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How to Incorporate Coffee Into Your Keto Diet?

23 June 2021
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Being on a ketogenic diet doesn’t mean having to give up coffee. By making careful choices on what you add into your coffee, you can continue enjoying your daily brew while keeping to your low-carb, high-fat keto diet.

The biggest tip for coffee lovers on a keto diet is to avoid high-carb additions such regular milk, sweetened creamers, sugar, honey, and standard flavouring syrups.

If it sounds like all is lost, don’t worry! Here are eight easy ways to prepare keto-friendly coffee.

Drink it Black

a cup of black coffee
Go back to basics with a cup of good black coffee. Photo from Michael C.

Drinking your coffee without any additions is a sure way to keep it calorie free, fitting right in with a ketogenic diet. It’s also great for weight control. Black coffee contains chlorogenic acid, which helps to lower glucose and insulin levels in our body.

Having coffee without sugar and cream also boosts your metabolic rate. This is why many people love to drink black coffee before hitting the gym — they get to burn more calories during their workout session.

Black coffee is full of antioxidants such as vitamins B2, B3, B5, plus manganese, potassium and magnesium. Research suggests that black coffee, consumed in moderation, offers multiple health benefits, which include:

  • Improving your memory
  • Cleansing your stomach
  • Reducing your risk of cancer
  • Lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes

If you’re concerned about black coffee being too strong or bitter tasting, read our beginner’s guide on how to appreciate black coffee for tips and tricks on how to gradually transition to drinking coffee in its purest form.

Be sure to also check out our range of high-quality Arabica coffee beans to help you brew that flavourful cup of black coffee.

Make it Bulletproof

slices of butter on a cutting board
Make a cup of bulletproof coffee by adding grass-fed unsalted butter and MCT coconut oil into your coffee. Photo from Sorin Gheorghita.

By Bulletproof, we mean: add grass-fed unsalted butter and medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil into your coffee.

The butter, which is high in fat, will help promote satiety and keep you feeling full for longer. The MCT oil will be converted into ketones, thus helping you burn fats (i.e. ketosis) while providing energy.

Made popular by Bulletproof Diet creator Dave Asprey, bulletproof coffee is typically intended to replace breakfast. However, we’ll add a word of caution that it’s probably best to moderate your intake and not to drink bulletproof coffee every morning. Potential downsides include the high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, especially if you consume it frequently.

Add Heavy Cream

Since keto diets are about high-fat foods, heavy cream happily ticks that checkbox. Heavy cream not only adds a delicious richness to your coffee, but it’s also full of essential minerals and contains important fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Be careful not to confuse heavy cream with whipping cream, which is lower in fat. Heavy cream contains at least 36% milkfat, while whipping cream contains anywhere between 30% to 35% milkfat.

Add Sugar-free and Low-carb Plant-based Milk

almonds falling into a cup of milk
Regular milk is no go in a keto diet because of its carb and sugar contents from lactose, but you can still consider adding plant-based milk into your coffee. Photo from Austin Wilcox.

If you like milk in your coffee, you can substitute regular milk with plant-based milk, such as almond milk, coconut milk, or cashew milk. The problem with regular dairy milk is that it’s packed with carbs and sugar from the lactose, and therefore isn’t a great fit for ketogenic diets.

That’s why unsweetened, low-carb plant-based milk makes a more keto-friendly addition to your cup of java. Take care to read the labels of plant-based milks to check for any artificial ingredients, fillers, or hidden sugars.

We’ve put together a handy guide on how to choose a plant-based milk to accompany your daily brew. Plant-based milk varies greatly in nutritional content, texture, flavour and aroma, so be sure to educate yourself before choosing one.

Add Unsweetened Plant-based Creamers

Instead of milk and sugar, you can add unsweetened plant-based creamers or other types of keto-approved coffee creamers sold by specific brands. These are usually made with heavy cream, soy, coconut milk or almond milk.

What’s the difference between plant-based creamers and plant-based milk, you may ask. Plant-based creamers are usually more concentrated, thicker, and less watery. Manufacturers are also getting very creative with their plant-based creamers by including superfoods, using only sustainably sourced ingredients, and marketing themselves as organic, GMO-free, and the likes.

Add Zero-calorie Sweeteners, Such as Stevia and Erythritol

stevia leaves
Look for stevia extracts as a healthier replacement for sugar. Photo from Pixabay.

Another substitute for sugar are zero-calorie natural sweeteners such as stevia and erythritol, which you can easily find in the health food sections of supermarkets.

Both stevia and erythritol are zero- or near zero-calories. Stevia is a plant originating from South America, and has been used as a sweetener for hundreds of years. Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that contains only 0.2cal/g — much lower compared to 4.0cal/g of normal sugar.

Add Sugar-free Flavouring Syrups

a cup of coffee
Love coffee and following the keto diet? No problem, there’s so many ways to flavour your coffee other than using sugar or regular milk. Photo from Insung Yoon.

If black coffee isn’t up your alley, you can enrich your coffee with sugar-free flavouring syrups. Some brands manufacture vanilla, caramel, and hazelnut keto-friendly syrups, which you can consider adding into your keto-friendly coffee. They’re a fun way to innovate with coffee flavours while staying in ketosis. Win!

Add Spices

a cup of coffee with cinnamon sticks resting on the edge
Spices are an incredibly simple way to flavour your coffee. Photo from Vanesa Conunaese.

Lastly, another way to jazz up your coffee without adding carbs is to simply flavour it with spices. Mixing up your coffee with spices will take some experimenting to see what types of notes you love most in your brew.

Some popular suggestions include cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and star anise. Add one spice at a time, or try a combination. A little goes a long way. For best results, always use fresh, high-quality spices – just in the same way that freshly roasted coffee beans ensure a perfect cup of coffee.

Enjoy the Best of Both Worlds

Being more conscious of your calorie intake as part of observing a ketogenic diet doesn’t mean having to give up good ol’ coffee.

If you’ve always loved having milk, sugar or creamer in your coffee, there are many low-carb substitutes you can choose from. Which keto-friendly coffee will you mix today?

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