I think we can all agree coffee is the quintessential drink in our lives. Whether it's the fantastic aroma and the delicious taste or just the effects of it, all the different concoctions of coffee have their own consumer bases. But for someone counting calories or being mindful of their diet, things can get a little confusing.
If you're watching what you eat and counting your macros or simply on keto, you may wonder how your daily cup of coffee fairs. When it comes to carbs, coffee can range from zero to very high.
How? Let's talk about the carbs in coffee.
Coffee by itself is pretty much carb-free. That's right. If you have some black coffee or espresso or an americano, you won't be having any carbs at all. A 12 ounce cup of black coffee will have at most 1 gram of carbs. But keep in mind, this doesn't include the sugar you may add to your coffee. To be specific, caffeine itself doesn't affect the carb content in any drink. It's the other additions to the coffee drink that do.
Milk, being the most common addition to most coffees, can have a lot of carbs depending on its source and fat content. For example, whole milk will contain more carbs than almond milk. Same with skimmed milk and soy milk, the carb quantity will always vary.
To illustrate, let's consider a cup of cappuccino with a ratio of 1:1:1 of milk to foam to espresso. A 16-ounce cup with 2% milk may have 12 grams of carbs.
But if we consider a latte, which has a ratio of 1:3 of espresso and milk, it will have more carbs. This is because this drink contains a high quantity of milk, it'll have 24 grams of carbs, and that's when the sugar and syrup in the drink are not even taken into account.
Surprising, isn't it? Now, if we consider cream and chocolate in a cup of coffee, the carbs can go up to 100 grams or more.
So how do you fix this? How do you make your coffee low-carb?
There's always a solution. If you're on the usual 2000 calorie diet, your daily recommended carb intake must be around 130 carbs. Oof that seems hard, eh? It can be even more difficult for the ones on keto.
Here are some tips:
- Go for a smaller cup of coffee: yes, this seems a little impractical but limiting the quantity rather than cutting coffee out completely is the better option any day.
- Easy on the additions: cutting out on those decadent additives will significantly reduce the carb content in your coffee. For example, chocolate, whipped cream, syrups or sugar, all contribute to extra carbs. Not adding them and sticking to a black coffee will ensure you're not consuming extra carbs.
- Make it yourself: Making your own coffee at home with some sugar-free sweeteners is always better than getting coffee at cafes or shops. You can never be sure of what goes in your coffee or how harmful it might be.
- Try the vegan options! Dairy is actually the most carb-heavy ingredient in any coffee. Consider switching to soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk for your coffee. Yes, the taste may seem different, but you won't have to worry about the carbs that much.
- Try out the keto coffee drinks: Keto is all about being carb-free. Have you ever tried butter or bulletproof coffee? It's when you add a spoonful of clarified butter or MCT to your coffee. This way, you can add more nutrition and yet cut down on the carbs in your drink.
Coffee is healthy!
Keep in mind that a cup of coffee has the least calories or carbs compared to most beverages. So while you cut out on the milk and sugar, here are some facts to make your coffee drinking experience guilt-free:
- Coffee has no saturated fat or cholesterol
- It's very low in sodium
- Coffee has no sugar
- Coffee has riboflavin, magnesium, pantothenic acid, and potassium, which are all great for you.
So if compared to other drinks like sodas or lemonades, coffee is any day the better choice. The caffeine present in coffee also contributes to weight loss, making coffee an effective pre-workout supplement for most people.
The next time you have your coffee, be mindful of the other ingredients, and your carb intake will be in check!