One of the many new trends these days in keeping your body in shape and healthy is the keto diet. Even the celebs are doing it! If you haven’t heard all the buzz about this widespread trend yet, keep reading to familiarize yourself with it!
What is Yogurt?
Sometimes with food and drinks, things are just way easier to make than you imagine.
Yogurt is milk or other dairy products combined with an active culture of probiotic or friendly gut bacteria.
Leave that bacteria a few hours to eat up all the tasty sugars (lactose) and transform that lactose sugar into lactic acid, and you’ve got yogurt.
There’s nuance in the process and choice of ingredients, but the fundamentals are quite simple.
Nutritional Benefits of Eating Yogurt
According to the USDA, a typical 6oz serving of yogurt has this carb count (keep in mind these vary slightly by brand):
- Whole milk Greek yogurt: 7.5 grams of carbohydrate
- Whole milk yogurt: 7.92 grams of carbohydrate
- Low-fat yogurt: 11.97 grams of carbohydrate
- Non-fat or skim milk yogurt: 13.06 grams of carbohydrate
Yogurt can also reduce appetite and help you feel full. Not a wrong way to start the day.
As a general rule of thumb, you can skip about half the carbs out of any yogurt nutritional label.
Why? Because companies are required by the FDA to list the product’s nutrient values before the cooking process.
In yogurt’s case, the cooking is the fermentation process. It happens when the active cultures eat the lactose, which decreases the amount of carbohydrates found within the yogurt.
That’s great news because this could mean that you shouldn’t be afraid of yogurts!
And the benefits don’t stop there:
Yogurt is a good source of protein
Protein is one of the three macronutrients and is used to build muscles and cells in your body. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, can be super high in protein and leave you stuffed for hours.
The bacteria found in yogurt aids a healthy gut
Since yogurt is fermented food similar to kombucha, sauerkraut, or kimchi, it holds many healthy bacteria. These bacteria are known to help general digestive health.
Yogurt is high in vitamins and minerals
Yogurt has both vitamin B and D.
Vitamin B is good for heart disease, and D vitamins are great for healthy bones and can prevent various terrible diseases! It also has many minerals, like magnesium and potassium, which can help with blood pressure and metabolism.
Greek Yogurt vs. Regular Yogurt
Greek yogurt is just drained three times, so most of the liquid (whey) remaining in the mixture of milk and bacteria are removed. This makes greek yogurt so thick.
It’s concentrated yogurt, which is why Greek yogurt products have higher protein.
Greek yogurt is lower in carbs because when draining the liquid whey, they also remove more lactose (the source of carbs) found within yogurt.
Okay! Now let’s talk about keto.
Can I Have Yogurt in My Keto Diet?
Absolutely! As long as it’s the right kind and the proper serving size.
Here’s the deal. Keto naturally suggests eating between 20-50g of carbs per day. That’s not a lot of room to work with, so if you’re going to eat yogurt, you want to look for the lower-carb options.
That may seem obvious, but there’s still more choice than you may think.
Choosing the Best Low-carb Yogurt
As long as you do it right, you can have yogurt on a low-carb diet, says Jessica Cording, MS, RD, dietitian, and author of The Little Book of Game-Changers.
“For my clients on low-carb diets, I usually recommend an unflavored, whole-milk Greek yogurt or skyr,” she says.
If you don’t like Greek yogurt or skyr, make sure to stick to a plain, unsweetened, full-fat regular yogurt, adds dietitian Amy Stevens, RDN.
Prefer to go lower-fat? Just be careful of added sugar, which is common in less-creamy, low- and non-fat yogurt.
Of course, as tasty as they may be, flavored yogurts are often complete sugar bombs. (Many carry over 20 grams of sugar per cup.) “Even if the yogurt itself is low-sugar, additional fruit concentrates and flavors provide so much added sugar,” Stevens says.
When in doubt, check the carb count. Brown recommends sticking to yogurts with 10 grams of carbs—or less—per serving. (If you’re full-blown keto, and need to limit your daily carbs to 50 grams or less, though, choose yogurts that have six or fewer grams per serving).
Our Favorite Keto Yogurt Brands
With the thousands of yogurt brands in the market, obtaining one that tastes good and helps you lose weight naturally is not easy. To help you in your weight-loss journey, we’ve gathered this list of best keto yogurt brands.
Of course, there are more than these, but here are a few of our favorite keto-friendly yogurt brands with their ideal serving size nutrients!
Peak Yogurt Plain
According to Vox, “Peak, a Portland, Oregon-based keto yogurt brand, has gone one step further, creating a vanilla yogurt with 16 percent fat and a plain variety with 17 percent.”
Per serving: 270 calories, 24g fat, 4g net carbs, 8g protein
YQ Plain Yogurt
YQ yogurt is hyper filtered to eliminate almost all the carbs. With 17g protein and 1g of carbs, this is an excellent option for keto dieters.
Per serving: 100 calories, 3g fat, 2g net carbs, 17g protein
Chobani Full Fat Plain Greek
Found in almost all superstores, Chobani’s whole milk plain Greek yogurt is an excellent staple to have in mind.
Per serving: 170 calories, 9g fat, 7g net carbs, 16g protein
Chobani’s Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
This vegetarian-friendly yogurt is produced with whole milk. It is also triple-strained, which makes it more thick, creamy, and delicious.
Chobani yogurt is also great for people with mild lactose intolerance because it has less than 5% lactose. What makes this great is that it is free from artificial sweeteners, making it healthy enough for you.
This yogurt contains 9 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs, and 20 grams of protein.
Plain Cabot Greek
Plain Cabot Greek is made with pasteurized milk, cream, concentrated whey, milk protein, and live active cultures.
It has 22 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbs, and 16 grams of protein per serving. This thick and creamy keto yogurt can be used in dips or cooking, or a substitute for sour cream or cream.
You can also try adding berries or your favorite fruit on it for a pleasing keto dessert.
Stonyfield Organic Greek Yogurt
Stonyfield Organic is an excellent brand to choose if you’re into organic.
Their yogurts are made from all-organic ingredients. They also have many different products to choose from, such as grass-fed, whole-milk, Greek, and a Smooth & Creamy line yogurt.
Stonyfield’s Greek Yogurt has 8 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and 21 grams of protein.
The great thing about this greek yogurt is that it’s non-GMO and gluten-free. The only ingredients here are cultured pasteurized whole milk and live active cultures.
White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt
White Mountain Bulgarian yogurt has no ingredients that can jeopardize your health.
It’s only made from milk and live cultures. These two ingredients give this yogurt its signature tart flavor and creamy texture.
You may not believe it, but this yogurt is perfect for people with lactose intolerance because of its 24-hour fermentation process.
Aside from that, it is also high in probiotics, making it an excellent choice for gut health.
There are three varieties of White Mountain Bulgarian yogurt.
First, Whole-Milk has 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of protein.
The second one is Non-fat Milk, which has no fats, 10 grams of carbs, and 9 grams of protein. Although it doesn’t have fat content, you can use this as a dessert since it’s low carb.
Lastly, Whole-Milk Greek Yogurt. It has 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of protein.
Bear in mind that Whole-milk yogurt and whole-milk Greek yogurt are different from each other. Just look at the protein content per serving.
This one has a pretty generous offering, and you have many options on what types of yogurt you want to eat.
Black Sheep Yogurt
According to some reviews, this brand of keto yogurt can be quite challenging to find. However, for those who can’t tolerate dairy that much, Black Sheep Yogurt of Old Chatham Creamery in New York is worth the search.
The good news is, you can buy this online. The downside is, you’ll need to buy several containers at a time to do so.
Black Sheep Yogurt has 12 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs, and 13 grams of protein per 8 oz. of serving.
Fage Total is an excellent choice for those who enjoy Greek yogurt. This yogurt contains 10 grams of fat, six grams of carbs, and 18 grams of protein.
This is best when mixed with berries, vanilla extract, or anything you would like to add.
This keto yogurt brand is created with milk and a variety of live cultures. It’s still a healthy choice even though the calcium content of Fage Total is 20% lower compared to other regular yogurts.
Oikos Triple Zero
Each Oikos Triple Zero yogurt holds 15 grams of protein per 5.3oz. Cup. However, there is no fat in this product.
Oikos Triple Zero is a great substitute whenever you feel bored with your regular plain yogurt. That’s because it comes with different flavors.
This makes it easier for you if you don’t feel like adding your toppings to your dessert.
Here are the flavors that Oikos Triple Zero offers:
- Apple Cinnamon
- Coconut Crème
- Orange Crème
- Mixed Berry
- Peanut Butter
- Salted Caramel
What’s nice about these is that there are no added sugars or artificial flavors. Oikos Triple Zero yogurts use stevia extract as a sweetener instead.
Siggi’s 4% Plain Icelandic Style Yogurt
Siggi’s is a skyr-style yogurt, which means it’s thick, higher in protein, and has an extra-tangy flavor. This version is relatively low-carb, but it is recommended to get the lactose-free version to go even lower.
Siggi’s is a skyr-style yogurt that holds 100 calories, 5 g fat (3 g sat), 4 g carbs, 3 g sugar, and 11 g of protein.
Two Good Plain Greek Yogurt
Two Good is specifically crafted to be low in sugar and carbs. “It’s a great option for those looking to keep calories down and protein up,” Keatley says.
Two Good plain greek yogurt holds 80 calories, 2 g fat (1.5 g sat), 3 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 12 g of protein.
Maple Hill Creamery Organic Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
Maple Hill’s yogurt is made with milk from grass-fed cows and carries no added sugar, limiting overall carbs.
Maple Hill’s yogurt holds 140 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g sat), 7 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 13 g protein.
Kite Hill Unsweetened Yogurt
Kite Hill’s unsweetened yogurt is an excellent alternative for individuals with a history of lactose intolerance. I like my yogurt with a slightly toned-down tangy taste, and as what my friends have said, this hits the spot.
For consistency, it was unusually thin, almost glue-like, unlike other yogurts. It also comes in different flavors, but pick the plain unsweetened for the best nutrition option.
Kite Hill yogurt holds 140 calories, 11g of fat, 2g of net carbs, and 4g of protein per 150g of serving size.
Deca & Otto Greek Yogurt (Plain)
Making it to the list is Deca and Otto’s Greek Yogurt, made with 100% Grass-Fed Water Buffalo Milk.
In keto, keeping everything organic, like grass-fed cattle, is your best bet for ample nutrition. Proving that statement, they also won in the ACS Judging and Competition 2016 for the plain yogurt category.
Milk from Water Buffalos is also great for lactose-intolerant people because it has less lactose content than cow’s milk. Though this can still be consumed for its nutritional benefits, it’s still milk.
And we all know milk is very high in carbs and should be considered as an occasional treat.
Aside from the plain Greek yogurt flavor, Dulce de leche is another crowd favorite due to its rich buffalo milk yogurt blend. It’s best paired with low-carb shakes.
Serving Size: 150g
Calories: 80 | Fat: 8g | Net Carbs: 8g | Protein: 14g
Tip for Choosing Yogurt on Your Keto Diet
The best tip I can give you is to choose whole, unflavored Greek yogurt.
Why? Apart from the straining method, greek yogurt is less likely to have milk powder or other additives than low-fat or non-fat alternatives.
Here are some other guidelines to follow:
- Keep it natural.
- Keep it whole fat.
- Keep it plain. Even “naturally sweetened” yogurts, including real fruit, have the carbohydrate called fructose.
- Keep your serving sizes small.
- Choose yogurts with active cultures.
- Cater your yogurt to your macro goals.
- If you always have too much protein and not enough fat, find a yogurt type that matches your needs and vice versa.
Most of us like to combine things to our yogurt, so if you’re going to add fruit, add berries. Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all pretty low carb!
Is yogurt allowed on the keto diet? Yes, just make the right choices!
You may find some are high in fat and protein but always keep it low in carbs to maintain ketosis. Yogurts have immense benefits, such as anti-inflammatory and gut protection.
I hope you found this article interesting and have made some good yogurt choices along the way! There will always be substitutes to keep this lifestyle fun and sustainable.