Billions of people worldwide start their day with a hot cup of coffee, and many more drink it throughout the day.
After all, who doesn't love a drink that tastes and smells good?
But you can't risk drinking coffee when you're on a keto diet, at least not until you know it's keto-friendly. Because everyone knows eating or drinking something remotely diet unfriendly can set you way back, and nobody wants that.
So, is coffee keto friendly?
Well, there's no straight answer to this. It isn't exactly coffee that's keto-unfriendly, but its ingredients; Coffee is a healthy drink, but it can be dangerous for ketoers depending on what is in it.
But you can drink coffee on a keto diet, which despite its reputation is actually pretty healthy. However, a spoonful of the wrong ingredient can mess up your keto diet, even if coffee itself is safe.
So the short answer is, yes, coffee can be keto. But there are a lot of no-nos with coffee on a keto diet, so let's discuss this in a little more detail:
Is Coffee Keto Friendly?
Yes, coffee is keto friendly, and you can happily gulp down a cup or two every day.
Now, I know what you're thinking; most sources will tell you coffee can be dangerous on a keto diet. You weren't duped; coffee can be dangerous, but only if you use ingredients harmful to a keto diet.
It's a low-calorie and carb-free beverage, so coffee is a great drink for a ketoer on its own.
Nutritional Profile of Coffee
Let's take a quick look at the nutritional profile of coffee:
|Nutritional Component||Nutritional Value (in 8 fl oz/237 grams)||Daily Value %|
|Total fat | Saturated fat | Trans fat | Polyunsaturated fat | Monounsaturated fat |||0.1 gram 0 gram 0 gram 0 gram 0 gram||0%|
|Total Carbohydrates | Dietary fiber | Sugar||0 gram 0 gram 0 gram||0%|
|Sodium | Calcium | Iron | Potassium |||4.7 milligrams 5 milligrams 0 milligram 116 milligrams||2%|
|Vitamin D||0 microgram||0%|
The table shows us why coffee is a great drink on a keto diet; it has zero carbs and a healthy protein count.
One of the best things about coffee is that you can enjoy it in more than just one way. You can drink your coffee iced, hot, or black with creamer, chocolate, and different add-ons.
But while coffee is a great drink, it can disrupt a keto diet if you use sugar, creamer, or any other ingredients nutritionists advise against for ketoers.
What Makes Coffee Keto Unfriendly?
Pure coffee is keto friendly, but mixed with the wrong ingredients can disrupt the keto diet. Let's look at the common ingredients in coffee that make it unsuitable for keto:
You can't have too much sugar when on a keto diet. Most dieticians recommend cutting down sugar when ketoing, so mixing it with coffee can negatively impact your diet.
You can use keto friendly sugar substitutes like Bonvia or erythritol with your coffee, but it's best to avoid sugar completely.
Not all creamers are keto unfriendly, but most of them are. You can safely assume most creamers used at coffee houses and cafes are not keto friendly, so it's best to take your coffee without a creamer.
However, you can drink coffee with a creamer made from keto friendly ingredients.
Dairy milk is high in carbs, so it isn't keto friendly. Coffee added with dairy milk can set back your diet, but you can always get your coffee black or use a keto friendly milk substitute.
Flavored syrups used by coffee houses are mostly unsuitable for a keto diet because they are loaded with sugar and artificial flavoring. It's quite rare for the coffee syrup to be keto friendly, so it's best to avoid them when you're on the diet.
It's a no brainer why a coffee lover would want to continue drinking the beverage, but those who don't drink coffee as regularly wonder why even try it on the keto diet.
The reason many ketoers continue coffee isn't only because it's tasty, but it has great benefits too. Let's look at a couple of them:
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, boosting energy and reducing fatigue. Caffeine also boosts dopamine, a neurotransmitter that boosts mood and reduces stress.
Numerous studies suggest drinking coffee supports brain health and reduces the risk of diseases like dementia.
Coffee does not burn fat, but the caffeine in it stimulates the gut, enhancing its digestive ability. Drinking coffee regulates and boosts digestion, helping drinkers reduce or manage weight.
Many studies suggest coffee improves overall health, reducing the risk of developing diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Coffee protects the liver and heart, effectively preventing disease. People suffering from liver cirrhosis or hepatitis C are more likely to fight the disease if they drink coffee.
Pure coffee is a healthy drink for ketoer, but not every type of coffee is keto friendly. Let's discuss the most common types of coffee served at cafes and coffee houses and if they're keto friendly:
Espresso topped with water is an Americano. Hundreds of people drink Americano, but a ketoer will worry about it being keto unfriendly.
Luckily, an Americano has essentially no carbs since it's just water and espresso, so it's keto friendly.
Affogato is a delicious espresso and ice cream drink loved by many.
Unfortunately, affogato isn't keto friendly unless it's prepared by adding keto-friendly ice creams.
Black is just coffee with no sugar or creamer. Luckily for ketoers, black coffee is keto friendly.
Cappuccino is made by adding espresso, steamed milk, and foam. Although espresso can be keto friendly, steamed milk might not be a good choice for someone who's ketoing.
However, you can drink cappuccino if it's made from keto friendly steamed milk and espresso.
Espresso has little to no carbs, so it's keto friendly.
Flat white contains espresso and steamed milk. Flat white can be keto friendly if made from keto friendly milk.
Luckily, you can get keto friendly flat white at multiple coffee franchises.
Irish coffee contains sugar, whiskey, coffee, and cream.
Although pure whiskey is keto friendly, sugar and cream are no-nos for ketoer, so you can't drink an Irish coffee.
Once again, a latte (espresso and steamed milk) can be keto-friendly if made from keto friendly milk.
Mocha contains steamed milk, espresso, and chocolate. You can use keto friendly milk to make mocha, but whether or not the drink is keto friendly depends on the type and serving of chocolate.
Chocolate contains carbs, so it isn't purely keto friendly. And although dark chocolate has fewer carbs and is a healthier alternative, more than an ounce of it could exceed a ketoer's limit.
Most mocha recipes call for at least a tablespoon of chocolate syrup or cocoa powder.
Chocolate syrup isn't the best idea since the added sugar makes it keto unfriendly.
But even using a tablespoon of cocoa powder can be too much chocolate for a single serving, so mocha isn't the best coffee drink for a ketoer.
I've already mentioned before that most creamers aren't keto friendly, so you should avoid it on the diet.
However, this doesn't mean all coffee creamers are keto unfriendly; many coffee franchises offer keto friendly menus, and you can always use a keto friendly creamer.
You just have to know if the creamer you're using is keto friendly.
Unfortunately, most syrups contain keto unfriendly additives like sugar and artificial flavorings, so coffee with syrups isn't keto friendly.
However, some syrup brands market as keto friendly, so you can use them in your coffee.
It is safe to assume the syrupy coffee you're buying is keto unfriendly unless you know the coffee house is using keto friendly syrups.
You might have heard about bulletproof coffee, but what even is it?
Bulletproof coffee is an original keto friendly coffee recipe, so it's every ketoing coffee lover's dream.
Bulletproof coffee contains MCT oil, pure coffee, and keto-friendly butter.
Black coffee is keto friendly, but it has one downside: it has no fat whatsoever.
Keto beginners forget they should take a high-fat diet in addition to reducing their carbs. Since black coffee has no carbs or fat, it isn't completely ideal for a ketoer.
Bulletproof coffee has no carbs but loads of fat, so you're helping your body keto as you drink it. Most bulletproof coffee recipes contain pure butter, MCT oil, and forego milk, but you can add keto friendly milk substitutes.
Not all Starbucks coffees are keto friendly, but it offers a couple on its menu; you just have to know what to order.
Ordering a simple coffee but adding sugary syrups or creamers can make your coffee keto-unfriendly. It's best to inform the barista you're ketoing even when you order Starbucks' keto-friendly coffees, so you don't consume carbs.
Here are a couple of Starbucks drinks that are keto-friendly:
Freshly brewed coffee is keto friendly, and you can ask Starbucks to replace any keto-unfriendly ingredients with diet-friendly ones.
For example, you can request almond milk instead of dairy milk if you like your brewed coffee with milk. Starbucks may not have a low-carb creamer, but you can always confirm with your barista.
Caffe Misto contains brewed coffee and steamed milk, so you can request it made from almond milk for a keto-friendly version.
Order your coffee like usual but ask your local Starbucks if they have keto-friendly creamers.
You can ask for the creamer if it's keto-friendly or skip it. Ask for Starbucks' sugar-free syrups in your drink instead.
Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do if your local Starbucks doesn't have keto-friendly substitutes.
Keto Friendly Coffee Recipes
You can always make keto-friendly coffee:
This easy bulletproof recipe makes a delicious, frothy keto-friendly coffee:
- 1 cup brewed Bulletproof coffee
- 1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter (you can use 1-2 teaspoons ghee instead)
- 1 teaspoon Brain octane C8 MCT Oil
- Brew your bulletproof coffee
- Mix in the unsalted butter and MCT oil
- Blend thoroughly until you get a creamy, frothy texture
Keto Friendly Coffee Recipe
You don't have to make bulletproof coffee; you can make regular coffee by adding keto-friendly ingredients.
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- Almond milk (as required)
- 1 teaspoon MCT oil or Coconut Oil
- 1-2 drops Stevia or Erythritol
- Brew your coffee
- Add in almond milk, coconut oil, and your favorite keto-friendly sweetener
- Blend till frothy
Is coffee keto friendly?
Coffee is keto friendly but might disrupt your diet if mixed with keto-unfriendly ingredients like syrup, creamers, and sugar.
Most coffee creamers and syrups are keto-unfriendly because they contain carbs and a high sugar concentration. However, you can now buy keto friendly creamers and sugar from Amazon.
Coffee houses like Starbucks don't exclusively serve keto friendly coffee, but you can request keto-friendly ingredients like almond milk and sugar-free syrup in your drink.
You can also make a keto friendly Bulletproof coffee at home.
If you'd like to learn more about keto friendly foods, please click on one of the links below: