The Ketogenic diet involves reducing carbs to almost zero and focuses instead on high fat and high protein foods. Good news for Keto dieters out there—even though many of the things you’re used to eating are no longer allowed, caffeine (from a sugar-free Mocca shot) and black coffee are Keto-friendly!
How Caffeine Affects Ketosis
Caffeine and coffee might be helpful on the Keto diet. Caffeine may help the body raise ketone levels and can support you in staying in ketosis. A recent study showed that Keto dieters who had caffeine with their breakfast had higher levels of ketones in their bloodstream compared to those who didn’t have caffeine with breakfast.
Caffeine may also help lower their hunger levels, which some might find to be helpful when on or transitioning to the Keto diet.
How to Drink Coffee on Keto
Now that we know coffee and caffeine are allowed when following the Keto diet, let’s get to the good stuff, coffee itself. The most important caveat about coffee and keto is that while coffee is keto-friendly, the skim milk and sugar many of us may have used before are not. So, black coffee it is. There are sugar-free sweeteners, like xylitol and stevia that you can use, along with heavy cream, which is low in carbs and high in fat.
A popular way to drink coffee in general, and specifically within the Keto community, is a delicious, rich coffee beverage called Bulletproof Coffee. Bulletproof coffee is a blended coffee with MCT oil and butter. It’s easy to make and falls in the low-carb, high-fat wheelhouse. It’s also good for people who have a hard time eating breakfast because the fats will give your body fuel.
Note: MCT oil is medium-chain triglycerides, or medium-chain fatty acids, and is most often made from coconut oil or palm oil.
12 ounces brewed coffee of preference
2 tablespoons butter or ghee, preferably organic
1 tablespoon MCT oil
Pinch of high-quality salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Or, you can add all ingredients to a coffee mug and use a small, handheld coffee frother. Enjoy while hot!
What Kind of Coffee Drinks aren’t Allowed in Keto?
The only kinds of coffee drinks not allowed in Keto are ones made with carbs. Milk and sugar are the big offenders and put the majority of coffee house drinks off the table when it comes to the Keto diet. For example, an eight-ounce glass of whole milk has 12 carbs, 11 of which are sugar. And many coffee house drinks use a lot more than 8 ounces of milk! A medium mocha, which is a coffee house classic, contains 35 grams of sugar. All of these ingredients are chock full of carbs and would throw someone on the Keto diet out of ketosis.
However, black coffee is golden when it comes to the Keto diet. And, there are options for those of you who can’t drink their coffee black.
1. Heavy cream
½ cup of heavy cream only has 3 carbs in it, making it a great option for those who want their coffee creamy. A tablespoon or two of heavy cream is very low in carbs and has the added benefit of being high in fat.
2. Unsweetened almond milk
Unsweetened almond milk is also appropriate for Keto diets, just be sure to double-check at the coffee house that their almond milk is made without any added sugar.
3. Canned coconut milk
If you’re at home, you can use canned coconut milk or fresh coconut milk in your black coffee. Other types of coconut milk are further refined, giving them a higher carb count, and making them unsuitable for the Keto diet.
For many people though, it’s not the cream, but the sugar they miss in their coffee. Black coffee is a big leap for those of your who prefer your coffee sweet. If you like your coffee sweet, here are some Keto-friendly sweeteners.
This is a natural sweetener that comes from the stevia plant. A nonnutritive sweetener, it contains almost zero calories and carbs. Stevia also may help lower blood sugar levels according to studies. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar, so be sure to use it a little at a time as you find the right level of sweetness.
This is an artificial sweetener and is not digested by the body, so it has zero carbs and calories. You’re probably familiar with the brand, Splenda, which is commercial sucralose. It does contain about 3 calories and 1 gram of carbs per packet.
3. Yacon syrup
This syrup comes from the roots of a popular cultivated tuber called yacon from South America. Rich in fructooligosaccharides, a type of soluble fiber that your body is unable to digest, this sweet syrup is Keto friendly. Yacon also contains a few simple sugars like sucrose, fructose, and glucose. Because a lot of this syrup is indigestible, this gives it one-third the calories of sugar. It has about 20 calories per tablespoon. While it also contains about 11 grams of carbs per tablespoon serving, these carbs don’t affect your blood sugar the way regular sugars do, according to studies. Amazingly, these studies have also found that yacon syrup might help lower blood sugar levels, as well as insulin levels. Enjoy!
Other keto-friendly sweeteners include monk fruit, xylitol, and erythritol.
If your add-ins are Keto-friendly, then caffeine and black coffee are the way to go on the Keto diet. Caffeine might be helpful for ketosis and might reduce hunger. If you’re looking for an easier way to take caffeine than coffee, check out Seattle Gummy’s sugar-free Mocca Shot. With as much caffeine as two cups of strong coffee, it’s loaded with herbs and vitamins that give you steady, clean energy. With resealable pouches and Seattle Gummy’s patented non-melting formula, these gummies can go with you wherever life takes you.