When you’re on the keto diet, there are a number of familiar foods that you simply have to avoid if you want to continue experiencing rapid weight loss and the health benefits of ketosis. Unfortunately, even one sugary “cheat” can kick you out of ketosis and slow your progress.
This is why it is crucial to replace those sugar-filled coffee additions — such as coffee creamer
s, milk, and table sugar — with keto-friendly substitutes that give you all the flavors and textures you love in your coffee. There are even options for ordering keto drinks at Starbucks when you are on the go.
In this guide, we will show what ingredients to avoid and what keto coffee creamer options to look for so you can make a delicious cup of keto coffee in the comfort of your own home.
What to Limit and Avoid for a Healthier, Low Carb Coffee
When you make the change to a ketogenic diet, you want to pay careful attention to what goes into your drinks, especially coffee. Though black coffee is keto-friendly, the ingredients that are commonly added to it are not.
Even a teaspoon of sugar with a dash of milk will add roughly 5 grams of net carbs to your morning beverage. Popular coffee creamers aren’t any better, containing an average of 5 grams of added sugars per serving.
Though it is possible to follow the keto diet with these additives, these 5 grams of net carbs will make was once a healthy, ketosis-promoting drink into another difficult hurdle you have to jump over while adapting to your new lifestyle. This is why it is so important to pay attention to what goes into your coffee, especially the following ingredients:
- All common varieties of milk will add carbs to your coffee. The lowest net carb option is whole milk, which adds ~1 gram of net carbs per tablespoon. Most keto dieters opt for heavy cream instead.
- Added sugars. It is best to avoid using table sugar or any products with sugar as an ingredient. Even small amounts of simple sugars can decrease ketone production.
- Conventional coffee creamer products. This includes Coffee mate creamer and other flavored creamer products that have added sugars.
- Artificial sweeteners. Some people may experience an upset stomach and mild headaches after consuming common artificial sweeteners.
- Single-serving packets of sugar-free sweeteners. Single-serving sweetener packets tend to contain carb-ridden fillers like maltodextrin and dextrose.
- Chemical thickeners, stabilizers, and preservatives. In small doses, these common coffee creamer additives are typically safe. For some individuals, however, these can cause digestive discomfort.
To ensure that what you are drinking is healthy and keto-friendly, we recommend avoiding these common coffee additives and using the strategies below.
Strategies for Keeping Your Coffee Keto-Friendly
There are several simple switches and strategies you can use to turn any of your favorite sugar-filled beverages into a ketosis-promoting drink that is healthy and delicious. To help you find your favorite keto coffee combination, try some of these strategies:
Try Ketoproof Coffee
Blending butter and oil into your coffee may sound ridiculous at first, but it is worth drinking at least once while you are on keto. Many keto dieters have tried it and will never go back to the heavily sweetened beverages of morning’s past.
Not only is ketoproof coffee rich and satisfyingly creamy, but it provides you with the fat you need to stay energized and focused throughout the day without the need for a snack.
Use Keto-Friendly Alternatives to Sweetener
For many of us, coffee is just too bitter to enjoy on its own. If you want to add some sweetness without adding any net carbs, try using low-carb alternative sweeteners. Pure monk fruit extract and stevia extract, for example, are natural zero-carb sources of sweet that won’t cause a jump in insulin levels.
Always make sure you have a solid understanding of what’s going into your sweetener — and what it will do to your body. Sugar-free syrups can be an option, but many of them will contain some carb-rich ingredients like dextrose and maltodextrin. Excess use of products with these additives can make it harder to get into ketosis and reach increased levels of ketone production.
Experience Unflavored Coffee Beans
When you make the switch to a ketogenic lifestyle, you may find that your palate is more sensitive to the many subtleties that you’ll find in many foods and beverages — especially in coffee.
Like different wine grapes, coffee beans also contain a wide range of flavors, including nuts, fruits, spices, and even chocolates. As you become more adventurous and your palate changes, check out the wide range of flavors available in so-called “unflavored” coffee beans. You may even begin to enjoy the taste of black coffee.
Experiment with Coconut Milk and Almond Milk
In many cases, you can get the same flavor from almond or coconut milk that you would from using a traditional creamer, but without the high carb count. Full-fat coconut milk offers one of the best options for anyone hoping to maintain ketosis — and you can even use it to create your own keto-friendly pumpkin spice latte when fall rolls around. Coconut milk is also a great substitute for those who want to follow a dairy-free keto diet.
However, before you start experimenting with dairy-free keto creamer alternatives, make sure to check the ingredients labels as many of these products come with added sugars and other carb-rich ingredients.
The best options will typically contain two ingredients: almond or coconut and water. Products that come with guar gum or xanthan gum are keto-friendly as well.
Use a Keto-Approved Coffee Creamer
If you’d rather keep your keto coffee creation as convenient as possible, there are several coffee creamers you can choose from that are keto-friendly and healthy. Whether you need something you can add to your coffee when you’re on the go or just need a product you can trust, the following list of keto creamers will help you find what you are looking for.
Healthy Coffee Creamer Options for the Keto Diet
The easiest way to add creamer to your coffee while sticking to a ketogenic lifestyle is to use heavy cream. If you’ve dieted in the past, you may have learned to use skim milk in your coffee instead of heavy cream to avoid the fat.
When you change to the keto lifestyle, however, you want to stay away from skim milk, 2%, and even whole milk. These dairy products contain enough net carbs to make it difficult to stay on the keto diet.
Instead, use heavy cream (also called “heavy whipping cream”) in your coffee. This high-fat, low-carb option is the perfect way to add creamer to your coffee without slowing your progress.
So Delicious Original Organic Coconut Milk Creamer
If you’re trying to find the ideal dairy-free substitute for heavy cream, this coconut milk creamer will be perfect for you. Each tablespoon has 1 gram of fat and zero net carbs, making it a great option that will keep you in ketosis.
Unfortunately, this keto creamer won’t add much flavor to your coffee. For tastier options, try the other products below.
Natural Force Keto Coffee Creamer
When you’re looking for a flavor boost that won’t keep you from ketosis, Natural Force Keto Coffee Creamer is a great way to get it. This creamer blends very smoothly into coffee and comes in vanilla, chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel, making it a great keto-friendly substitute for flavored Coffee-mate coffee creamers.
Keto Coffee Creamer from Left Coast Performance
High in fat with zero carbs, this is a great option for getting your creamer while keeping your progress going strong. This coffee creamer has almost all of the same ingredients as ketoproof coffee, but with no blending necessary. It also features MCT oil as its main ingredient, which will help promote the ketosis even further.
Peak Performance Collagen Creamer
Peak Performance Collagen Creamer touts the many health benefits of collagen, such as:
- Better skin, hair, and nail health
- Improved joints & connective tissue
- Enhanced sleep quality and brain health
In addition to collagen, Peak Performance Collagen Creamer contains 7 grams of fiber per serving. This ample dose of fiber can help bolster gut health and remedy many digestive issues including diarrhea and constipation.
Though Peak Performance Collagen Creamer will not be as smooth and creamy as other brands of keto coffee creamer, it will add some extra flavor and health benefits to your coffee as you promote ketosis.
Laird Superfood Powdered Creamer
This powdered creamer is much more convenient for those who need to keto-friendly option while traveling or prefer a creamer that you don’t have to keep in the fridge. These creamers come in a wide range of vegan-friendly flavors, including chocolate, chocolate mint, vanilla, pumpkin spice, and turmeric.
This product does, however, have two potential downsides: (1) it will require shaking to mix fully with your coffee and (2) it typically contains 3-4 grams of net carbs per tablespoon.
For the lowest carb option, opt for their unsweetened flavor, which has only 2 grams of net carbs per tablespoon.
Better Half Coffee Creamer from Califia Farms
Looking for a simple half-and-half substitute for your keto coffee or tea? Better Half Coffee Creamer is a great option, especially if you are looking for something that is dairy-free and vegan. You can also use this keto creamer to add some extra flavor if you opt for their hazelnut or vanilla products.
Each Better Half Coffee Creamer has zero carbs, except for their original flavor which has 1 gram of net carbs per serving. However, no matter which flavor you choose, it will be the keto-friendly, dairy-free equivalent to dairy half-and-half that you’ve been searching for.
Original Keto Coffee Creamer from Omega PowerCreamer
If you need a higher fat creamer that boosts ketone production, this is another great option. Though it is very similar to the Keto Coffee Creamer from Left Coast Performance, Omega PowerCreamer provides you with many more flavors to choose from, including sweet vanilla, cocoa, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.
Overall, this serves a great keto-friendly creamer alternative for when you don’t have the time to make ketoproof coffee in the morning.
Even with the help of this article, however, you may find the keto lifestyle to be a real challenge, especially when you first dive in. There are resources available to help. Check out our Keto Academy to learn more about the ketosis and how you can stick to it while still enjoying many of the foods you love–just with a few small substitutions.