The average American drinks 3 cups of coffee in a day, with coffee being ranked as the most consumed beverage in America. How many cups of coffee do you have in a day?
Fun fact, America is the number one consumer of coffee in the world. However, the 3 cups consumed in a day by you, are still within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations. The FDA recommends not more than 4oo mg of caffeine in a day, which is 4 cups. So good job America!
A low-carb diet has become a popular part of most people’s dietary lifestyle. Eating keto needs you to pay attention to how many carbs you are consuming per day so your body stays in ketosis.
Average Americans like me on the low-carb lifestyle, probably have asked themselves these questions as they walked into shops, will this cup of coffee kick me out of ketosis? How many carbs in a cup of coffee? Are all the popular coffee drinks low-carb? Let’s find out!
What You Need to Know About Coffee
Coffee drinks are made from roasted coffee beans. It is popular because of its fragrance, robust flavor, and caffeine content which acts as a stimulant for the human brain. Is it safe to drink your cup of coffee when watching your carb intake? This depends on what is in your cup of coffee!
The caffeine content of coffee does not affect the carb count of coffee. Decaffeinated coffee and caffeinated coffee have the same grams of carbs because their source of carbs is the same.
Does Coffee Have Carbs?
Are there carbs in coffee? A cup of black coffee contains zero carbs because its source of carbohydrates is the beans. Espresso coffee contains 0.5 g of net carbs in one ounce. Black coffee and espresso are keto-friendly coffee beverages, even though they have no fat content.
However, the carb count in coffee drinks can vary from zero to very high, depending on the source of carbs in coffee drinks.
What am I saying, is if you are pure black coffee, then your body will remain in ketosis. But if you add milk and sugar into your coffee, then you are introducing other sources of carbs into the picture which will increase carb intake.
So, when taking your cup of black coffee, you are consuming fewer carbs than in coffee with flavored syrups, sweeteners, honey, coconut sugar, and whipped cream.
How Many Carbs in A Cup of Coffee?
Black coffee and espresso from your favorite coffee shop contain negligible amounts of carbs, usually less than 1 g. Americano, brewed by adding hot water to espresso, contains 0.7 grams of carbs. So, if you’re having multiple cups in a day, do the math!
Black coffee, Americano, and espresso contain fewer carbs than a latte, cappuccino, mochaccino, and mochas. Why? Because black coffee, Americano, and espresso are made by brewing ground beans and water. The latter has other added ingredients that increase the grams of carbs in your coffee.
Black coffee tastes bitter, which can be too strong for some people’s taste buds. Most shops add sugar, honey, syrup, or dairy milk to sweeten coffee. But how many carbs are you adding to your coffee by doing this?
The high amounts of milk added to your flat white, latte, and cappuccino is what will kick you out of ketosis. Milk contains 12 grams of carbs in one cup (250g), skimmed milk has 13 grams of carbs and milk foam has 8 grams of carbs.
Dairy milk has a low glycemic index (GI), which is how fast it can spike insulin levels, ranging from 33-47. Skimmed milk’s glycemic index ranges from 32-43. This is low GI, but the insulin index, which translates to how much a food increases insulin concentration in the blood, 2 hours after consumption. The insulin index is 90, which means it increases the concentration of insulin fast.
Adding milk to your black coffee not only increases carb count but also fat content. A high percentage of the fat in milk is saturated. Too much milk added to bulletproof coffee increases saturated fat intake. If you take multiple cups, you will be consuming excess saturated fats.
Sugar contains simple carbs that increase glucose levels in the body kicking you out of ketosis. If you are on a keto diet, you want to eat less sugar in your diet. One tablespoon of sugar contains 13 grams of carbs, and one teaspoon is 4 g. When you add sugar to your coffee, you have to count the carbohydrate in sugar.
The glycemic index of sugar is 65 and the glycemic load is 8.5. Carb-conscious people should be careful about how much sugar they take. You are better off drinking your coffee sugar-free.
One tablespoon of honey contains 17.3 g of digestible carbohydrates. The carb content of one tablespoon of flavored syrups is 14 g. This is too many carbs, enough to reach your carb limit on a low-carb diet. The glycemic index of syrup and honey is 100 and 55 respectively. Honey and syrup can spike your blood glucose kicking you out of ketosis.
The carbohydrates in whipped cream will make you realize that flavor is not that big of a deal. Whipped cream contains 2 to 3 g of carbohydrates which is considered low carb. Just like every American, you will want to drink more than a cup and top it with whip cream from your favorite coffee shop. This will double or triple your carb intake kicking you out of ketosis.
Is Cold Brew Coffee Low Carb?
Now that we are talking about how many carbs in a cup of coffee, we can as well discuss whether cold brew can be recommended for a low-carb diet. Cold brew is made by soaking coffee grounds in water at cool temperatures. The carb content of cold brew is 3 g of carbohydrates in 300 ml.
Why are there more carbs in cold brew coffees than in black coffees? The cold processing and duration of brewing are what bring about the change in carbohydrate content. Soaking the beans in cold water releases fats into the brew, increasing the concentration of caffeine and carbohydrates.
Carb Content of Popular Coffee Drinks
Before you drink coffee from your local coffee shop, make sure you consider what is added to it and how it will affect your carbohydrates count. Drinking espresso, Americano, and black coffee is fine on a low-carb diet. But the moment you start adding things to it, the dynamics change.
Do you know the carb content of a single serving of your favorite coffee from your local coffee shop?
- Latte: This type of coffee is created by combining espresso and milk at a ratio of 1:3. The carb count in lattes is 24 g of net carbohydrates, with most of the carbs coming from milk and syrup.
- Café au lait: It is created by combining black coffee and steamed milk at a ratio of 1:1. You will get 6 g of carbs from this coffee drink.
- Flat white: This coffee drink is made from espresso, milk, and milk foam combines at a ratio of 1:3:2. The number of carbs in one serving of flat white is 24 g, similar to a latte because the milk ratio is the same.
- Cappuccino: The ratio of espresso to milk foam is 1:1:1. In 16 ounces of this drink from Starbucks, made from 2% milk, you will get 12 g of carbs.
- Mochaccino: Also known as chocolate cappuccino. It is made by mixing espresso, milk, and chocolate syrup. Starbucks cafe mocha made from 2% milk contains 44 g of carbs.
- French press: This coffee drink is brewed using a French press and the immersion brewing method. Ground coffee is immersed in hot water for a few minutes to extract flavor before pressing coffee grounds using the French press plunger. One cup of French press (300 ml) contains 0 g of carbs, as long as you do not add any flavors or milk to it.
How Do You Make Your Coffee Low Carb-Friendly?
Many coffee shops add flavored syrups, cream, whipped cream, and dairy milk into coffee which increases carbs in coffee. The carb limit on a low-carb diet is less than 130 g of carb per day, and less than 50 g for very low-carb diets like keto. You can still enjoy your coffee, with lower carbs, by doing the following:
Drink Black Coffee, Americano, or Espresso
Coffee, like cheese, gets better with time. Drink coffee without adding any milk or flavor to it, and with time you will come to love the subtle flavors that come with it. The best way to make your coffee low-carb is by adding no carbs to it!
Reduce or Switch Your Milk
How many carbs in a cup of coffee depends on what and how much you are adding to it. Add less milk to your coffee to lower the carbs in coffee. Another alternative is switching from dairy milk to dairy-free milk. Unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk are great options if you are trying to increase the protein and fat content of your coffee without adding extra carbs.
Try Low Carb Sweeteners
I wouldn’t even advise eating less sugar because it can easily spike your blood sugar. Opt for sugar-free coffee that uses sugar-free syrups. The best option for flavor without compromising carbs is using low-carb sweeteners like monk fruit sweeteners. Other sweeteners are high in carbs and may spike blood sugar levels and increase weight gain. Low carb sweeteners are among keto foods allowed on low carb diets.
Avoid High Carb Additives
You don’t have to use whipped cream or syrups in your coffee. Wean yourself off high-carb extras that can increase sugar cravings.
In summary black coffee, Americano, and Espresso coffee contain less than 1 g of carbs in a serving. Coffee is low-carb and is allowed on a keto diet. However, what you add to your coffee is what increases the carb count of your coffee. Avoid high-carb foods that increase inflammation and weight gain.
Indulge me, what is your go-to coffee order at your favorite coffee shop? Do you get any toppings or flavored syrups to it? What popular coffee drink is your favorite? Drop your answer in the comment section!