Carbs in Almond Milk: Is It Keto?

Dieser Artikel basiert auf wissenschaftlichen Studien

Carbs | Keto | Unsweetened | Vanilla | Creamer | Best Almond Milk | Recipe

Still considered a staple by many, conventional milk is one of the first foods to leave the fridge on a ketogenic diet.

For this reason, keto beginners often look for a suitable alternative to cow’s milk. Contrary to popular belief, even whole milk is a high-carbohydrate food that can throw you out of ketosis.

In this context, almond milk is one of the first cow’s milk substitute options on the keto diet.

Therefore, if you’re wondering if almond milk is allowed on low-carb and keto, you’ve come to the right place. Based on studies, nutrients, and ingredients, this article will tell you how suitable almond milk is for the keto diet.

Is Almond Milk Keto?

Almond milk has recently gained a massive reputation as keto-friendly milk. It is made from almonds without the need for a complex chemical process.

Although it has a nutty flavor, the almond taste does not intrude prominently. It is also lactose-free, vegan, and free of lectin-like milk proteins.

The popularity of almond milk has meant that you can find it in the grocery store in a variety of forms:

  • Sweetened
  • Unsweetened
  • Fake almond milk (rice- or soy-based)
  • With vanilla or chocolate flavor
  • As a creamer substitute

Later, we will take a detailed look at the different compositions’ influence on the nutrient profile of almond milk.

Ultimately, the ingredients determine whether almond milk is low-carb and suitable for keto.

In addition, almond milk can contain nutrients that can boost your health. That’s why many health-conscious people also prefer this milk over other products.

Carbs in Almond Milk

The essential aspect in which a cow’s milk substitute must score in the keto diet is reducing carbohydrate content.

Since milk sugar lactose dominates cow’s milk, it significantly raises blood sugar and insulin levels.

High insulin levels not only throw you out of ketosis but generally inhibit the enzyme that can break down body fat (Meijssen et al. 20014).

Not all almond milk is created equal. Therefore, there are significant differences between the products available on the market.

Complicating the situation with almond milk is that there are soon more fake products than genuine almond milk. These almond drinks are usually soy or rice-based and have a fundamentally different nutritional profile.

Let’s start with the average almond milk from the supermarket.

Almond milk doesn't have to be low-carb

Does Almond Milk Have Carbs?

100 grams of conventional almond milk from the grocery store gives us the following nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 25.0 calories
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 1.0 gram
  • Carbohydrates: 3.3 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 2.9 grams

Almond milk from the supermarket thus has a ratio of fat to net carbohydrates of about 0.35. Accordingly, carbohydrates dominate commercial almond milk.

To make matters worse, the 2.9 grams of net carbohydrates are all sugar.

Is Almond Milk Keto-Friendly?

As part of our keto check, it makes sense to compare almond milk to cow’s milk, which it should replace.

100 grams of whole milk from the supermarket gives us the following nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 60.0 calories
  • Protein: 3.2 grams
  • Fat: 3.3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 5.3 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.0 grams
  • Net carbs: 5.3 grams

While cow’s milk has almost twice as much sugar as conventional almond milk, it also has more fat. Thus, it comes to fat to net carbohydrate ratio of 0.62.

Shockingly, this is a better value than that of almond milk. Unless labeled explicitly as unsweetened, almond milk is not ideal for the keto diet.

However, you can ultimately distinguish sweetened from unsweetened almond milk by looking at the nutritional values.

Is Unsweetened Almond Milk Keto?

100 grams of unsweetened almond milk from the supermarket provides approximately the following nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 16.7 calories
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 1.3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0.8 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.4 grams

Although macronutrients vary by manufacturer, on average, unsweetened almond milk contains so few carbohydrates that you can safely drink a cup or two of it.

Accordingly, the unsweetened almond milk in our example adds only 1 gram of net carbohydrates to the cup.

The milk substitute is entirely safe because the ketosis tolerance level is 25-50 grams of net carbohydrates daily.

Consequently, natural unsweetened almond milk is highly keto-friendly.

On the other hand, what about flavored almond milk?

Is Vanilla Almond Milk Keto?

100 grams of unsweetened vanilla almond milk from the supermarket provides approximately the following nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 16.7 calories
  • Protein: 0.4 grams
  • Fat: 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0.8 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.4 grams

Regarding nutrients, unsweetened vanilla almond milk hardly differs from the classic unsweetened version. In our example, the vanilla option scores with higher fat content and a better fat-to-net carbohydrate ratio.

However, the sweetened variant from the same manufacturer would give us a completely different result, with just under 6 grams of sugar per 100 milliliters (*).

Nonetheless, we should also look at the list of ingredients for the unsweetened option. In any case, we may be interested to know where the vanilla flavor comes from.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) database, the vanilla almond milk in our example consists of the following ingredients (*):

  • Almond milk (filtered water, almonds)
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Tapioca starch
  • Natural vanilla flavoring with other natural flavors
  • Sea salt
  • Potassium citrate
  • Carrageenan
  • Sunflower lecithin
  • Vitamin A palmitate
  • Vitamin D2
  • D-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E)

That’s quite a lot of emulsifiers, stabilizers, flavorings, and other additives for something as simple as almond milk, which is just water and almonds, as the ingredient list has already indicated.

The best almond milk for keto is homemade

Is Vanilla Almond Milk Creamer Keto?

Plant-based creamer substitutes are now experiencing a lot of hype. However, once again, it is crucial to distinguish sugar-free from standard almond milk products.

For example, 100 grams of vanilla almond milk creamer provides the following nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 167.0 calories
  • Protein: 0.0 grams
  • Fat: 6.7 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 26.7 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.0 grams
  • Net carbs: 26.7 grams

In short, creamer and barista almond milk with sugar are not keto-friendly.

In contrast, 100 grams of unsweetened vanilla almond milk creamer contains the following nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 67.0 calories
  • Protein: 0.0 grams
  • Fat: 6.7 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 0.0 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 0.0 grams
  • Net carbs: 0.0 grams

The comparison shows that the range is wide. Sugar-free creamer and barista products made from almond milk are keto-friendly regarding carbohydrates.

However, I would generally advise against these products. Why?

A look at the ingredients of the same unsweetened product will tell us (*):

  • Almond milk (filtered water, almonds)
  • Almond oil
  • Sunflower lecithin
  • Dipotassium phosphate
  • Natural flavors
  • Pea protein
  • Sea salt
  • Guar gum
  • Gellan gum

When a product naturally contains less fat, something else must be added to maintain the taste and creamy consistency. These necessary additives fundamentally alter the nutritional profile of barista almond milk.

There are often numerous stabilizers, emulsifiers, and potentially harmful preservatives, and sometimes even highly-processed vegetable oils.

Such food additives can affect carbohydrate and fat metabolism, so they are significantly involved in the development of obesity (Paula-Neto et al. 20175).

Is It Healthy?

Almond milk is made from a nut that is rich in nutrients. For this reason, it can score high in the following vitamins and minerals (*):

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E

Especially the latter vitamin is present in a remarkable concentration in almond milk.

Provided that it is natural almond milk obtained only from almonds, the following health benefits can also be associated with it:

Which Almond Milk Is Best for Keto?

Avoiding the worst varieties is even more important than identifying the best almond milk. And those are the ones that are soy-based, rice-based, or made with oat milk.

Not only are these highly processed almond drinks often richer in carbohydrates, but they are also bad for gut health due to the lectin content of these plants.

For example, today, I discovered a protein almond drink in the supermarket predominantly made with soy milk and doesn’t come without soy lecithin.

That’s why looking at the ingredient list is essential for almond milk. In this case, big brands use heaps of additives.

It took me a lot of time, but I finally found an unsweetened keto-friendly product without additives.

The best almond milk to buy for keto is Gefen Unsweetened Almond Milk.

According to the ingredient list, the bottom line is that it is the only product consisting of water, sea salt, and almonds—finally, without additives.

Nevertheless, the best almond milk for ketogenic nutrition remains the homemade one. This way, you save on industrial processing and know precisely what’s inside.

Keto Almond Milk Recipe

Forgo the store-bought product. Making homemade almond milk is easier than you might think. All you have to do is soak the almonds in water overnight.

Then, blend the almonds with the water for 2 minutes using a blender. Last but not least, all you have to do is strain the almond milk through a sieve.

And the almond milk is ready for coffee, low-carb desserts, or simply as a drink!

Homemade Almond Milk (Keto)
Learn how to make dairy-free, vegan 🥛 almond milk that is low-carb and keto-friendly ✔️ quickly and easily.
Check out this recipe
how to make almond milk

Unsweetened Almond Milk May Not Impact Ketosis

Almond milk is sometimes over-marketed. It is not a good source of healthy fats nor contains much protein or essential micronutrients.

Nevertheless, the fact is that it is a delicious, extremely low-carb option, which is why it works so well for the keto diet. You can’t kick yourself out of ketosis with suitable unsweetened or homemade almond milk.

You’d need to drink close to 5 liters of it a day.

In addition, almond milk is a superb option for intermittent fasting. In fact, to the proper extent, it’s the only milk in coffee that won’t necessarily break your fast.

You can find out exactly how this works in my new book, Intermittent Fasting 16/8: What Can I Drink While Fasting?

proofread by grammarly

Carbs in Almond Milk FAQ

Will almond milk kick me out of ketosis?

Homemade and unsweetened almond milk varieties won’t kick you out of ketosis.

What kind of milk is OK on keto?

Unsweetened almond milk is the best option on Keto. In this article, you’ll learn how to make almond milk yourself or where to buy it.

What dairy is not allowed on keto?

Milk is full of carbohydrates (lactose or sugar), so it is unsuitable for Keto. In contrast, high-fat dairy products like cheddar are allowed on keto.

StudiesClick to expand!

1Luo C, Zhang Y, Ding Y, Shan Z, Chen S, Yu M, Hu FB, Liu L. Nut consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jul;100(1):256-69. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.076109. Epub 2014 May 21. PMID: 24847854.

2Gorji N, Moeini R, Memariani Z. Almond, hazelnut and walnut, three nuts for neuroprotection in Alzheimer’s disease: A neuropharmacological review of their bioactive constituents. Pharmacol Res. 2018 Mar;129:115-127. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2017.12.003. Epub 2017 Dec 5. PMID: 29208493.

3Liu Y, Hwang HJ, Ryu H, Lee YS, Kim HS, Park H. The effects of daily intake timing of almond on the body composition and blood lipid profile of healthy adults. Nutr Res Pract. 2017 Dec;11(6):479-486. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2017.11.6.479. Epub 2017 Nov 22. PMID: 29209458; PMCID: PMC5712498.

4Meijssen S, Cabezas MC, Ballieux CG, Derksen RJ, Bilecen S, Erkelens DW. Insulin mediated inhibition of hormone sensitive lipase activity in vivo in relation to endogenous catecholamines in healthy subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Sep;86(9):4193-7. doi: 10.1210/jcem.86.9.7794. PubMed PMID: 11549649.

5 Paula Neto HA, Ausina P, Gomez LS, Leandro JGB, Zancan P, Sola-Penna M. Effects of Food Additives on Immune Cells As Contributors to Body Weight Gain and Immune-Mediated Metabolic Dysregulation. Front Immunol. 2017;8:1478. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01478. eCollection 2017. Review. PubMed PMID: 29163542; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5672138.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

Stephan is a true man of science, having earned multiple diplomas and master's degrees in various fields. He has made it his mission to bridge the gap between conventional wisdom and scientific knowledge. He precisely reviews the content and sources of this blog for currency and accuracy.

Click on the links above to visit his author and about me pages.

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