Low-Sugar S'mores Iced Latte
With gooey & decadent black chocolate drizzle and a thick layer of creamy French Vanilla, just one sip of this iced latte will transport you to the campfire.
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Wine (in moderation).
That’s basically it – the list of beverages you can safely drink when you’re on the keto diet or another low-carb eating plan.
Those aren’t exciting choices, particularly when you’re already giving up many of the other delicious carb-laden foods you’d normally eat.
(Yes, you can also drink low-carb diet soda, but most experts recommend against it. Artificial sweeteners appear to reinforce cravings for sweet foods, and their consumption may be linked to weight gain, diabetes and obesity. One common sweetener used in diet drinks, sucralose, apparently even causes fat storage, not fat burning.)
You can drink your water with lemon or try flavored teas to change things up a bit. But a great way to add variety to a rather-bland beverage selection is to choose a tasty keto-friendly coffee creamer.
Even better, the right creamer can do double-duty. Coffee is one of the best “vehicles” for supercharging a keto diet, further encouraging fat burning and weight loss.
The enormous popularity of low-carb dieting has led to a flood of keto-friendly creamer options. Let’s check them out, after a look at what you should – and shouldn’t – put into your coffee while you’re on the keto diet.
Needless to say, Americans love coffee. The National Coffee Association reports that 70% of Americans drink coffee every week; 62% drink it every day, with the average coffee drinker consuming a little more than three cups a day.
Black coffee is a healthy beverage, too, ideal for ketogenic diets: zero calories and zero carbs. Drinking three cups a day – or more – is right in keeping with the low-carb mandates of keto and paleo.
Here’s the potential problem, though.
A YouGov poll found that well over one-third of coffee drinkers take cream or milk in their coffee. That number soars to more than two-thirds when you include sugar or sweeteners to the list of coffee additives.
Sugar can add way too many carbs to a low-carb diet, and as we’ve already mentioned, artificial sweeteners (except for stevia and monk fruit sweetener) are also a bad choice for ketogenic eating.
What about milk and cream? Are they OK on keto?
Milk isn’t a good choice for regular coffee drinkers on ketogenic diets.
Milk contains one gram of carbs per tablespoon and those carbs can add up quickly, particularly if you’re on a very low-carb diet and are only allowed 20 net carbs per day. (Two tablespoons of milk = two carbs x 3 cups per day = 6 carbs, nearly one-third of all the carbohydrates allowance for the day.)
Heavy whipping cream is better, and it’s actually encouraged by many keto guidelines because it’s high in healthy fats and contains only about half the carbs of milk. But it also contains nearly 50 calories – and calories aren’t good when you’re dieting. Some people use coconut milk instead, but it’s still high in calories.
So what else can keto dieters safely add to their coffee?
The most popular approach is making a drink called bulletproof coffee, also known as butter coffee and keto coffee. (Bulletproof is actually a trademarked name.) It’s a blended combination of black coffee, MCT oil, and either grass-fed unsalted butter or ghee (a type of clarified butter).
Keto coffee is best when blended, because as you probably remember from science class, water and oil don’t mix easily. The beverage doesn’t taste like you’ve added milk or cream to coffee, but many describe the taste and creaminess as similar to that of a latte.
Butter coffee’s ingredients may sound odd, but there are good reasons for using them.
Butter and ghee are healthy, zero-carb sources of fat, and fat is the macronutrient used as the “replacement” for carbs on the keto diet.
MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil is even more important.
It’s digested rapidly and provides energy to the body in form of ketones – the same molecules the body produces when it’s in ketosis. In short, MCT oil encourages the fat-burning and weight loss processes to continue when you’re in keto. It provides a lot of additional health benefits, too, including brain function support. It’s commonly used in keto recipes as well as coffee.
Bulletproof coffee isn’t a miracle beverage, though. A single cup can provide more than the daily recommended amount of saturated fat in a diet, so drinking more than one butter coffee a day may greatly increase the risk of high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke.
There’s another possible issue as well: many keto dieters have a cup of bulletproof morning coffee instead of a healthy breakfast, meaning their body is being deprived of important nutrients.
So bulletproof coffee may be an answer, but it isn’t the answer. Keto-friendly coffee creamers are the best everyday choice.
The keto diet is the most popular weight-loss diet in America, and that’s spurred an explosion in the number of low-carb coffee creamers on the market.
Naturally, they all have different ingredients, meaning they each have advantages and disadvantages. In order to fairly evaluate the many options, we’ve divided these coffee creamers into categories.
We’ll start with the best choices: healthy keto coffee creamers which also contain MCT oil. Most of these creamers are available on Amazon.
It’s tough to beat SuperCreamer from Super Coffee.
It contains a generous amount of MCT coconut oil, and it’s bolstered with milk protein concentrate which helps build bone strength while making your stomach feel full. That does mean that this liquid creamer is non-dairy, but not dairy-free. It has no added sugars.
There’s less than a gram of carbohydrates and only 12 calories per tablespoon, plus a gram of fat and 2.5 grams of protein – that’s just about the ideal macronutrient and calorie profile for a healthy keto coffee creamer.
SuperCreamer comes in seven natural flavors, including French vanilla, hazelnut and sweet cream. (The company also makes great sugar-free ready-to-drink keto-friendly coffee, sweetened with monk fruit.
We mentioned that Bulletproof is a trademarked name. This product is sold by the company that trademarked it after the founder had popularized his recipe for butter coffee (which has actually been around for centuries, in one form or another).
Bulletproof’s creamer is sold in powder form. It contains both MCT oil and grass-fed butter, as well as milk; that makes it both keto-friendly and a dairy creamer.
You add a full scoop of the creamer to eight ounces of coffee; that serving size means you’re adding three carbs and 100 calories to a small cup of joe, in addition to ten grams of fat (eight grams of it saturated fat) and less than a gram of protein.
There are no flavor options; this creamer provides a taste almost the same as bulletproof coffee. The ketogenic advantages are obvious, if you don’t want to make keto coffee on your own. You can do better, though, when it comes to carbs and calorie content in a creamer.
PowerCreamer is quite similar to Bulletproof creamer. There are a few differences, though; it’s a liquid which can be blended more easily with coffee, it contains grass-fed ghee instead of butter, and it’s dairy-free.
Even more importantly, it’s carb-free. However, there are 14 grams of fat (10 grams saturated fat) and 120 calories per serving. We probably don’t have to tell you that’s a lot.
This keto-friendly creamer also contains stevia for sweetness, and uses natural flavorings for its nice range of flavors that include salted caramel, cacao and pumpkin spice.
This may be the best-tasting keto-friendly coffee creamer out there. It’s made from organic coconut milk powder, MCT coconut oil and cacao powder, plus a number of natural sweeteners (including stevia, monk fruit and erythritol) which probably explain why the flavor is so good.
Its four grams of carbs aren’t terrific but the compensation is that there are only 45 calories per serving, certainly better than either Bulletproof or PowerCreamer.
There are other very good Prymal flavors as well, including cinnamon dolce and birthday cake. All are non-dairy but not dairy-free.
This is a bare-bones keto coffee creamer.
The powder is made from just organic MCT coconut oil, coconut milk powder and aquamin, which is added calcium sourced from marine algae. So it doesn’t contain either butter or ghee, which makes it an extremely attractive option when it comes to calories (15 per serving), carbs (one net carb) and fat (one gram).
Other flavors like vanilla (made with bourbon vanilla extract and maple sugar) and chocolate mint (made with organic cold-pressed cacao and peppermint oil) surprisingly come in at right around the same calorie and macronutrient levels.
This is just one of Califia Farms’ many terrific plant-based creamers, all made with bases of either almond milk or oat milk. They also have a line of almond milk and coconut cream “Better Half” creamers – a play, obviously, on the half-and-half many people use in their coffee.
The unsweetened Almondmilk creamer is all-natural, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and non-GMO. It also contains just 10 calories, zero carbs and one gram of fat per tablespoon, making this one of the healthiest coffee creamers on the market. And needless to say, it’s keto-friendly. There are a number of flavor options, most with an almond milk base. But perhaps the most interesting is mushroom oatmilk, which adds some of the extra health benefits found in mushroom coffee.
Here’s another excellent plant-based line of creamers. They may be familiar to you if you’ve tried the Whole30 low-carb diet plan, since they’re Whole30 approved. They’re perfect for keto dieters, too.
This liquid creamer mixes well with coffee, and contains nothing but coconut cream, almonds and a few natural additives. Checking the numbers, they’re exactly the same as those for Califia Farms creamers: 10 calories, no carbs, one gram of fat. Cinnamon swirl and toasted marshmallow are among the interesting NutPods flavor choices.
So Delicious offers stripped-down creamer choices which aren’t big on crazy flavor options, but are very good for keto dieters.
This creamer contains only coconut milk (made from coconut cream and water) and a few natural additives; that means it only contains 15 calories, one gram of fat per tablespoon – and zero carbs. It’s organic, vegan, and worth trying. It comes in caramel and French vanilla flavors as well.
Here’s a keto-friendly creamer which can provide a good chance of pace from almond, coconut and oat flavors. This cashew milk is exactly what it says; its only ingredients are cashews and water.
That means it’s very healthy, too, with just eight calories and less than a gram of carbs and fat per tablespoon. The unsweetened, nutty flavor isn’t for everyone – but it’s definitely a great keto option.
There are several good creamer choices which have interesting and unusual ingredients. This one is worth noting, even though it’s rather high in carbs (about five per tablespoon) and calories (about 40), because it contains added collagen and amino acids which may help with bone strength, skin and hair health, and even joint pain.
There are no added sweeteners or sugars, and it’s non-GMO.
You’re right, “Coffee-Mate” isn’t the first name that would come to mind when shopping for keto-friendly coffee creamers. But that’s exactly the point. When you’re shopping for a keto creamer, you could be at a local grocery store where you may not be able to find SuperCreamer, Califia Farms or NutPods products.
That’s why Coffee-Mate makes this list. The company makes a separate line of Natural Bliss creamers, which are much healthier and come much closer to the qualities you’d look for in a keto-friendly product.
Vanilla Natural Bliss creamer, for example, is made from non-fat milk, heavy cream, cane sugar and natural flavors. Those are the types of ingredients you might expect to find in a commercial coffee creamer.
However, it contains just 35 calories and 1.5 grams of fat per tablespoon. Its five grams of carbs aren’t anything to brag about, but this product is far better for you than their Coffee-Mate branded vanilla creamer which contains (among other things) vegetable oil, artificial flavors and the troublesome additive carrageenan.
Make no mistake, though – you’re much better off with any of the keto-friendly coffee creamers that are higher on this list.
Published: May 5, 2021
Last Updated: March 10, 2022
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