Yogurt is a breakfast staple (and a snack!). And while yogurt bowls can provide an opportunity to get in some good-for-you foods like fruit and nuts, they’re also a base for higher-carb toppings like muesli. Here’s what you need to know about yogurt if you’re on a keto diet or interested in another low-carb diet.
Yogurt Nutrition Facts
Yogurt has carbs because it contains lactose, a type of sugar found in milk, the study notes.
One look at the dairy case and you’ll see that there are many varieties of yogurt (such as traditional, Greek, Skyr) made with different milks (cow, non-dairy), fat content (whole, 2 percent, skim) and flavors (plain, fruit, dessert). The amount of lactose also varies by type of yogurt.
Macronutrients in yogurt
Below is the nutritional value for a 6-ounce container of plain, full-fat yogurt, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA):
- Carbohydrates in yogurt: 8 grams (g)
- Net Carbs in Yogurt: 8 gr
Net carbs are a measurement determined by total carbs minus fiber and sugar alcohols, according to Atkins. Net carbs provide a rough estimate of the amount of carbs that are digested and thus affect blood sugar. (Some fiber and sugar alcohols are also partially absorbed, according to the American Diabetes Association.)
Net carbs aren’t an official macronutrient (like carbs, fat, and protein) with a legal definition from the US Food and Drug Administration, but people following a keto diet often use this number as a guideline to help them stay within their range of carbohydrates.
Since plain yogurt contains neither fiber nor sugar alcohols, net carbs are the same as total carbs.
- Fats in yogurt: 5.5 gr
- Protein in yogurt: 6 gr
Other nutrients in yogurt
Yogurt provides the bone-building minerals calcium and phosphorus, and yogurt offers B vitamins like riboflavin, according to Harvard Health. Riboflavin helps metabolize food into energy, and another B vitamin, B12, is needed to maintain energy, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Can you eat yogurt on keto?
yes But because the lactose in milk will break down into sugar that will go into your bloodstream, “if you’re going to eat yogurt, it’s going to have to be somewhat minimized in your diet,” says Scott Keatley, RDN, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy in New York.
Read the nutrition label of your yogurt and determine how much will fit into your carb limit. It’s also important to spread your carbs throughout the day to stay in ketosis, he says. So also make sure the yogurt topping isn’t high-carb like traditional grain-based granola.
So what kind of yogurt can I eat on keto? Go for plain, full-fat yogurt, says Diana Rogers, RD, of Sustainable Dish in Concord, Massachusetts. She recommends it with “a handful of berries and nuts as a snack or dessert.”
When it comes to other types of yogurt, you might ask, is Greek yogurt keto-friendly? The answer is yes, especially if you need a higher protein source. Be sure to choose plain Greek yogurt. This type of yogurt is slightly lower in carbohydrates (7 g per 6-ounce container), higher in fat and contains more than twice as much protein (15 g), according to the USDA.
Is yogurt healthy?
yes A large number of studies show that yogurt has health benefits. One review of more than 100 studies spanning nearly 40 years suggests that consumption of “fermented dairy products,” which includes yogurt, is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and type 2 diabetes; healthier pounds; and better heart, bone and gastrointestinal health. Fermentation creates health-promoting compounds that can help lower blood pressure, improve the immune system, and act as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, according to research.
Keto Yogurt Recipes
When you need inspiration on how to incorporate yogurt in delicious and keto-safe ways, check out these recipes:
- The best low carb keto yogurt recipe If you want to make your own almond milk yogurt, this recipe from Wholesome Yum will teach you how. If not, skip the keto yogurt steps and add her recommended toppings: hemp hearts, sliced almonds, coconut flakes, berries, and sugar-free jam to store-bought yogurt.
- Low-carb yogurt The recipe from Hey Keto Mama is perfect if your carb limit is tighter and plain yogurt just won’t cut it. Instead of using yogurt, this combines sour cream and heavy whipping cream for a high-fat, low-carb, low-protein “yogurt.”
- Chocolate Strawberry Greek Yogurt Blissfully Low Carb’s take on a yogurt bowl combines Greek yogurt with chocolate, strawberries, and flavors like monk fruit for a decadent dessert in a bowl.
Yogurt can fit into a keto diet, but watch your portion sizes, read labels to make sure you’re getting the plain, unflavored version, and add in lower-carb additions like berries and nuts or seeds .