Casein in dairy

Dairy is one of the product-on-list for keto diet.

Although all dairy is based on milk itself, different dairy products are not the same thing.

Casein is the main protein in milk.

From the one hand, it is a source of protein, from the other – a kind of a substance which may cause intolerance, allergies, indigestion, weight gain, arthritis, other inflammations and most likely an addiction due to casomorphin (an opioid peptide derived from the digestion of the milk protein casein).

Here is a brief list of dairy products with high-to-low concentration of casein.

List of dairy products with casein (high to low concentration)

  • Cheddar
    • When milk is converted to cheddar, the protein content multiplies 7-fold, to 56 grams. It’s the most concentrated form of casein in any dairy food (1)
  • Other cheeses
  • Cottage cheese
    • It is more protein-dense than milk, with 1 cup containing almost 27 grams of protein, giving it a higher casein content than you’d get in milk (2)
  • Greek yogurt
    • The majority of the protein in Greek yogurt is casein. The other well-known milk protein, whey, is more liquid, and it is removed in making Greek yogurt to create a thicker, dryer yogurt (3)
  • Other yogurts
  • Milk
    • a cup of milk contains 7.7 grams of protein, 80% of which is casein
  • Cream
  • Sour cream
  • Heavy cream
  • Butter
  • Ghee butter
    • Different ghees do vary, not only in flavor, but in quality. Very pure ghee (99 -99.5% pure butter oil) may still have trace amounts of casein and lactose remaining, but unless a person is extremely sensitive, it will normally not cause problems, even if other dairy does (4).

Very high-fat dairy products such as heavy cream and butter contain almost no casein


  1. This Is Your Brain On Cheese by Michael Pellman Rowland, Jun 26, 2017 on
  2. Where Is Casein Protein Found Naturally? By Mike Samuels, December 27, 2018, on
  3. Is Greek yogurt a good source of protein? Reviewed and edited by Tod Cooperman, M.D., last updated: 05/09/2019, on
  4. Dairy Intolerance, Pure Indian Foods Corporation, available online:,even%20if%20other%20dairy%20does.

The conclusions drawn and the assessment of the health benefits/risks are restricted to information appearing in the scientific literature and online sources

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