Blog Diets Low Carb Which Low-Carb Yogurt Should You Eat on a Keto Diet?

Which Low-Carb Yogurt Should You Eat on a Keto Diet?

Yogurt is good for you for many reasons—it contains probiotics that may be beneficial for digestive health, it’s rich in essential vitamins and minerals, and it serves as a great protein source (5). It’s an ideal choice for an energizing breakfast or to get you through that afternoon slump.

Nutritious as it is, yogurt contains carbs, making it difficult to include in a very low-carb or keto diet. This is because the goal of a keto or very low-carb diet is to limit carb intake so your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbs.

However, not all types of yogurt are off-limits on a keto or very low-carb diet. In fact, there are several brands and types of yogurt that are perfectly suitable for such diets. The key is knowing which ones to pick and how much you can have.

Which Yogurt Is Lowest in Carbohydrates?

Plain, non-fat Greek yogurt is lowest in carbohydrates among all the dairy yogurt choices. It typically contains just 3.6 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving (11). The whole-milk version contains approximately 4.75 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving (12), which is still relatively low in comparison to other types of yogurt.

Skyr, which is a type of Icelandic yogurt, is also low in carbs and has approximately 10 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving (10).

Some plant-based options, particularly coconut milk yogurt, are a great alternative for those who prefer a dairy-free option. However, it’s important to check the nutrition label as coconut milk yogurt may contain added sugars that can increase the carb count.

What Yogurt Can You Eat on Keto?

Plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt is the top choice for those who are  following a keto diet. It has low carbs and is also high in fat and protein, which makes it an ideal option to keep you feeling full and satisfied (6).

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If you don’t like the texture or taste of Greek yogurt, plain, unsweetened whole-milk yogurt is acceptable. Just make sure you read the nutrition label and avoid any added sugars or flavorings, as they can quickly add up in carbs. You should opt for full-fat options and try to stick to 1 serving (approximately 5-7 ounces) per day.

Always consider your overall carb intake for the day when you include yogurt in your meals. If you’re close to your daily limit, it’s best to skip yogurt and choose a different source of protein.

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Is Greek Yogurt Carb-Friendly?

Greek yogurt can be considered carb-friendly, but it’s important to choose the right type and portion size. As previously mentioned, plain, non-fat Greek yogurt is the best option with the lowest carb count. However, even whole-milk Greek yogurt can still fit into a low-carb or keto diet as long as you keep track of your overall carb intake.

The difference in carbs between all types of yogurt is worth considering, as not everyone can tolerate the taste of plain low-carb Greek yogurt.

There are three main types of dairy-based yogurt available on the market: regular, Greek, and skyr yogurt. All three types are made from fermented milk and are generally considered to be healthy options. However, each of them has a different manufacturing process that determines their nutritional value and carb content.

How Is Regular Yogurt Made?

Regular yogurt (also known as plain or whole-milk yogurt) is made by fermenting milk with live bacteria cultures (14). The fermentation process produces lactic acid, giving the yogurt its tangy taste and helps in the breakdown of lactose (milk sugar). 

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Regular yogurt has a smooth, creamy texture and is high in calcium, protein, and vitamins B2 and B12 (1).

If you’ve ever opened a tub of yogurt and noticed a watery layer on top, this is the liquid whey that is a natural byproduct of the fermentation process. Regular yogurt has a higher amount of liquid whey compared to Greek or skyr yogurt.

This liquid whey also contains carbs, which means regular yogurt has a higher carb content than the other two types. A 100-gram serving of plain whole-milk yogurt contains approximately 5.6 grams of carbs (13).

low carb yogurt  

How Is Greek Yogurt Made?

Greek yogurt is made using a similar process to that for regular yogurt, but there is an additional step – straining. After fermentation, the yogurt is strained to remove the liquid whey, which results in a thicker and creamier texture. The straining process also removes some of the lactose and sugar from the yogurt, which makes it lower in carbs (9).

A 156-gram tub of plain nonfat Greek yogurt typically contains approximately 6 grams of carbs (11), or 3.6 grams per 100 grams of yogurt, which is less than the amount that is found in regular yogurt. It’s also higher in protein, making it a popular choice for those who are following a low-carb or keto diet.

How Is Skyr Yogurt Made?

Skyr yogurt is similar to Greek yogurt in terms of taste and texture. It has been a staple in Icelandic cuisine for centuries and was only recently introduced in the United States.

Like Greek yogurt, skyr is also made by straining fermented milk to remove the liquid whey. However, skyr goes through an extra step of heating and cooling the milk before fermentation, which results in a thicker consistency and a slightly sweeter taste.

Skyr is also higher in protein and lower in carbs than regular yogurt, with approximately just 10 grams of carbs per 100 grams (10). It’s also rich in essential amino acids, which makes it a great post-workout snack.

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The carbohydrate content in skyr and plain Greek yogurt can be quite similar, particularly when comparing lower-carb versions of skyr to Greek yogurt.

Some versions of skyr may have slightly lower carbohydrate content than plain Greek yogurt, but the difference is not substantial across all products. It’s always a good idea to check the nutrition label of the specific product you’re interested in to make the most accurate comparison.

Read more: 6 Low Carb Thanksgiving Sides That Even Carb-Lovers Will Enjoy

So, Can I Eat Yogurt on a Low-Carb Diet?

You can eat any plain, unsweetened yogurt on keto, as long as it fits into your daily carb limit. While Greek and skyr yogurt are generally considered to be the lowest-carb yogurt types, whole-milk regular yogurt is also acceptable.

Here are some tips for incorporating yogurt into your low-carb or keto diet:

1. Choose Full-Fat Options

Choosing full-fat yogurt isn’t just about adhering to the macro ratios of the keto diet; it’s also about making a mindful choice toward satisfaction from your meals.

Keto Is a High-Fat Diet

Fat is a key component of the ketogenic diet – it’s essential for providing the majority of your daily caloric intake (7). Full-fat yogurt aligns with this requirement and also helps keep you satiated longer (6).

This feeling of fullness is pivotal in maintaining portion control and avoiding unnecessary snacking, which can be a pitfall for many people on a strict carb limit.

Fat Is Necessary for Nutrient Absorption

By opting for full-fat yogurt, you’ll ensure that you’re not missing out on essential vitamins and minerals that are naturally present in dairy fat. These nutrients include vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which are fat-soluble, which means they require fat to be properly absorbed by the body (4).

Consider the quality of the fats in full-fat yogurt. These fats can include conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been associated with various health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties and improved heart health (2). 

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In the context of a keto diet, these high-quality fats may contribute positively to your overall well-being.

Low Fat Options May Have Added Sugars

There’s also the matter of added sugars. When manufacturers remove fat from yogurt, they often add sugar or artificial sweeteners to compensate for the loss in taste and texture.

These added sugars can quickly accumulate, pushing you over your daily carb limit and potentially knocking you out of ketosis. By choosing full-fat options, you’re more likely to avoid these added sugars and stay within your carb allowance.

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2. Watch Out for Added Sugars

As previously mentioned, some yogurts may contain added sugars to enhance flavor and texture. This can quickly increase the carb content of your yogurt serving, which makes it less suitable for a low-carb or keto diet.

When choosing a yogurt, you should always check the nutrition label for added sugars and aim for options with little to no added sugars. Some brands also offer “no sugar added” versions of their yogurt, which may be a better choice for those who are following a low-carb or keto diet.

3. Mix in Low-Carb Toppings

Plain yogurt can be quite bland on its own, but you can jazz it up by adding some low-carb yogurt toppings.

Some great options include:

  • Nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, groundnuts 
  • Seeds – chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, poppy seeds
  • Nut and seed butters – almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter, sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter
  • Coconut – shredded coconut, coconut chips, coconut butter, fresh coconut chunks, toasted coconut flakes
  • Cocoa products – dark chocolate chips, cocoa nibs, unsweetened cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder, cocoa-dusted almonds, chocolate-flavored stevia drops
  • Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, vanilla bean, cardamom
  • Low-carb fruits – berries, avocado, lemon
  • Low-carb sweeteners – stevia, erythritol, monk fruit extract
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low carb yogurt  

4. Use Yogurt as a Substitute in Recipes

One clever way to incorporate yogurt into your low-carb or keto diet is by substituting it for higher-carb ingredients in recipes. For example, you can use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in dips and sauces or as a marinade for meats.

You can even use skyr or Greek yogurt as a base for low-carb smoothies or frozen treats. Simply mix in some low-carb fruits, a low-carb sweetener, and any other desired toppings to make a delicious snack or dessert.

5. Try Making Your Own Yogurt

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try to make your own yogurt at home using full-fat milk and a starter culture. In this way, you have complete control over the ingredients and can ensure that your yogurt is aligned with your low-carb or keto diet.

You can find low-carb yogurt recipes for a homemade version online and the process is relatively simple. In addition, making your own yogurt can save you money in the long term compared to buying pre-made options at the store.

Read more: Your Guide to High Fat Keto Foods: The Best Choices for a Low Carb Diet

low carb yogurt  


  • What is the lowest carb and sugar yogurt?

Plain, unsweetened Greek or skyr yogurt are typically the lowest in carbohydrates and sugars. However, you should always check the nutrition label and ingredients list to make sure there are no added sugars.

  • Does Greek yogurt have fewer carbs?

Greek yogurt tends to have fewer carbs than regular yogurt. This is because Greek yogurt goes through a straining process that removes some of the lactose (milk sugar), which lowers its carb content. However, the difference is not huge, so if you prefer regular yogurt, you can still make it work on a low-carb diet – just avoid added sugars. 

  • Why is Greek yogurt lower in carbohydrates?

Greek yogurt is lower in carbohydrates because it undergoes a straining process that removes some of the lactose (milk sugar) and liquid whey. This leaves behind a thicker, more concentrated yogurt with fewer carbs per serving.

  • Which yogurt has the lowest grams of sugar?

Plain, unsweetened Greek or skyr yogurt typically have the lowest grams of sugar compared to other yogurts. However, you should always check the nutrition label for added sugars as some brands may add them for flavor and texture.

The Bottom Line

Plain Greek and skyr yogurt are generally considered to be the lowest-carb options due to their higher fat and protein content. That being said, full-fat options of any plain yogurt can still fit into a low-carb or keto diet. Just make sure to check the nutrition label for added sugars and choose toppings that are low in carbs.


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!


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