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What coffee is OK for keto?

When following a ketogenic diet, coffee can definitely still be part of your morning routine. The key is being mindful of how you take your coffee so that you stay in ketosis. There are plenty of keto-friendly coffee options that will allow you to enjoy your morning cup of joe without kicking yourself out of ketosis.

Is coffee keto-friendly?

Plain black coffee is completely keto-friendly. Black coffee only contains two ingredients – coffee beans and water – so there are zero carbs, calories, fat, or protein. This makes black coffee an ideal keto-approved beverage.

The potential issue with coffee and keto arises from what you add to your coffee. Things like sugar, flavored creamers, and milk can add carbs that could inhibit ketosis. As long as you avoid added sugars and stick to low-carb coffee add-ins, coffee can definitely be part of a keto diet.

Best low-carb coffee options for keto

Here are some of the best keto-friendly ways to drink coffee:

Black coffee

Plain black coffee with nothing added is always keto-approved. It has virtually no carbs, calories, protein, or fat. Feel free to drink as much black coffee as you want throughout the day.

Coffee with heavy cream

Heavy whipping cream is almost entirely fat and contains minimal carbs, so it’s perfect for keto coffee. Add 1-2 tablespoons of heavy cream to your morning coffee for a dose of healthy fats.

Coffee with coconut oil or MCT oil

Coconut oil and MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil are great for putting coffee into fat-burning mode. These healthy fats give you sustained energy and help keep you in ketosis. Add 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil or MCT oil to your coffee.

Coffee with butter or ghee

Grass-fed butter or ghee are nicely complement coffee’s nutty flavor. They also provide fats that can help keep you feeling full. Stir in 1-2 teaspoons of butter or ghee into your morning coffee.

Coffee with unsweetened nut milk

Nut milks like almond milk or coconut milk are low-carb options for adding creaminess to coffee without the dairy. Be sure to use unsweetened varieties and check the carb count. Around 1/4 cup or less should be fine for most keto diets.

Coffee with collagen

Collagen peptides are a great way to get an extra dose of protein without adding carbs. Mix 1-2 scoops of collagen powder into your coffee for a protein boost.

What to avoid in keto coffee

There are also some things you’ll want to avoid adding to your coffee on a keto diet. Here are some of the biggest keto coffee “don’ts”:

Sugar or artificial sweeteners

Added sugar is one of the worst things you can put in your coffee on a keto diet. Just one teaspoon of sugar has around 4 grams of net carbs. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame or saccharin may technically be carb-free, but research shows they can still impact blood sugar and potentially knock you out of ketosis.

Flavored creamers

Most flavored non-dairy creamers contain added sugars or corn syrup solids, both of which are very high carb. Read labels closely or stick to heavy cream or nut milk.

Fruit syrups

Things like vanilla syrup or mocha syrup often have sneaky sugars in them too. Making your own sugar-free flavor syrups at home is an option if you want to add flavor.


Cow’s milk has about 12g carbs per 1-cup serving, so drinking a splash in your coffee could potentially impact ketosis depending on your macros. Stick to nut milks or heavy cream instead.

Other tips for keto-friendly coffee

Here are some other tips to make sure your coffee fits within a keto diet:

  • Choose low-carb coffee creamers or make your own with heavy whipping cream.
  • Try adding spices like cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice for flavor.
  • Opt for dark roasts since they tend to be lower acid.
  • Drink coffee black or just with healthy fats in the morning, then add nut milk later in the day.
  • Ask for sugar-free flavors at coffee shops like sf vanilla or sf cinnamon.

Sample keto coffee recipes

To give you some inspiration, here are a few tasty keto-friendly coffee recipes to try:

Bulletproof Coffee

The classic keto coffee! Just brew 1 cup of coffee and blend with 1-2 tbsp grass-fed butter and 1-2 tbsp MCT oil.

Mexican Coffee

Brew 1 cup coffee and add 2 tbsp heavy cream, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper.

Iced Caramel Macchiato

Brew coffee and let cool. Add ice, 1 tbsp heavy cream, 1 tsp sugar-free caramel syrup, and 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Combine hot coffee with 2 tbsp heavy cream, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and pinch of stevia.

Precautions with keto coffee

Keto coffee loaded with fats can keep you in ketosis, but there are a couple precautions:

  • Don’t overdo the fat – Too much can cause digestive issues
  • Watch your calories – Extra fats add up quickly
  • Stay hydrated – Counter the diuretic effects of caffeine


Enjoying coffee while following a ketogenic diet is definitely possible by choosing low-carb add-ins and avoiding sugars. Black coffee, coffee with heavy cream or nut milk, and bulletproof coffee with fats like butter or MCT oil are all keto-approved options. With some small tweaks to your coffee routine, you can easily make your morning brew fit into a keto diet.