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is milk keto

Is Milk Keto?

is milk keto

When exploring the compatibility of milk with a ketogenic diet, it’s essential to understand its nutritional profile and benefits. Milk is rich in essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and protein, making it a valuable addition to any diet, including a carnivore diet.


However, the carb content of milk is an important consideration for those following a keto regimen, as it can impact ketosis. In this article, we’ll explore the nutritional benefits of milk, its place in a carnivore diet, the carbohydrate breakdown for keto followers, and identify who should consider including animal milk in their diet.









What Is the Ketogenic Diet?


keto carnivore diets


The ketogenic (keto) diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet designed to shift the body’s metabolism from relying on glucose for energy to using ketones, which are produced from fat. This metabolic state is known as ketosis. By drastically reducing carb intake and increasing fat consumption, the body is forced to burn fats rather than carbs, leading to increased fat oxidation and ketone production.


A typical keto diet includes about 70-80% of daily calories from fat, 10-20% from protein, and only 5-10% from carbs. Foods commonly consumed on this diet are meats, fatty fish, eggs, butter, oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and low-carb vegetables. Sugary foods, grains, legumes, and most fruits are avoided due to their high carb content.


The keto diet is known for its potential health benefits, including weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and enhanced mental health. It has been used therapeutically for decades to treat epilepsy, particularly in children who do not respond well to conventional treatments. Recent studies also suggest it may have benefits for other neurological conditions, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers.


Additionally, the keto diet can improve energy levels and reduce hunger, making it easier for individuals to stick to the diet and maintain weight loss. The diet’s emphasis on whole, unprocessed foods also encourages healthier eating habits overall. With its growing popularity, many people have adopted the keto diet as a sustainable lifestyle choice for long-term health and wellness benefits.


What Is the Carnivore Diet?


Carnivore Diet Food Pyramid


The carnivore diet is another form of low-carb eating that involves consuming only animal-based foods. This diet primarily includes meat, fish, eggs, and animal fats, while excluding all plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. One of the main premises behind the carnivore diet is that human beings are optimally adapted to eating animal products and that such a diet can lead to numerous health benefits.


Those on the carnivore diet have found that it can lead to significant weight loss, improved mental clarity, increased energy levels, and better overall health. The diet is also attributed to reducing inflammation, alleviating autoimmune symptoms, and improving digestive health. These benefits are due to arise from the diet’s ability to eliminate potentially harmful plant toxins and anti-nutrients, which can cause inflammation and other health issues in susceptible individuals.


On the carnivore diet, individuals typically consume a variety of meats, including beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game meats. Organ meats, such as liver and kidneys, are sometimes recommended depending on the health context on a case-to-case basis, but one has to be mindful of their consumption due to possible vitamin A toxicity. Fish and seafood are other key components of the diet, providing essential omega-3 fatty acids. Dairy products such as cheese and butter can be included, but many followers opt to exclude them, especially if they are sensitive to lactose or other components of dairy.


There are many variations when it comes to this way of eating, making personal preferences, health goals, and food tolerances key in determining the right carnivore diet variation for you.


Animal-based foods provide all the necessary nutrients in a highly bioavailable form, meaning that the body can easily absorb and use these nutrients. We have also found in our clinical practice, that the carnivore diet can lead to improved mental focus and stability, better skin health, and reduced cravings for sugar and carbs.


Which Approach Is Best For Me?



The keto diet and the carnivore diet are both low-carb diets that focus on the use of fats for energy, but they differ significantly in their food choices and restrictions. The keto diet includes a variety of foods such as meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, seeds, and low-carb vegetables. The goal is to achieve a macronutrient ratio of approximately 70-80% fat, 10-20% protein, and 5-10% carbs, which induces a state of ketosis where the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs.


In comparison, the carnivore diet is more restrictive, allowing only animal-based foods. This diet includes meats, fish, eggs, and animal fats while excluding all plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds. There are several variations of the carnivore diet, including the all-beef carnivore diet or the lion diet (only ruminant meat, salt, and water), the keto-carnivore diet (a blend of keto and carnivore principles allowing for some dairy and eggs), and the keto carnivore diet (which allows up to 10% of the diet to come from low-carb plant foods).


Individuals with severe autoimmune conditions, digestive issues, or inflammatory disorders often benefit from the strict elimination aspect of the carnivore diet. By removing all plant-based foods, they may reduce exposure to potential allergens and antinutrients, thus alleviating symptoms. Those who thrive on simple, highly nutrient-dense animal products might find the carnivore diet to be optimal for their health and well-being.


On the other hand, individuals who do not have severe food sensitivities and can tolerate a broader range of foods might benefit from the keto diet. This diet allows for more variety, while still providing the benefits of ketosis, such as improved energy levels, weight loss, and better blood sugar control. Whatever you choose, opting for a meat-heavy diet will always be ideal. Making an informed decision based on your individual health goals, dietary preferences, and specific needs is important for choosing the diet that best suits you.


What Are the Benefits of Milk?


milk health benefits


Milk offers a wide range of benefits, making it a valuable component of many diets. Rich in essential nutrients, milk provides calcium, vitamin D, and protein, all crucial for maintaining strong bones, muscle function, and overall health. Additionally, milk contains vitamins A and B12, riboflavin, and niacin, which support immune health, red blood cell production, and energy metabolism.


One of the standout benefits of raw milk is its retention of natural nutrients and enzymes compared to pasteurized milk. Enzymes such as lactase, present in raw milk, aid in breaking down lactose, potentially helping those with lactose intolerance. Raw milk also contains beneficial bacteria that support gut health and boost the immune system. The natural fats in raw milk provide a rich source of energy and enhance the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.


raw vs pasteurized milk


Pasteurized milk, while undergoing heat treatment to eliminate harmful bacteria, still retains significant nutritional value. It remains a good source of protein, calcium, and fortified vitamins such as D and A. These fortifications enhance the nutritional profile of pasteurized milk, ensuring it remains a beneficial dietary choice.


Milk consumption is also linked to improved skin health and a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases. Its combination of nutrients supports overall health, making it a versatile and beneficial beverage. For those on keto or carnivore diets, milk can provide essential nutrients that might otherwise be lacking.


When choosing between raw and pasteurized milk, considerations should include individual health goals, access to reliable sources, and personal tolerance levels. Individuals with diary sensitivities often tolerate goat milk and raw milk options better than pasteurized conventional options. Both forms of milk offer significant nutritional benefits, supporting a healthy diet and overall well-being. The decision ultimately depends on personal preferences and specific dietary needs.


Can Milk Be Included In the Keto Diet?

Milk can be compatible with a keto diet if chosen carefully, as it typically contains carbs in the form of lactose. Whole cow’s milk has about 12 grams of carbs per cup, making it unsuitable for strict keto diets. However, there are several keto-friendly milk options that can fit within the carb limits of a keto diet. We don’t recommend plant-based milk due to its high levels of anti-nutrients, potential glyphosate exposure, fillers, and other toxin concerns.


Heavy cream, often used in keto recipes, is an excellent choice, containing minimal carbs while being high in fat. For individuals looking for keto-friendly options, heavy cream offers the most nutrient-dense option without the risk of anti-nutrients and undesirable ingredients found in plant milk varieties.


When selecting milk for a keto diet, it is essential to avoid sweetened varieties and those with added sugars, as these can quickly exceed the daily carb limit and disrupt ketosis. While traditional cow’s milk may be less suitable due to its higher carb content, heavy cream presents a great alternative.


Milk vs. Heavy Cream

When comparing milk to heavy cream, especially within the context of a keto diet, heavy cream is often a superior choice due to its higher fat content and lower carb levels.


Nutritional Comparison

Milk and heavy cream have different nutritional profiles. While both can be acceptable on a carnivore diet, individuals with carb concerns will need to account for this when opting for milk.


Carbs: Whole milk contains approximately 12 grams of carbs per cup.
Fat: Whole milk has about 8 grams of fat per cup.
Protein: It provides 8 grams of protein per cup.
Calories: There are around 150 calories per cup.


Heavy Cream:
Carbs: Less than 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon (or around 6 grams per cup).
Fat: Approximately 5 grams of fat per tablespoon (or around 80 grams per cup).
Protein: Less than 1 gram of protein per tablespoon.
Calories: About 52 calories per tablespoon (or around 820 calories per cup).


Benefits of Heavy Cream in a Keto Diet

Heavy cream is highly recommended for individuals concerned with staying in ketosis and minimizing their carb intake.

  • Low Carb Content: Heavy cream’s extremely low carb content is crucial for maintaining ketosis, where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbs.
  • High Fat Content: Rich in fats, heavy cream helps achieve the required macronutrient ratio for ketosis. Fat is also more satiating, which aids in hunger management.
  • Caloric Density: Heavy cream’s high caloric density makes it easier to meet daily caloric needs without consuming large volumes of liquid, which is beneficial for maintaining or gaining weight on a keto diet.
  • Versatility in Cooking: Heavy cream adds richness and creaminess to various dishes, including soups, sauces, desserts, and coffee, without increasing carb content.
  • Nutrient Absorption: The high-fat content aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), enhancing the overall nutritional value of the diet.


Other Considerations

While milk provides a balanced mix of carbs, protein, and fat, its higher carb content makes it less suitable for a keto diet. Additionally, heavy cream contains less lactose and is generally better tolerated by those with lactose sensitivities. These benefits make heavy cream a more suitable option for those following a keto diet, supporting ketosis and overall nutritional goals more effectively than milk.


Closing Thoughts on Milk, Keto Diets, and Carnivore Diets

When comparing milk to heavy cream, heavy cream is often more suitable for a keto diet due to its higher fat content and significantly lower carb levels. Whole milk contains around 12 grams of carbs per cup, making it challenging to fit into the daily carb limit of a keto diet. In contrast, heavy cream contains less than 1 gram of carbs per tablespoon, aligning well with keto macronutrient ratios.


Heavy cream offers benefits such as aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and providing a rich, satiating source of calories and fat. Its versatility in cooking adds creaminess to soups, sauces, desserts, and beverages without adding carbs.


On the other hand, milk can still be beneficial in a carnivore diet despite its higher carb content. It provides essential nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, and protein, supporting bone health, muscle function, and overall wellness. The inclusion of milk in a carnivore diet can help diversify nutrient intake, especially for those who can tolerate lactose. While milk may not fit the strict carb limits of a keto diet, it can be a valuable addition to the broader scope of a carnivore diet, offering a balanced mix of nutrients.


Work With Our Trusted Carnivore Diet Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioners

The Nutrition with Judy practice is honored to be a trusted carnivore diet practitioner support serving clients from around the globe. We’re passionate about helping our clients achieve root-cause healing in order to lead the best quality of life possible that’s nearly symptom-free. Our team is dedicated to providing leading nutritional tips. We welcome you to explore our free resources and are always available to support you through personalized protocols. Our Symptom Burden Assessment (SBA) is the perfect starting point for discovering your root cause and is required to work with our team— you can learn more in-depth about this powerful tool here.

Start your root-cause healing journey today and contact us any time with any questions or concerns.


DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational purposes only. While we are board-certified in holistic nutrition and are nutritional therapy practitioners, we are not providing medical advice. Whenever you start a new diet or protocol, always consult with your trusted practitioner first.

Nutrition with Judy

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