Almond milk is a great alternative to dairy milk for those who are lactose intolerant, have allergies, or are vegan. It’s also lower in calories and has no cholesterol. But how many carbs are in almond milk? When you’re on the keto diet, the answer to this question is important. That’s because you’re trying to minimize your carb intake to get into ketosis, a state in which your body primarily burns fat for fuel. In this article, we’ll give you the backstory on almond milk carbs. We’ll also share the health benefits and drawbacks of drinking this type of milk.
How Many Carbs Are In 1 Cup Of Unsweetened Almond Milk?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are 3.4 grams of carbs in 1 cup (240 ml) of unsweetened almond milk (4). That’s significantly less than the 12 grams of carbs in 1 cup (240 ml) of 2% cow’s milk (10).
Sweetened almond milk contains more carbs because it has added sugar. One cup (240 ml) of sweetened vanilla almond milk has 16 grams of carbs, while the same amount of chocolate almond milk has 20 grams of carbs (3, 2).
Is Almond Milk Keto-Friendly?
If you’re on the Standard Ketogenic Diet (SKD):
The standard keto diet allows for 50 grams or less of net carbs per day, or 5 to 10% of total calories from carbohydrates (14). It’s suitable for beginners just starting the keto diet because it’s not as restrictive as other versions while aiming for adequate depletion of glycogen stores and eventually ketosis.
With 3.4 grams of carbs per cup, unsweetened almond milk is a great choice for those following the SKD (4). Avoid sweetened almond milk as it will take up a large portion of your carb allowance for the day and make it difficult to stay in ketosis.
If you’re on the Targeted Ketogenic Diet (TKD):
The targeted keto diet is similar to the standard version, but it includes strategic carb intake around workouts (up to an hour after exercise) (14).
This approach can help improve workout performance by providing glucose to working muscles. It’s best suited for athletes or highly active people who’ve been on keto for a while. Drinking unsweetened almond milk with a few carbs before or after your workout is perfectly fine on the TKD.
If you’re on the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet (CKD):
The cyclical keto diet involves periods of higher carb intake followed by periods of low-carb eating (14). The high-carb days help replenish glycogen stores and promote muscle growth, while the low-carb days help maintain ketosis.
With 3.4 grams of carbs per cup, unsweetened almond milk can be consumed on both high and low carb days (4). You may also get away with drinking sweetened almond milk on high carb days, depending on your daily carb allotment.
Read More: Is Almond Butter Better Than Peanut Butter?
What Are The Health Benefits Of Drinking Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a plant-based milk alternative made from almonds. It’s a non-dairy option that is rich in vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and free of cholesterol and saturated fats. There are many health benefits associated with drinking almond milk.
Supports Weight Management
Calorie for calorie, almond milk contains fewer calories than whole milk. This makes it a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight or manage their weight.
To get the most health benefits from almond milk, choose an unsweetened variety. Sweetened almond milk often contains added sugars, which can add calories which may contribute to weight gains.
Helps Keep Your Bones Strong
Fortified almond milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients that are essential for bone health. Calcium helps build and maintain bone mass, while vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium (5).
A lack of calcium may limit bone mineralization which can lead to osteoporosis later in life, a condition where bones become weak and fragile. Vitamin D deficiency may also be linked to an increased risk of fractures (5).
May Lower Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Almond milk is low in saturated fat. A diet too high in saturated fat can contribute to elevated LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, which is a risk factor for heart disease and plaque formation (12).
Plaque narrows your arteries and makes it difficult for blood to flow. This can lead to a heart attack or stroke (12).
Could Help Manage Diabetes
Almond milk is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that plays an important role in blood sugar control. Magnesium helps your body metabolize glucose and insulin, two hormones that are closely involved in diabetes (9).
Research has suggested that magnesium deficiency may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. A diet rich in magnesium may help prevent or manage this condition (9).
May Promote Brain Health
Vitamin E helps protect your cells from damage. It may also reduce inflammation, a process that has been linked to cognitive decline (13).
Promotes Skin Health
Unlike dairy milk that might be associated with the development of acne in some adolescents and adults, almond milk can actually help improve your skin health.
The vitamin E and antioxidants present in almond milk help to fight free radicals, which can damage your skin cells and contribute to the formation of wrinkles. Almond milk also contains essential fatty acids that help to keep your skin moisturized and looking young and healthy (6).
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Boosts Energy Levels
While not as rich as cow’s milk, almond milk does contain a small amount of riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2. This vitamin helps convert food into energy, making it an important nutrient for athletes and everyone else, since we all need energy to function (11).
Riboflavin is also essential for normal cell growth and development. It plays a role in red blood cell production and helps protect your cells from damage (11).
Low In Carbs
If you’re on a low-carb diet, almond milk is a great choice. A cup of unsweetened almond milk contains just 3.4 grams of carbs, making it a good option for people who are trying to minimize their carb intake (4).
Almond milk can be used in a variety of ways. It can be enjoyed on its own, added to coffee or tea, or used in cooking and baking. Some recipe ideas include:
- Adding it to oatmeal or cereal
- Using it in smoothies or shakes
- Baking with it instead of dairy milk
- Making a dairy-free latte by adding it to coffee or espresso
Almond milk has a rich, creamy texture and a nutty flavor that goes well with sweet or savory dishes. The recipes below are low-carb, keto-friendly, and dairy-free.
Keto Almond Milk Pancakes (1)
These pancakes are made with almond flour and are perfect for a quick and easy breakfast.
- 4 large eggs
- ¾ cup almond milk
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups blanched almond flour (about 250g)
- ¼ cup Swerve Sweetener (or other keto-friendly sweetener)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Additional oil for the pan
- In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, avocado oil, and vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond flour, sweetener, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Alternatively, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil to the pan. Scoop ¼ cup batter to the pan for each pancake. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
- Serve with sugar-free syrup, fresh berries, or whipped cream.
This recipe is courtesy of alldayidreamaboutfood.com
Keto Bulletproof Latte (7)
The popularity of bulletproof coffee has led to the creation of many variations, including this keto-friendly latte. It’s like regular coffee, but with the added benefits of extra fats and almond milk.
For the bulletproof coffee:
- ¼ cup Brewed Espresso hot
- 1 tablespoon MCT Oil or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons Heavy Cream or Coconut cream
- 1-2 teaspoons Erythritol Monk fruit or erythritol
- 10 gram Unsalted Butter or Cocoa butter, weigh, then melt it!
For the latte:
- ⅓ cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon – optional
- Add hot brewed espresso, MCT oil, cream, sugar-free sweetener, and melted cocoa butter to a blender and blend until it forms a creamy froth.
- Pour the mixture into a large mug and set aside while you prepare the almond milk.
- In a coffee frother, froth the almond milk for about 30 seconds.
- Pour the hot almond milk into the mug with the coffee and stir to combine.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, if desired.
This recipe is courtesy of sweetashoney.co
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Keto Almond Milk Chia Pudding (8)
This easy, flavorful pudding is a great breakfast or snack. It’s high in fiber and healthy fats, and can be made ahead of time for a quick and convenient meal.
- 3 tablespoons Chia Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Erythritol monk fruit stevia blend or erythritol stevia blend
- ½ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- ½ cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
- 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut
- 3 tablespoons Sugar-free Chocolate Chips
- In a glass mason jar, layer chia seeds, sugar-free sweetener, almond milk, coconut milk, desiccated coconut, and chocolate chips.
- Screw on the lid and shake until well combined. The liquid will thicken as the chia seeds absorb it.
- Let the pudding sit for at least 30 minutes, then shake or stir it again to prevent the seeds from coagulating at the bottom of the jar.
- Leave the jar in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight, to allow the pudding to thicken.
- Serve cold, topped with additional desiccated coconut and chocolate chips, if desired.
This recipe is courtesy of sweetashoney.co
The Bottom Line
Unsweetened almond milk is a good choice for those on a keto diet. It’s low in carbs and calories, and high in healthy fats and protein. However, sweetened almond milk is not as keto-friendly due to its added sugars, and should be avoided or used sparingly. When choosing almond milk and limiting your carb intake, be sure to read the label carefully to make sure it fits into your daily carb allotment.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- ALMOND FLOUR KETO PANCAKES (2019, alldayidreamaboutfood.com)
- Almond milk, sweetened, chocolate (2020, usda.gov)
- Beverages, almond milk, sweetened, vanilla flavor, ready-to-drink (2019, usda.gov)
- Beverages, almond milk, unsweetened, shelf stable (2019, usda.gov)
- Calcium Intake and Health (2019, nih.gov)
- Essential Fatty Acids and Skin Health (2012, oregonstate.edu)
- KETO BULLETPROOF LATTE THE BEST FAT BURNING COFFEE (2022, sweetashoney.co)
- KETO CHIA PUDDING (3 INGREDIENTS) (2022, sweetashoney.co)
- Magnesium Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies (2011, diabetesjournal.com)
- Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D (2019, usda.gov)
- Riboflavin (2022, nih.gov)
- Saturated Fat Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease and Ischemic Stroke: A Science Update (2017, nih.gov)
- The Role of Vitamin E in Human Health and Some Diseases (2014, nih.gov)
- Types of ketogenic diet (2022, diabetes.co.uk)