Is Milk Powder Keto?

Milk powder, also known as dried milk, is a dairy product made by evaporating milk to dryness. It is a convenient way to store and transport milk without needing refrigeration.

Is Milk Powder Keto

But is milk powder keto-friendly? Let's take a closer look.

How Milk Powder is Made

Milk powder is made by spray drying liquid milk. This involves heating the milk to evaporate almost all the water content, leaving behind only the milk solids. These solids are then turned into a fine powder.

There are two main types of milk powder:

  • Skim milk powder - Made from skimmed milk, so the fat content is very low.
  • Whole milk powder - Made from whole milk, so it retains all the natural fat from the original milk.

The nutrition content varies between the two types. Skim milk powder is higher in carbs and protein, while whole milk powder is higher in fat.

Carb Content of Milk Powder

When determining if a food is keto-friendly, the carb content is the most important factor.

Let's compare the carb content in milk powder versus fresh milk:

FoodCarbs per 100g
Fresh whole milk4.8g
Whole milk powder52.8g
Fresh skim milk5.1g
Skim milk powder52.2g

As you can see, converting the milk to powder form concentrates the carbs, increasing the carb density over 10 times.

This concentration occurs because the water is removed during the drying process. So you get a lot more carbs in every gram of powder compared to liquid milk.

Is Milk Powder Keto?

Given the high carb content, milk powder is generally not considered keto-friendly.

To stay in ketosis on a standard keto diet, you need to keep net carbs under 50g per day. With over 50g carbs in every 100g, powdered milk can easily push you over this limit.

However, you may be able to incorporate small amounts of milk powder sparingly in a keto diet. For example, using 1-2 teaspoons of powder mixed into coffee or smoothies. But it should not be a regular staple.

Whole milk powder may be slightly better tolerated than skim milk powder since the higher fat content means proportionally less carbs. But both types are still quite high-carb options.

Alternatives to Milk Powder on Keto

If you want to add a milk-like flavor or creaminess to drinks, there are some better keto-friendly options than milk powder:

  • Heavy cream - Very low carb and high fat. Can be whipped into drinks.
  • Coconut milk - Much lower carb than dairy milk. Sold canned or in cartons.
  • Nut milks - Milk made from nuts like almonds or cashews. Choose unsweetened.
  • MCT oil powder - Provides creamy texture and healthy fats. Mixes easily into liquids.

These all contain far fewer carbs than milk powder, ranging from less than 1g carbs to around 5g carbs per serving.

Using Milk Powder in Keto Recipes

If you really want to use milk powder in a recipe, there are some tips to make it more keto-friendly:

  • Use whole milk powder - Has a better nutritional profile with more fat and less carbs.
  • Limit the amount - Add only 1-2 tablespoons per recipe max.
  • Account for carbs - Be sure to count the carb contribution in your daily totals.
  • Pair with low carb ingredients - Combine it with foods like eggs, meats, non-starchy veggies.

With these precautions, using small amounts may be possible without kicking you out of ketosis.

But there are usually better alternatives than milk powder when cooking keto recipes. Replacing it with heavy cream, coconut milk, or nut-based milks will provide fewer carbs and more fat.

Benefits of Milk Powder

Though high in carbs, milk powder still offers some nutritional benefits:

  • Convenience - No refrigeration needed and easy to transport.
  • Long shelf life - Keeps for months or years when stored properly in an airtight container.
  • Nutrients - Provides calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, D, B2 and B12. Amounts vary based on milk type used.
  • Adds flavor and texture - Can lend a creamy, rich taste and thickness when added to recipes.

So while milk powder may not be the best choice on keto, it can fill a purpose in some cases if used judiciously.

Key Takeaway: Milk powder is too high in carbs to be keto-friendly in larger amounts. Small servings may be tolerated, but heavy cream, nut milks, coconut milk, and MCT powder make better alternatives. Limit milk powder or account for the carbs if including it in keto recipes.

FAQ about Milk Powder on Keto

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about whether milk powder can fit into the keto diet:

Is skim milk powder keto?

No. Skim milk powder has over 50g net carbs per 100g, so it does not fit a keto diet. Plus it is lower in healthy fats compared to whole milk powder.

Is whole milk powder keto?

Not usually. While it is lower carb than skim milk powder, at over 50g net carbs per 100g it can easily break ketosis. Very small servings may be okay occasionally.

Can you use milk powder in keto smoothies?

Using 1-2 teaspoons of milk powder in a keto smoothie is unlikely to kick you out of ketosis. But nut milks, coconut milk, or heavy cream are better options with fewer carbs per serving.

What can you use instead of milk powder in keto recipes?

Some good milk powder substitutes include heavy whipping cream, unsweetened coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, cashew milk, and MCT oil powder.

Can you drink milk powder on keto?

Drinking milk powder straight or reconstituted into liquid milk is not recommended on keto. The carb count for a full glass will almost certainly exceed keto limits. Nut milks or coconut milk work better.

Is sweetened condensed milk keto?

No. Sweetened condensed milk has extremely high carb and sugar levels. Just 1/3 cup contains 40g net carbs, so should be avoided on keto.

So in summary, keto dieters should approach milk powder with caution. Low-carb dairy or nut-based alternatives tend to work better for staying in ketosis. Use milk powder minimally or account for the carbs.

Key Takeaway: Both skim and whole milk powders are too high in carbs for keto. Small amounts may work, but nut milks, coconut milk, heavy cream or MCT powders are better alternatives with fewer carbs per serving.


While extremely convenient, milk powder comes with a trade-off on the keto diet. Removing the water significantly concentrates the carbs compared to fresh fluid milk.

This gives milk powder over 50g net carbs per 100g, regardless of whether made from skim or whole milk. This level surpasses the 50g daily limit on the keto diet.

So milk powder generally doesn't qualify as a keto-friendly food. Occasionally using tiny servings may stay within limits, but it shouldn't become a regular staple.

For best results on keto, opt for lower-carb nut milks, coconut milk products, heavy cream or MCT powders instead. These provide plenty of richness and creaminess, without spiking carbs excessively.

If you do decide to try recipes with milk powder, be sure to carefully account for the carbs. And combine it with low-carb foods like non-starchy vegetables and high-fat dairy items.

Key Takeaway: Milk powder contains over 50g net carbs per 100g, exceeding keto limits. Small servings might work, but keto dieters should mainly choose lower-carb nut milks, coconut milk, heavy cream or MCT powder instead.

Sarah Cortez
Sarah Cortez

My name is Sarah and I'm a baker who loves trying out new recipes and flavor combinations. I decided to challenge myself to use a new spice or ingredient powder in my baking each week for a year. Some successes were the cardamom sugar cookies, vivid turmeric cake, and beetroot chocolate cupcakes. Failures included the bitter neem brownies and overwhelmingly hot ghost pepper snickerdoodles. Through this experience I've discovered amazing additions to spice up desserts while learning how to balance strong flavors. Follow my journey as I push the boundaries of baking with unique powders!

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