Is Greek Yogurt Keto-Friendly?

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Written by Bridget Nalwoga, Certified Nutritionist and medically reviewed by Abby Courtenay

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If you keep up with the health and wellness community, you have most definitely heard of the wonder that is Greek yogurt.

In this article we are going to find out if it really lives up to its reputation.

Keep reading to learn all about this dairy food, its nutrition, if it's keto-friendly, what kind you can have, and more alternatives for it.


What is Greek yogurt?

Greek yogurt is yogurt that has been strained after fermentation.

To make regular yogurt, milk is fermented with live bacteria in a warm environment. To make the Greek variety, the fermented product is then strained to obtain a thicker consistency.

The yogurt is placed in a fine mesh cloth and allowed to strain for hours or even days. The longer the straining time, the thicker the final product. The liquid that strains out is known as whey.

Greek yogurt got its name because when it first became popular in the West, most of it was coming from Greece. In other parts of the world, it has other names like sack, strained, cheese, and kerned yogurt.


Greek yogurt nutrition

Being a dairy product, Greek yogurt contains substantial amounts of all three macronutrients: carbs, protein, and fat. Since it is an animal food without fiber, all the carbs count as net carbs.

Serving size: 1 cup of plain whole Greek yogurt. Equal to about 245 g

  • Energy: 238 kcal
  • Fat: 12.2 g
  • Net carbs (total carbs - fiber): 9.8 g
  • Total carbs: 9.8 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 22 g

Is Greek yogurt a carb?

Not really. It might be higher in carbohydrates than other keto-friendly foods, but it would be unfair to classify it as a carb. This is because it contains other macros, particularly protein, in high amounts as well.


Health benefits of Greek yogurt

The hype surrounding Greek yogurt as a healthy food is well deserved. The product offers a number of health benefits including:

  • Muscle growth. It is high in protein (22 g per cup) which is essential for maintaining and building muscles, particularly for physically active people.
  • Strong bones and teeth. It is rich in calcium, the most abundant mineral in teeth and bones. Consuming foods rich in calcium can help prevent bone and teeth-related diseases like cavities and osteoporosis.
  • Gut health. It contains probiotics that help in maintaining good gut health. Probiotics have other benefits like maintaining skin health, boosting immunity, and reducing the risk for chronic diseases.
  • Energy. Even though calories can sometimes seem like the enemy, the body needs energy to stay healthy and alive. This food is a good source of energy that comes with an abundance of good nutrition as well.




Is Greek yogurt good for keto?

Yes, it is.

Even though it contains some carbs, it can still fit on the ketogenic diet. The process of straining reduces the amount of carbs present. This is because the sugars (lactose) go along with the whey that is being strained off since sugar is water-soluble.

This food is also high in fat, which is beneficial for a keto diet. Finally, it is a good source of protein, which is essential for maintaining muscle mass on keto.

It is important to remember that only plain Greek yogurt is keto-friendly. Flavored and sweetened varieties contain added sugars, which would make them very non-keto.

Since there is no legal definition of Greek yogurt, companies can thicken their products with thickeners like starches and label it Greek yogurt. One reason to do this is because making it the usual way requires more milk, which increases the production cost. To work around this, food manufacturers find cheaper ways to obtain that thick and creamy consistency.

Always read the ingredient list on the packaging before purchasing to check for additives like gums, starches, and fillers.


How much Greek yogurt can you eat on keto?

You can have up to 1 cup per day on keto if you have a 50 g carb limit. 1 cup would give you almost 10 g of net carbs, which would be only 20% of your daily carb limit.

You could either have it for breakfast or a snack. You could split the cup into two: have a half cup for a mid-morning snack and the other half as an afternoon snack. This would obviously be a small serving, so you can supplement it with toppings like chia seeds, peanut butter, and keto-friendly fruit.

If you have a lower carb limit like 30 g, you can have up to half a cup in a day. If your limit is lower than 30 g, it may be best to find a lower-carb alternative.

What kind of Greek yogurt can you have on keto? 

Even though we have said that it is keto-friendly, it doesn't mean that any type is okay. Some types may just not have a place on the diet.

  • Plain whole. This is the non-flavored kind made from whole milk. This is the most keto-friendly as it contains no added sugar and is richer in fat.
  • Plain fat-reduced. Those watching their calorie intake can enjoy skimmed alternatives. You should however, beware of additives manufacturers add to make up for the loss in flavor when fat is removed. If you want to bump the fat up with plant fats, add some almonds or flax seeds.
  • Sweetened. This is definitely not keto-approved, even if it says it is sweetened with natural honey or maple syrup. These may be slightly healthier than table sugar, but they are still sugar.
  • Homemade. In theory, homemade food should be the best. However, you may not have the right tools to properly do the straining. For this reason, it may be easier to stick to store-bought options, which will have accurately labeled carb content.



Keto substitutes for Greek yogurt

Even though this food is healthy, you should not have it every day until the end of time. First, it is easy to grow tired of a food, no matter how good it is, if you eat it every day.

Second, a variety of foods means a variety of nutrients, resulting in a more complete and balanced diet.

Greek yogurt alternatives include plant-based yogurts like:

  • Coconut
  • Cashew
  • Almond

For dressings to use in savory or sweet dishes, you can try:


FAQs on eating Greek yogurt on keto

If you still have any questions, keep reading as we answer some of them.

Yes. Greek yogurt is more ketogenic because it contains less carbs per serving than the traditional kind.

Yes, it is. Fage yogurt contains 3 g of net carbs per 100 g serving. This means that the small 170 g container has 5.1 g of net carbs.

The process of making Greek yogurt at home is quite simple but very lengthy. Some recipes can take up to a day to finish, especially if you are trying to make it low-carb. For a fairly quick recipe, try this one below:


  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • ¼ cup of plain yogurt with live cultures


  1. Heat the milk to 185-200 °F (85-93 °C), stirring frequently to prevent a skin from forming.
  2. Cool the milk in an ice bath to 100-110 °F (37-43 °C)
  3. Take ½ cup of the milk and mix it with the yogurt.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the rest of the milk.
  5. Wrap a towel around the container with the milk to keep it warm.
  6. Place the milk in your oven with the light on to provide warmth.
  7. Let the milk ferment for 4 to 8 hours.
  8. To strain, place the yogurt in a cheesecloth and place over a large bowl.
  9. Strain for as long as possible. Remember, the longer you strain, the thicker and more keto the yogurt becomes.

Yes, Two Good is very low-carb having only 2 g for each small 150 g container.

Yes, it is a very healthy and delicious snack. You can have it every day if you wish. You should, however, make sure to switch up the way you eat it for some variety in your diet.

Yes, you can.

Even though the ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet, you can still enjoy some low-fat foods. You can pair low-fat items with high-fat ingredients like seeds and nuts to bump up the fat content of your meal.


More ketogenic dairy options