Many people make coffee an important part of their day. It’s a great way to start the day and, for some, a relaxing way to end the workday. Although some people like their coffee black, most people prefer it with some creamer.
For most people, this is easy. But it becomes a little more difficult if you’re on a special diet. Many people these days are on low-carb, keto-friendly, or sugar-free diets, and in this case, finding a suitable creamer takes a bit more effort due to the many added carbs in regular dairy products.
For many of us, going without that morning cup of coffee just isn’t an option, plus many studies have shown that caffeine can lower hunger and increase weight loss. So, what can we do, just drink it black? Luckily there are a number of keto-friendly coffee creamers out there. So, to help, we will list some of the available options and their advantages and disadvantages.
These are the most common dairy-free creamer options out there, and several of them are great low carbohydrate options. The two best keto options include coconut and almond milk.
These two creamers consist of the same ingredients: coconut, water, and possibly guar gum. Coconut creamer is low in carbohydrates, making it suitable for low carbohydrate and keto diets. But the best thing about it is its great taste. Also, if you use coconut cream creamer, it has a nice thick pleasant texture like heavy cream making for a lovely creamy cup of coffee.
Using coconut creamer may also be good for your health. Coconut cream and milk have not been studied a lot, but coconut milk seems to improve cholesterol levels which is certainly good for your heart. It also increases energy levels while decreasing appetite, two things that don’t always seem to go together.
Although these products have some health benefits, you need to take care since they are high in fat, including saturated fat. Another concern with this cream is the packaging. Aluminum cans are sometimes used, which may be lined with Bisphenol A, a chemical that may affect thyroid function.
Coconut creamer comes in many flavors, including french vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, and mocha, among others. Some of these flavors are very tasty, but they may have sugar. So, if you use them, keep track of the carbs, so you don’t go over your limit.
Some ingredients are added for health reasons, such as turmeric. Turmeric creamer is great for reducing inflammation and protecting the liver.
You can also make your own coconut creamer if you have the time. This will allow you to control what goes in it. Just use one can of full-fat coconut milk, four tablespoons of sweetener, and one tablespoon of vanilla extract and mix together. This will last for two weeks.
If you buy a premade coconut creamer, remember to keep an eye on the ingredients. Many coconut milk products intended to be used as creamers contain thickeners. Some of these contain added carbohydrates. So, keep an eye and try and choose one either without these thickeners or with a keto-friendly option such as guar or xanthan gum.
Whether you buy or make your coconut creamer, it is a tasty choice with a number of health benefits.
Almond milk, as well as other kinds of nut milk, make a good low-carb alternative to milk for coffee creamer. Almond milk has a nice creamy texture and a subtle taste. Almond milk is the most popular of these alternatives, although many grocery stores have a variety of choices.Almond milk creamers are gluten-free, soy-free, and low in calories. It has 50 to 80% fewer calories than regular milk. Almond milk is also low in carbohydrates at one gram per cup if it is unsweetened.
Almond milk also has a number of health benefits. It is high in vitamin E, an antioxidant, which is good for the brain and may lower the chances of getting Alzheimer’s Disease. The antioxidants in almond milk also reduce the damage from free radicals, which may reduce the chances of getting a variety of serious diseases.
Just like with coconut milk creamers, keep an eye on the ingredients. Some companies add thickeners with carbohydrates. Try to purchase creamers without thickeners or with keto-friendly options such as guar or xanthan gum.
Just because most traditional dairy-based coffee creamers have added carbohydrates doesn’t mean dairy is completely off the table. Some options such as heavy cream and butter have high milk fat concentrations and low carbohydrates. So, let’s discuss what dairy options can go with your morning cup.
Although half and half may not be a keto-friendly coffee creamer, heavy cream actually is. It may not be commonly used as a coffee creamer, but it is high fat, low carb, and tasty. To avoid confusion, remember heavy whipping cream is a similar substitute as well. Heavy whipping cream is only different from plain heavy cream by a few percentage points of milk fat. Generally, heavy cream has a few percent higher concentration of milk fat than heavy whipping cream. So, both of these creams really work quite well as a coffee creamer. Heavy creams also contain calcium which is a nice plus. However, for those concerned about calories, it does have 52 calories per tablespoon.
Light cream and half & half are both heavy in milk fat compared to milk but less than heavy cream. On the surface, these both appear to have lower calories and be great options to cream your coffee. Unfortunately, these products add sugar to compensate for the loss of flavor from the lower milk fat, especially half & half.
The quantities aren’t unreasonable in light cream, so it is okay to use this in limited quantities and moderation. Just remember, in general, with these products, the lower the milk fat, the greater the added carbohydrates. For the least added carbohydrates, we would suggest sticking with other creamers such as heavy cream.
Most people probably don’t think of butter when they are choosing a coffee creamer, but it actually works very well. This creamer is probably best known in combination with coconut oil and has become a staple of keto cuisine. Adding this to your coffee will give it a nice creamy texture. Better yet, it will keep you from getting hungry for a while due to its high saturated fat content, a nice bonus for anyone trying to lose weight. Butter also contains vitamin K2, which helps reduce the likelihood of getting cancer or cardiovascular disease. But be careful, butter is 80% fat and 102 calories per tablespoon, so don’t eat too much.
Ghee is a form of butter popular in Middle Eastern Cuisine that has been further clarified with low heat to separate the solids. This leaves pretty much only the fats with water and other impurities removed. Fortunately, due to the low heat, it retains considerably more nutrients than regular clarified butter.
Ghee is becoming increasingly popular in coffee as a healthier replacement for butter. It is a particularly good choice for those who find that coffee tends to upset their stomach. Ghee contains Omega 3s and butyric acid, which are healthy fats. It contains calcium which reduces the acidity in the coffee and its inflammatory effect.
Many different products can add texture, flavor, and sweetness to your coffee. Some of these are little known and have different qualities, which may not make them for everyone.
However, don’t rule all these options out. Some of them can be great low carbohydrate options for your coffee that may be just right for you if you give them a try.
This type of creamer consists of medium-chain triglycerides that generally come from palm kernel or coconut. It can be a bit rough on a person’s digestion, although if it’s made from MCT oil, it is easier on your digestion system and easier to mix into your coffee. MCT creamers also contain a good amount of healthy fats, which should make you feel less hungry for a while.
MCT comes in both oil and powder supplements, which can have different additives and uses. Generally, the liquid oil will be the purest and is a great option to add to your morning coffee to give it a thicker texture. It can be a bit harsh on your digestion but is generally fine in moderation. On the other hand, the powder can be great to mix with other creamers, is less harsh on the stomach, and is easy to bring with you if you want it available for coffee on the go. Just make sure the powder doesn’t contain any undesirable ingredients because the powder requires the oil to be held in a carrier powder. Optimally this will be a high-quality keto-friendly fiber. But, some companies use cheap, low-quality fibers that you do not want to consume on a low-carb diet.
Collagen is the protein in your skin, muscle, bones and pretty, much everywhere else, so you might be wondering why it’s in your coffee. Well, when it is added as a powder to your coffee, it helps thicken it, but without additives, it does not help add much flavor. Most collagen creamers come with other additives such as powdered coconut milk to add sweetness.
Using a collagen creamer adds a nice amount of protein to your diet. You might also find it helps your skin, hair, and nails. Some studies have even found benefits such as reduced joint pain and better digestion.
This may seem like an odd combination but think about it. Protein shakes are often already packed with low-carb keto-friendly sweeteners and flavors such as chocolate and vanilla. The protein-rich blends can act as a replacement for dairy creamer to add some sweetness, flavor, and texture to coffee.
The biggest problem people have with this replacement creamer is clumping. The heat in hot coffee has a tendency to cause the protein to bind together. There are some ways to avoid this problem, though. One way is to try your coffee iced instead of warm, but another way is to just mix the powder in a little lukewarm tap water to make a mixture with a texture similar to half and half before you stir it into your coffee.
Often people first get low-carb creamers and are left wondering how much they need to use. The biggest determiners are taste and whether it is a liquid or a powder. For a liquid creamer, a good way to start is about 2 teaspoons per cup or a tablespoon for every 12-ounce mug of coffee. For powders, often, it is best to use slightly less and closer to ½ half tablespoon per cup or 2 teaspoons for a 12-ounce mug.
If you try these starting points, you can adjust and add or remove as much as you want. Many prefer their coffee rich and creamy and may want to add more. Remember, for mixing your creamer in most high-fat low carb creamers (with the exception of protein shakes), it mixes much better in warm coffee, so mix in your creamer before adding ice or chilling in the fridge.
Just because you’re embracing a healthy low-carb lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up a good cup of coffee. There are many great-tasting alternatives to traditional coffee creamers that can help you start your day right without all the carbs. Many of these creamers have more nutrients and fewer calories than regular half and half or milk creamers. So, if one of these options doesn’t suit you, just keep trying until you find the perfect cup of coffee you’re looking for.