The keto diet prioritizes fresh, whole foods like meat, fish, and veggies.
But sometimes preparing everything from scratch isn’t practical. Busy schedules, travel, and other aspects of life can get in the way of a home-cooked meal.
Keto meal replacement shakes are a great way to stick to a keto diet when you don’t have time to make food at home.
Here’s a look at the top keto meal replacement shakes, how to choose a quality keto meal shake, and where to buy low-carb meal replacements to make the keto diet easier.
The 3 Best Keto Meal Replacement Shakes
These five meal replacement shakes have good macronutrient ratios and quality ingredients that fit into a keto diet.
1. Perfect Keto Whey Protein with MCTs
Our grass-fed keto whey protein powder uses high-quality ingredients that are tailored for a ketogenic diet.
Whey protein absorbs quickly and completely. It’s one of the most bioavailable proteins in the world[*], making it an ideal choice for a meal replacement.
Our keto protein powder also contains five grams of medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil powder, a healthy fat that suppresses appetite[*] and speeds up your metabolism[*]. Replacing other fat in your diet with MCT oil can help you lose weight[*] and keep you full for several hours.
Finally, Perfect Keto whey protein powder contains essential minerals like calcium, phosphorous, sodium, and potassium, all of which provide additional nutrient density. It comes in vanilla and chocolate flavors and is sweetened with stevia to avoid the digestive distress some experience with sugar alcohols. Just add water and you have a complete meal in seconds.
Fat: 4g (plus 5g MCTs)
Net Carbs: 1g
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2. Ketologie Keto Protein Shake
Ketologie protein shakes have four main ingredients:
- Coconut oil powder provides saturated fat that keeps you full and fits keto macros.
- Collagen protein is a high-quality protein that provides satiety. It’s also good for keeping your skin hydrated and wrinkle-free[*].
- Soluble corn fiber acts as a thickener and feeds healthy gut bacteria[*].
- Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that acts as a low-carb sweetener.
Ketologie shakes taste good and are 75% fat by calories. They contain high fat, moderate protein, and zero net carbs, so they’ll fit well into any keto diet.
Be aware that corn fiber and erythritol can cause digestive distress in some people. If you have a sensitive stomach, you may want to pass on Ketologie and choose another shake from this list.
Net Carbs: 0g
3. Ample K
Ample K is a nutritionally complete keto meal replacement shake made with non-GMO real food ingredients. It contains a mix of fats from macadamia nut oil, high-oleic sunflower oil, coconut oil, and MCT oil, which gives it a stellar fatty acid profile.
It also contains a mix of grass-fed whey protein and pea protein, as well as a variety of essential nutrients designed to replicate a healthy meal.
Finally, Ample K contains both prebiotic fiber and a probiotic blend designed to build healthy gut bacteria.
Ample K is more expensive than the other keto shakes on this list. The trade-off is that it uses real food ingredients and has a nutritional profile that replicates a full meal.
Net Carbs: 1g
How to Choose Keto Shakes and Smoothies
There are a few things to look for in a good keto meal replacement shake.
A meal shake should be as filling as an actual meal. Generally, that means one of two things:
- The shake should have enough calories to fill you up, or
- It should contain appetite-suppressing ingredients.
Appetite-suppressing ingredients include MCT oil[*], beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)[*], high protein[*], and high dietary fiber[*].
Your meal replacement shake should have a ketogenic macronutrient ratio — the ratio of fat, carbs, and protein.
Look for a meal that’s about 75% fat (by calories), 20% protein, and <5% carbs.
If the shake doesn’t taste good, you won’t drink it. Find something that has great taste and a texture you enjoy.
Avoid low-quality ingredients like:
- Artificial sweeteners. These include sucralose, acesulfame-potassium, aspartame, and saccharin.
- Artificial colors and flavors. Stay away from artificial colors like red 40, yellow 6, blue 1, and so on. You’ll also want to avoid anything that lists “artificial flavors” on the ingredient label.
- Vegetable oils. Canola, sunflower, soybean, and corn oil are the most common vegetable oils. They’re all high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are inflammatory and are already too common in most people’s diets[*].
Instead, look for shakes that contain mostly natural ingredients.
Benefits of Keto Shakes
The main benefit of keto meal replacement shakes is convenience. They’re easy to take with you and ensure that you always have a keto meal, even if there are no low-carb options nearby.
While keto prioritizes whole foods and nutrient density, sometimes it’s useful to have something that will help you maintain your keto lifestyle without having to make food from scratch or find a keto-friendly restaurant.
Drawbacks of Keto Shakes
The biggest drawback of keto shakes is that they rarely match the nutrient density of a real meal. Real food is generally going to be better for you than a meal replacement shake, both in terms of taste and nutrition.
However, there’s nothing wrong with drinking keto shakes a few times a week, as long as you’re eating good food the rest of the time.
Where to Buy Ketogenic Meal Replacement Shakes
Keto shakes are becoming increasingly easy to find. As keto grows in popularity, most major retailers sell some kind of keto meal replacement. Places to check include:
- Whole Foods
You can also order keto shakes on Amazon.
Meal replacement shakes are a convenient way to get a meal on the go. While they aren’t as nutrient-dense as real food, they’re great for traveling, lunch at the office, and other situations where you may not have access to keto-friendly food.