One of the first questions coffee lovers just starting out on a keto diet usually have is “can I keep drinking coffee on keto?”
If you like your coffee black, you’re in luck! You’ll have no trouble incorporating coffee into your keto diet. With zero grams of carbohydrates, coffee in its purest form is just about as “keto” as you can get.
If you’re someone who takes your coffee with milk, sugar, or creamer, don’t panic. You’ll just need to make some very simple changes to keep coffee in your diet.
If you’re a fiend who likes your sugar with coffee and cream... Well, you’re going to need to make more changes than most.
No matter where you’re starting out, here are some of the simplest—and most delicious—ways you can make your morning cup of coffee keto-friendly.
Adding heavy cream (sometimes called heavy whipping cream, but it’s the same thing) to your coffee is perhaps the most straightforward way to keep your coffee satisfying while integrating it into your new ketogenic lifestyle. But don’t get cocky—it’s not carbohydrate free. Make sure you still watch the carbs with this one and add it to your coffee accordingly.
Also, make sure you get the right kind of cream when you’re at the store; light cream and half-and-half both contain more carbs than heavy whipping cream, and I know a lot of the cartons at my grocery store look almost exactly the same.
Depending on how you’re using it (or how much of it you’re using each day) you may be able to make light cream or half-and-half work for you as a keto coffee creamer. Just be conscious of what you’re doing and don’t use them interchangeably or you may end up consuming more carbs than you intended. When in doubt, consult a dietician.
A value-added benefit of heavy whipping cream specific to keto is that it’ll end up being a super versatile refrigerator staple. It’s actually so common in keto recipes that it’s often shortened to just “HWC.” If you’re on a keto diet for any length of time, you’ll be able to use HWC in tons of other keto-friendly soups, sauces, and more.
If you cringed during the episode of Parts Unknown in Bhutan where Anthony Bourdain drank tea with butter made from yak’s milk, don’t worry — you can use any butter from the grocery store made using grass-fed cow’s milk.
Grass-fed butter contains more nutrients and is richer tasting than grain-fed butter, making it more than perfect for your morning cup of keto-friendly joe. Kerrygold Irish Butter and Organic Valley Pasture Butter are two popular brands, but if you can get grass-fed butter from a local source that’s even better.
Just add a tablespoon or two into a cup of black coffee and stir until it’s well blended. You’ll end up with something that resembles a creamy, over-priced latte. Hell, you might even discover that you like your coffee better with butter. Not too bad for a dietary substitution, eh?
MCT oil is perfect for those looking to get even more of an energy kick out of their coffee. It’s even more perfect for those who like the taste of coffee on its own, because it has no detectable flavor or scent of its own.
While MCT oil is man-made, it comes from natural sources (just like butter) — including palm kernel oil and coconut oil.
Give Your Coffee a Kevlar Vest
In recent years, a number of professional athletes and Hollywood celebrities have helped put a certain keto-friendly coffee recipe in the limelight. The inventor of the recipe, which has two ingredients besides coffee, even now sells a line of trademarked products.
Fortunately, since celebrities pioneered it, it’s incredibly simple.
In fact, you can make it at home with two things I’ve already talked about above. Just combine grass-fed butter and MCT oil in your coffee to make what I’ll call “kevlar vest coffee,” and join the ranks of celebrities like Tim Tebow, Ayesha Curry, and Tim Curry. Oops, scratch that last one — I mean Halle Berry.
While mixing butter and MCT oil in your coffee definitely won’t make you, say, impervious to bullets (and I really don’t recommend you test it out), it may help keep you awake while keeping you on your keto diet.