Yes, you can eat dairy free on a keto diet, did this surprise you? It surprises a lot of people, most think that keto is all about bacon, eggs, and cream, but it’s not. There are some really simple substitutions that you can make in order to make keto dairy free. Read on to find out how to eat a dairy free keto diet and get all of the nutrition that you need.
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If you are reading this article, it is likely that you have already chosen a dairy free lifestyle, or one has been forced on you due to your intolerances, and you’re probably considering whether a keto diet (also known as the ketogenic diet) is compatible with your dairy-free lifestyle.
If this is the case check out this beginner’s guide to the keto diet in order to decide whether the keto diet is for you.
If you are already living a keto lifestyle and you’re considering converting to a dairy-free ketogenic diet, check out this article which goes into detail about the health benefits of a dairy-free lifestyle.
As a quick summary, here are the main health benefits of a dairy-free lifestyle;
- Clearer Skin
- Quicker Weight Loss
- No digestive distress
- Improved Energy Levels
- Clearer Cognitive Function (no brain-fog)
If you are unsure whether you are dairy intolerant, why not try this….?
- If you are unsure whether you have any dairy allergies, or just want to see the impact of cutting out dairy on your keto diet. Why not try this;
- Cut out all dairy from your diet for 30 days (our keto dairy substitutions list below will help you out with this). This will give your body the time it needs to detox from any of the residual effects of eating dairy.
- After 30 days, start by introducing some casein-rich, low-lactose foods, such as cheddar cheese, swiss cheese, and casein protein powder. Throughout the day, and the next morning, assess how you feel. Do you feel bloated, have headache, feeling sick, have excess wind, diarrhea? Do you feel better than you did on non-dairy? Or do you feel exactly the same?
- Cut out dairy again for another 3 days
- Day 35 – introduce other forms of dairy like Greek yogurt, butter, and heavy whipping cream (double cream) for 2-3 days. These products also contain whey as well as casein (which you tested the first time). Again, assess how you feel.
- Assess how you felt overall, did you feel better when eating dairy or not?
Another way to determine whether you are potentially intolerant is to get your blood glucose using a meter.
If you are already eating a keto diet you may have one of these.
Test your glucose and ketone levels 2 hours before and hours after eating dairy; if your glucose spikes and your ketone levels drop significantly, it may be an indication that you have dairy intolerance.
If you discover that you may have intolerances, please see your doctor in order to have proper allergy tests conducted so you can understand exactly what intolerances you have and what to avoid.
Intolerances that are mild at first can develop, which can lead to anaphylaxis, so should be identified at the earliest possible opportunity.
How to do dairy-free keto and still hit your macros
Even if you’re eating dairy-free keto, you will still need to be hitting your daily macros; with 70% of your daily macros being from fat, 25% from protein, and 5% from carbohydrates (carbs).
If the concept of keto macros is new to you, check out our guide to keto macros here, which will talk you through everything you need to know.
If you need to work out what these macros are for you, calculate your macros using the Ruled.me macros calculator. There is a long formula that you can use in order to work this out for yourself, however, why do the work when there is a calculator there for you.
Dairy-Free Keto Food List
Thankfully, these days, there are a lot of dairy substitutions that will allow you to cut down your daily consumption or live a full dairy-free keto lifestyle.
This dairy substitutions guide will take you through some of the key dairy ingredients that you are likely to be eating on a keto diet and require substitutions for.
If you are already dairy-free it is likely that you are already aware of these substitutions, but if you are looking to reduce your dairy consumption you may find something new for you.
Top Dairy-Free, Keto-Friendly Foods
If you’re looking at replacing some of your dairy favorites for keto-friendly, high-fat foods, check out some of our favorites below;
- Avocados – Whole or Avocado Oil
- Chocolate – Cacao nibs, 85% Cacao chocolate, Cacao butter
- Coconut – Coconut Cream, Coconut Milk, Coconut Flesh, Coconut Oil, MCT Oil
- Fatty Fish – Anchovies, Herring, Mackerel, Sardines, Salmon, Trout, Tuna, are all great high-fat fishes
- Meats – grass-fed beef, chicken thighs, and pork. Try to avoid processed meats
- Nuts – enjoy all nuts in moderation, for individual nut carb content, check out our guide here. Nut Milk is also a great option; Almond Milk, Hazlenut Milk etc.
- Seeds – Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, and Flaxseed (Lintseeds) are all great options, either in their original form or as milks or butter.
- Olives – Whole, any variety, Olive Oil
Keto Dairy Substitutions Guide
|Dairy Product||Dairy-Free Keto Alternative|
|Butter||Ghee / Coconut Oil / Coconut Butter/ Avocado Oil / Olive Oil|
|Heavy Cream / Double Cream||Coconut Cream (no added sugar)|
|Soft Cheese (inc. Cottage Cheese)||Nut ‘Cheese’|
|Hard Cheese||Nutritional Yeast|
|Yogurt||Soy yogurt / Home-made Dairy-Free|
|Ice Cream (Keto Version)||Coconut Cream/ Coconut Milk / Almond Milk|
|Eggs (not technically diary)||Ground Flaxseed / Ground Flaxseed|
If you are not eating dairy on keto, you still need to be mindful of ensuring that you get enough protein.
Dairy-Free Keto Recipes
With our dairy-free keto substitutions listed above, you should be able to make most keto recipes dairy-free.
Check out our keto recipes section for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks ideas.
Also, check out some of these other resources for dairy-free keto recipes;
Final Thoughts: Dairy Free Keto
If you are dairy intolerant in any form or are just looking to boost your weight loss, or have ethical concerns, you will be pleased to know you can eat dairy-free on a keto diet. In this day and age, there are a number of keto-friendly, dairy-free substitutes that you can eat on a keto diet.
Are you dairy-free and eating a keto diet? Have a favorite dairy substitute? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.