet, adding yogurt can keep you feeling fuller longer.
- Great for bones: The calcium found in yogurt helps with bone density. This is important as you age.
- Great for your gut: If you want to keep the weight you lose off, it all comes down to the gut! Yogurt can help balance the bacteria in your gut to make gut health easier to maintain.
- Helps with heart health: According to this study, consuming fermented products 1-2 times per week can help reduce blood pressure. This helps your overall cardiovascular system.
Why does the carb count vary so much?
At this point, I know what you’re thinking. Sure the health benefits sound great – but what about the weight loss? Will yogurt help or hurt my quest for body transforming ketosis?
As with anything ketosis – it’s all about the carbs! And when you compare various yogurt brands, you may notice the carb count jumps all over the place. If it’s just strained milk, what accounts for the difference?
This comes down to how the yogurt was processed. For example, was more of the lactose strained – as is the case with Greek yogurt? And how much added sugar was snuck in during processing? (We know how much food manufacturers love adding sugar to everything, from processed snacks right up to and including bacon!)
Since the process of making yogurt turns milk from sweet to bitter, plain yogurt is the perfect opportunity to slap any one of the 56 different names for sugar on that label!
Regular Yogurt vs. Greek Yogurt
So what’s the difference between regular and Greek yogurt, and which one is better for a ketogenic diet?
Both yogurts start out via the same method. The manufacturer begins by heating up milk, adds some safe bacteria, and then allows it to ferment until it reaches the desired pH. But that’s the end of the line for regular yogurt.
When it comes to completing a batch of Greek yogurt, it’s further strained to get rid of most of the liquid whey and lactose. This results in a product that has less carbohydrates, more protein, a thicker consistency, and a more bitter taste.
Since Greek yogurt has less sugar, that makes it better for a keto diet – no?
The answer is yes and no. So I guess the answer is: it depends!
Which Yogurt is Right for You?
Which type of yogurt you choose depends on which type of keto diet you follow.
When Traditional Yogurt Works Best:
If you follow a high fat version of keto, then regular yogurt is more in line with your macros since traditional yogurt typically has a higher fat content and less protein than its Greek counterpart. Keep in mind, we’re talking about the low carb versions – not yogurt that’s high in sugar.
Greek yogurt might not fit into your macros since high fat keto keeps grams of protein moderate. Regular dairy yogurt has a good amount of fat as long as its made from whole milk, while not being too high in protein.
Is Greek Yogurt Keto?
If you follow a higher protein keto plan, then Greek Yogurt could fit perfectly into your macros since it’s higher in protein and lower in fat.
Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, but doesn’t work well in a high-fat diet since most versions have nearly zero grams of fat. No matter how hard I try, it’s difficult to find a full-fat Greek yogurt.
While you could add your own healthy fats by stirring in a little MCT oil, coconut oil, or by adding chopped nuts – you still need to be mindful of the amount of protein you consume when adding more fat into a keto diet. Ketogenic weight loss all comes down to figuring out the balance of carbs / fat / protein that your body responds to.
Eating too much fat with too much protein can result in a weight loss stall for many.
One thing you need to pay attention to no matter which path you follow is the grams of carbs. Since there is natural sugar in both versions, you have to account for the carbs in yogurt to make sure even a low carb yogurt brand fit into your macros.
Different brands use different processing methods, so you have to dig into the nutrition facts to determine the best yogurt for your plan.
High Fat Keto vs. High Protein Keto
Not sure which keto approach is right for you? While many experts are quick to say a higher protein, lower fat plan is right for everyone since it’s lower in calories – I tend to disagree.
This is because most women who find amazing success with the Keto Quick Start Course weren’t giving their bodies enough nutrition to lose weight. For many women, your body needs to realize its safe enough to let go of stored fat by giving it more nutrients, not by severely restricting calories in the name of weight loss.
Best Keto Yogurt Brands
When it’s time to weigh your options, here’s some of the best yogurt for keto found on most store shelves.
One thing to keep in mind is just because a product is marketed as keto-friendly, that doesn’t make it the best option. Always look at the nutrition labels and ingredient list before you leave the grocery store to determine the best low-carb yogurt options.
Ratio Keto Yogurt:
With only 2 grams of total carbs and 15 grams of fat per serving, this is a good keto option as far as macros are concerned.
Keep in mind that keto Ratio Yogurt also has 15 grams of protein, so if you’re someone who has to keep protein moderate in order to get results – that’s something to consider.
One thing I don’t love about this brand is the sweetener Sucralose. While many can stay in ketosis while consuming Sucralose, it’s not a sweetener I recommend for healthy weight loss. Not only can it stall weight loss for some, but there are several negative health effects that stem from this zero calorie sweetener.
Is Two Good Yogurt Keto?
Two Good is a greek yogurt that’s marketed as low carb since it only contains 2 grams of sugar per serving. With 14 different flavors all boasting 2g net carbs, this is one of my favorite keto yogurt options.
The main ingredients in this brand are cultured reduced fat milk and water. That means there’s only a little bit of fat found in each container, so if your hope was to use this keto yogurt recipe to add more fat into your plan – you’re out of luck. But with so little calories and only 2 grams of net carbs, surely you can find other ways to add more fat if necessary. (Fat bombs. The answer is always fat bombs).
Beyond this yogurt being filling and just plain delicious, I also love that they only use stevia in lieu of other toxic artificial sweeteners. While low-fat yogurts aren’t always the best choice for keto, I do make an exception for this kind.
Is Chobani Yogurt Keto Friendly?
Chobani Zero Sugar is another option that’s low in carbs, and is sweetened with a few keto-friendly sweeteners. In the case of this low carb yogurt, the sweeteners used are allulose, stevia, and monk fruit extract.
Beyond being low in calories (only 60 per container), it’s also the one of the lowest in carbs (5 grams), has zero fat, and contains 11 grams of protein. While being low in carbs makes this a keto-friendly option, you also need to consider if you’re getting enough fat in your diet via other sources to actually get into ketosis.
Is Siggi’s Yogurt Keto?
Siggy’s is a skyr-style yogurt, which is similar to Greek yogurt. It’s typically less tangy, thicker, and has even more protein than Greek yogurt. The carbs are also higher, with 6 grams of carbohydrates in the plain version. If you get a sweetened version, that clocks in closer to 10 carbs per container.
While I like that they don’t use any sweeteners in the plain yogurt, I don’t love that they use skim milk. But if you’re looking for a plain yogurt that could fit into your plan – this might be the one.
How to Choose the Best Yogurt for Keto
Those are just a few examples of low carb yogurt you’ll find in the yogurt aisle. I honestly could be here all day talking about the different brands, but I’m sure you’re eager to get out and track down your new favorite keto friendly yogurt.
What it comes down to is picking the type of yogurt that’s right for your keto macros, and one that contains the least amount of junk ingredients.
While I personally enjoy the Two Good brand, you may want to stick with a yogurt with zero sweeteners, like Siggi’s plan yogurt. For some people, it’s important to keep all sweeteners out of a keto plan since too many sweeteners can lead to cravings and weight gain.
Either way, keep this blog handy once you’re ready to choose the low carb yogurt that’s right for you!
Make Keto Easy
All of the chatter of which keto plan is the best doesn’t make a difference if it’s not the right keto plan for you! Why not jump into the course that’s helped hundreds of women finally lose weight with keto – even when no other plan worked?
In the Keto Quick Start Course, you’ll learn how to make keto work for you … instead of being continually confused by why eating more fat just seems to be making you fat.