For a lot of people, coffee is less about that hot, dark java and more about the sweeteners and cream that make it a sugary treat. You’ve seen orders come out of Starbucks that are more milkshake than coffee, and while it’s a double-shot for many to get a caffeine high and a sugar buzz, for those on the low-carb keto diet, sugar is out. What are the options left to help smooth out, sweeten, or boost your coffee without you falling out of ketosis? Check out our tips for how to choose the right keto coffee creamer, plus 6 recommendations you can start taste testing today.
You know the novelty mugs and sayings surrounding coffee: “Don’t even talk to me until I’ve had my coffee,” or “I can’t see color until I’ve had my coffee.” In one way that’s not an exaggeration, as caffeine addiction is as real as any other, and caffeine withdrawal is real too.
On the flip-side, however, coffee can actually help benefit people medicinally. Doctors may recommend a cup of coffee each morning to help your bowel movements stay regular, and coffee consumption has been linked to better mood, mental performance, and weight loss in those who drink it. These are the proven health benefits of coffee, but if you’re used to coffee with sugar and cream and then you decide to go keto…what do you do?
The ketogenic diet is designed to retrain the body’s metabolism to burn fat for energy (in the form of ketone bodies) rather than sugar (glucose molecules). By knocking carb consumption down to about 5% of your calorie intake, you deny your body the easy, fast-acting energy from sugar and force it to access your fat stores to function instead. This results in safe, fast body-fat loss, but it comes at a cost: quitting sugar and carbs long term can be hard, especially in a world full of artificial sweeteners and corn syrup.
Drinking coffee while on keto, unless you’re used to having it black, is one of many challenges you’ll face when you embark on a keto diet. We have the comprehensive information that can help you decide on a coffee creamer replacement, and a few keto-friendly products we’ve pre-reviewed for your perusal.
Coffee creamer is often more ubiquitous than milk (possibly because creamer lasts longer). It’s like a milk product with a much longer shelf life. What helps it hold up so well? Let’s find out.
You may not like what you’re about to read, because powdered coffee creamers are full of unnatural ingredients.
Liquid coffee creamers contain all the same ingredients as powdered creamers, just in liquid form. Here’s why that’s such a problem.
Because making a creamer with actual cream would give it too short a shelf life for most consumers, food manufacturers instead use thickeners to imitate that creamy texture. Carrageenan is one of these thickeners, and it has been known to cause digestive problems and exacerbate issues like intestinal ulcers and other gastrointestinal conditions. Other thickeners are nutritiously empty, derived from sugar alcohols, cotton, or wood pulp. It’s a whole lot of nothing, all for an artificial texture.
Speaking of artificial chemicals, the preservatives in your creamer keep it from spoiling or turning rancid, but they can also adversely affect your health with side effects like heart palpitations, headaches, and allergens. One of the best benefits of keto is that you have to know what you’re eating at all times to stay in ketosis, and you quickly start eliminating added gunk.
The caramel and mocha in your creamer is actually more smell than taste. Don’t believe us? Hold your nose while you take a sip: can you actually taste anything?
This is an aroma phenomenon not only true about coffee creamers but also about many processed foods. Because our sense of taste is so strongly linked to smell, many manufacturers have developed optimal chemical scents that imply flavors and ingredients that aren’t in the product at all.
Keep in mind that so-called “natural” flavors are allowed to be called that if they come from any plant or animal source in any percentage at all. Like oil and water, honesty and advertising do not naturally mix.
Even in supposedly sugar-free products, hidden sugars can come from the fat-free milk content in creamers (while the sugary ones contain straight table sugar to make it more tasty to consumers). By sugar’s side may be partially hydrogenated vegetable oils that you would never use in your skillet, but may well be drinking with your coffee creamer. The oil acts as a preservative, but it is almost entirely devoid of nutrients (unlike healthier cold-pressed oils like coconut and olive oil).
Artificial sweeteners are nonnutritive sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame, and are linked to higher risk factors for medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes, and yet that trash is still in your food. Luckily there’s a way to avoid them: natural, keto-friendly sweeteners do exist, including stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit. There are coffee creamer products that use these instead of artificial sweeteners, and we’ve selected a few you may love.
Without further ado, here are six carefully chosen keto coffee creamers, so you can make keto coffee just the way you like it.
Adding your own butter or ghee to coffee in the morning for extra energy and fat macros can get messy, mostly because that stuff does not want to blend. Luckily there are products like Omega PowerCreamer, made for mixing with coffee, but also made out of all keto-approved ingredients like organic coconut oil, concentrated MCT oil, and grass-fed ghee. It doesn’t even have to be refrigerated, and there are no carbs, sugars, or nutritionally void additives to worry about either. There’s no added sweetener at all, so you can do your own sweetening or just enjoy your keto butter coffee as is.
Made with MCT oil derived from non-GMO coconuts, you can get this keto coffee creamer in chocolate, caramel, and French vanilla flavors. No blending needed: just pour into your coffee, stir, and you’re good to go! It can even be used easily in both hot and cold beverages.
Based again in MCT oil, ghee, and extra virgin coconut oil, this keto coffee creamer is flavored with cacao butter, with no preservatives or carbs to worry about. It’s even tested for impurities, guaranteeing the highest quality MCT oil possible. The cacao butter helps with satiety (great for those who use their keto coffee to support intermittent fasting). The only downside is this one needs blending to prevent the separation of oil.
Their creamer is gluten-free, vegan, and Whole30 compatible with zero carbs or sugar added. These products come with natural flavors like almond milk and coconut cream. Califia makes its own cold brew coffees, probiotic yogurts, juices, and plant milks too.
Not only does Peak Performance have its own line of coffee, but they’ve also developed a keto-friendly coffee creamer that adds collagen and amino acids to the mix. Collagen aids youthful-looking skin and also helps your joints, muscles, heart, and brain. While not all collagen products are made for keto, this one is! It’s also responsibly sourced from wild-caught marine life with no growth hormones or antibiotics pumped into them. This collagen creamer is able to be poured into hot or iced coffee (dealer’s choice).
Last but not least: for those who need a powdered creamer they can trust, Laird Superfood Creamers not only deliver an MCT oil powder product, but they also have a variety of flavors like turmeric, chocolate mint, cacao, and pumpkin spice. Gluten- and dairy-free, these low-carb products contain coconut milk powder and also offer an unflavored option so you can do your own sweetening if you prefer.
There are a ton of ways to get healthy fats into your morning coffee using a pre-made keto creamer for convenience, but never forget that you can make your own using vanilla extract, half-and-half or heavy whipping cream for the high-fat content and the ketone oils and natural sweeteners of your choice. You don’t have to settle for unsweetened black coffee on keto, you can concoct your own keto-friendly latte if you like, and still be in perfect keto compliance.