Is Greek Yogurt Keto? 5 Best Brands to Choose From

By Liam McAuliffe M.T.S. Published on

Is Greek yogurt keto? Well, that depends on a few key factors. All greek yogurt is packed with protein and probiotics, some varieties offer an abundance of healthy fats, while other types are very lean. 

Keto-friendly Greek yogurts are made with whole milk. While a true “keto Greek Yogurt” is made from at least 8% milkfat. This can be tough to find, and you may have to make it yourself by adding heavy cream. 

Let’s explore the role of Greek yogurt on keto, its health benefits, and a list of the 5 best Greek yogurts for keto. 

Table of Contents

What is Greek Yogurt? 

Greek yogurt begins like regular yogurt by heating milk and fermenting it with bacteria. The fermentation process converts milk sugar (lactose) into lactic acid.

Traditionally, the yogurt is then strained in cloth bags. But nowadays most modern yogurt manufacturers “strain” their yogurt with centrifuges in order to achieve the thick Greek texture.

Reducing moisture in this way also increases protein and fat content per weight. 

Other yogurts like Icelandic skir, use a similar process, and are labeled “strained yogurts.” 

Watch out for companies that use thickening agents to achieve a Greek yogurt texture. These will be labeled “Greek style yogurt.” 2 They’re often cheaper, but are higher in carbs and lower in protein and fat. 

It’s worth noting that traditional Greek yogurt was made exclusively from sheep and goat’s milk. In addition to having more nutrients that contained only A2 milk proteins that may be healthier and easier to digest.

Choosing the Best Greek Yogurt for Keto

A ketogenic diet is built around high-fat, low-carb, and moderate-protein foods. So when choosing the best Greek yogurt for keto it’s important to look for unsweetened varieties made with full-fat milk. 

A good rule of thumb is find Greek yogurt that most closely corresponds to these basic keto macronutrient ranges: 

  • 70-80% of calories from fat
  • 15-30% calories from protein
  • 0-10% calories from carbohydrates

Keep in mind that Greek yogurt is only one variety of keto-friendly yogurt–you can explore options from across the keto yogurt universe here. 

Nutrient Comparison of the 5 Best Greek Yogurt for Keto

Below you’ll find a comparison of the best and most widely available Greek yogurt.

BrandFatCarbsProtein
#1Fage Greek Yogurt 5% Milkfat12.5g7.5g21.4g
#2Chobani Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt12g10.5g19g
#3Wallaby Organic Plain11g 11g20g
#4Greek Gods (Plain) 12g16.5g10.5g
#5Oikos8g9.3g20g

Can you Eat Greek Yogurt on Keto? 

As you can see from the chart above, even the highest-fat, lowest-carb Greek yogurts don’t come close to the ideal 70-20-10 keto macro ratios. But can you still eat Greek yogurt on keto? 

Yep, you’ll just need to treat it like other moderately carby foods by enjoying it occasionally–at least when you’re just starting out on keto. 

It’s worth noting that when your body is fully adapted to keto you can increase your carb intake from the initial 20 grams a day up to around 60 grams without switching out of ketosis

Keto Greek Yogurt Hack

If you want the probiotic and protein benefits of Greek yogurt without having to overthink how it fits into your ratios for the rest of the day, simply add a few tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. 

FatCarbsProtein 
Heavy Whipping  Cream (3 tbsp)16g1.5g1.5g
1 cup Fage Greek Yogurt w/ 3tbsp heavy cream28.5g9g23g

Benefits of Greek Yogurt on Keto

Studies show that full-fat yogurt provides benefits including: 

  • Enhanced weight loss
  • Gut health
  • Reduced inflammation 

And a bonus benefit is that in general, people with lactose intolerance can tolerate Greek yogurt thanks to its probiotic cultures. 3 4

For instance, Chobani Greek yogurt is less than 5% lactose, which makes it part of a low lactose diet. 

Healthy Fats and Protein in Keto Yogurt

Yogurt provides a satiating combination of  healthy keto fats and proteins that have been shown to reduce appetite and boost fullness, helping people eat less often and lose more weight. 4 5

Other clinical studies link yogurt to reductions in body weight, body fat, and weight gain.6  

These properties also make Greek yogurt a good option for people on intermittent fasting plans, and when combining intermittent fasting and keto. 

Probiotic Benefits

The probiotics in Greek yogurt have been shown to contribute to its ability to help manage weight while regulating how fat is distributed on the body, and how our bodies metabolize the fat  we consume.7

Other studies show that  that probiotics from fermented dairy play a vital role in your body’s most important functions including, 7 8 9 10

  • The production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood and cognitive ability
  • Balancing important reproductive hormones
  • Regulating immune responses to protect against viruses 
  • Regulating inflammatory responses

The benefits of the probiotics found in yogurt may enhance the possible benefits that keto alone has for your gut health. 

Recent studies have found that keto can dramatically transform the gut microbiome in ways that reduce bodily inflammation, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. 11 13 14

By resetting your gut microbiome, and populating it with healthy bacteria, Greek yogurt and keto may be an effective approach to treating leaky gut disorders. 

Low Carb Alternatives to Keto Yogurt on Keto

Though offering many benefits, full-fat Greek yogurt is still a moderate-carb food. To completely reduce concerns overeating too many carbs in your cultured full-fat dairy, there are a few extremely low-carb alternatives to Greek yogurt. These include: 

  • Creme Fraiche: Milder and with a lighter texture than sour cream. Creme fraiche offers 42 grams of fat, 2.4 grams of protein, and only 2.4 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving. 
  • Labneh: A cross between yogurt and a cheese, it’s strained like Greek yogurt but with far less carbs. 100 grams labneh provides 22g fat, 15 g protein, and only 3g carbs. 
  • Cultured Sour Cream: Provides 19 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein, and 5 grams of carbs per 100g serving. 

Is Greek Yogurt Keto?: The Bottomline

Full-fat Greek yogurt can play a role in a well-formulated keto diet. However, even full-fat Greek yogurt is moderately high in carbs. 

For people just starting out on the keto diet a single cup serving of Greek yogurt can account for around 50% of your daily carb intake. But if you’ve been on keto for a while, it’s carb content likely won’t be a major concern. 

Whether enjoyed on occasion or regularly on a keto diet, Greek yogurt offers beneficial probiotics, healthy fats, and quality proteins. 

So is Greek Yogurt Keto? Yes, but…read the above. 

©2020 Doctor ROBERT KILTZ. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED