Why Coffee is so Keto
Going keto means giving up a lot of things, but coffee isn’t one of them.
In fact, black coffee is one of the most keto-friendly beverages out there, containing just two calories per cup and zero carbs.
But black alone is far from the only java option for you keto lovers out there.
Keto Primer: Coffees That Do (and Don’t) Work
Ok, quick keto refresher for the uninitiated.Remember the old-school food pyramid that advised you to get most of your calories from grains (carbohydrates), then protein, and then a little bit of fat?
The keto diet flips that approach on its head.
On a keto eating plan, you get up to 60 percent of your calories from fat, with protein making up the bulk of your remaining calories, and only 10% or so of your total intake coming from carbs.
The result is sort of a metabolic Twilight Zone.
Your body, which typically operates on glucose (carbs) for energy, has to adapt.
Eventually, it goes into a state of ketosis, where your liver converts the fat you consume into fatty acids and ketones — compounds the body can use to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is what your body uses for energy.
What happens next varies from person to person. Some experience not-so-great symptoms that have come to be known as “keto flu.” Others say that reaching ketosis helps them experience greater mental clarity, feel more energetic, and achieve faster weight loss.
The thing about ketosis: Once you achieve it, you have to stay in it. That means maintaining a low carb intake every single day. For a person on a typical 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, you’re talking about 50 to 75 grams of carbohydrates total per day.
So those sugary drinks are out. Same for sodas and energy drinks. They all pack enough carbs to kick your system back to running on low-octane glucose.
If you love black coffee, though, you’re fine. Caffeinate away.
But here’s the even better news: There are plenty of ways you can make keto-friendly coffees that are crazy delicious. In fact, the high fat intake required by a keto diet makes it possible to turn your morning beverage into what might be your new favorite meal of the day.
What's the Original Keto Coffee?
If you like the idea of having a latte in the morning that will keep you full until lunch, then this is the recipe for you. It’s full of healthy fats and MCT oil. As we’ve discussed elsewhere on the site, because of the high calorie load, it’s a good option if you’re active but not so much if not.
The recipe can basically serve as the template for many other keto coffee combinations, consisting of:
- 1 cup coffee (may we suggest the World’s Strongest Coffee?)
- 1-2 tablespoons of healthy fat (MCT Oil, Coconut Oil)
- 1-2 tablespoons keto-friendly creamer
- Non-caloric sweetener (optional)
- Other non-caloric flavor enhancers (optional)
What Healthy Fat Sources are Good for Keto Coffee?
Most people add some type of healthy fat to keto coffee. This is separate from the creamers, which we’ll discuss later. These options increase the overall caloric load, so be careful -- you’ll want to measure what you’re using.
Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT comes in an oil that you can add to your coffee. These fats are easier for the body to digest and can have a great impact on your overall health.
Much like the above two, coconut oil is rich with healthy fats for your morning (liquid) meal. You will need to like the taste of coconut, but if you do, then it can make your coffee new and flavorful for days to come.
Grass-fed butter is a great way to add those healthy fats to your coffee without turning it into a light-colored latte. Don't worry, the fat will melt right in, and you might not even notice the difference. (Related: Why Butter in Your Coffee is Better for You Than You Think.)
What Coffee Creamers are Keto-Friendly?
A lot of creamers are very high in sugar. Many are surprised to learn this includes milk, which contains 12 grams of sugar (lactose) per cup, making it a no-no when it comes to Keto. But there are other options, including dairy options.
Heavy whipping cream
As long as you get the real stuff (check for low or no sugar and high fat), you'll be sailing in clear keto-friendly waters.
Since almond milk is made from water and almonds, you don't have to worry about the sugars that come from regular milk. Just make sure to get the unsweetened version.
Once again, the key thing here is to opt for the unsweetened version. A lot of coconut milk options will have a vanilla flavor -- and come loaded with a lot of extra sugar as a result. Steer clear of those and you’ll find coconut milk provides a tasty, creamy texture.
Ghee is what you could almost call a concentrated butter. It happens when you melt and separate the butter, concentrating the fat further. As a fat-based creamer, this is a totally okay keto option for your morning coffee.
What Sweeteners Are Okay on the Keto Diet?
So your coffee is creamy, but you still want something a bit sweet in your coffee. Are there any options for you? Indeed there are...
For those who love sugar, Stevia is a good option. It’s low-glycemic, non-caloric, and provides a natural-feeling sweetness to any drink.
Other artificial sweeteners
Think of the blue, pink and yellow packets at your local diner, which contain aspartame (Equal), saccharin (Sweet ‘n’ Low) or Splenda.
They get a bad name because people hear “artificial” and then freak out. But the science on whether or not there’s actually a problem with them is all over the place. And if you’re trying to stay on the keto path, they’ll help.
What else can you put in keto coffee?
Really, you can add almost anything to keto coffee so long as the ingredients are without carbs or sugar. Some common go-to’s include:
This protein supplement provides amino acids that can be helpful for skin, bone, joints and ligaments.
Cocoa powder isn’t a "sweetener," but it can add a rich flavor that makes your keto coffee a little reminiscent of hot chocolate, only a more badass version of one.
A dusting of cinnamon is nearly calorie-free, and the spice is beneficial for many reasons, including positive effects on blood sugar.
Vanilla extract does have 1.6 grams of sugar per tablespoon, so mind your measurements.
Salt (Including Himalayan Pink Salt)
If you’re more savory than sweet, by all means, indulge.
Introducing: The World’s Fastest Keto Latte
Making a delicious keto-friendly latte at home doesn’t need to be a big production. In fact, you can put one together in less than 5 minutes. All you need are:
- Mason Jar
- Hand Blender
- 1 cup freshly brewed Death Wish Coffee
- 1-2 ounces almond milk
- 1 packet stevia
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- Place coconut oil and almond milk into mason jar.
- Microwave the mix for 20-30 seconds, or until oil is melted.
- Remove mix from microwave and use hand blander to froth for 30-60 seconds.
- Pour the frothy goodness into your coffee.
- Sip and enjoy.
- Mixing and Prep: 2 minutes
- Microwave time: 1 minute (or less)
- Frothing: 1 minute
- Total Time: 4 minutes
Want to Try a Keto Cold Brew?
We’ve got you covered. Check out this delicious recipe.