Do you know what makes a perfect addition to your Keto diet? Unsweetened tea! Not only is it delicious, but it’s also packed with antioxidants and can aid in weight loss. Plus, it’s a great way to increase your daily water intake. I come from the lakeside and when I wake up in the morning, I always take a hot cup of tea as I enjoy the morning breeze from the lake. But again, if you’re on Keto or want to try this popular diet, you’re probably asking the question, is unsweetened tea Keto, or which type of tea should you take on Keto?
As they “experience is the best teacher”, I tried different types of Teas when starting my Keto journey and I want to share with you what worked for me and what didn’t. Do you want to know which one(s) worked for me that may help your Keto journey? Stay tuned!
What is this “Keto” diet about?
As a certified nutritionist and Keto diet health coach, I can confidently declare that since I began the Keto diet, I haven’t had a single cold in the past 7 years. Before that though, I experienced what a lot of you are going through now – struggling with weight, too much bloating, high blood sugar, and so on. With Keto, which is a low-carb, high-fat approach to eating, you would shed pounds with ease; you won’t feel hungry, you won’t have to exercise, and you won’t have to monitor your calories.
By stressing healthy fats and avoiding most processed carbohydrates, your body will transition into a state of ketosis, where it starts to use fat for energy rather than carbs.
Is Unsweetened Tea Keto-Friendly?
Yes, unsweetened tea is a great option for those following a ketogenic diet. Most unsweetened teas are calorie-free drinks. Typically you’ll have about 2-3 grams of carbs per 8-ounce serving, while some unsweetened may have as little as 0 grams. Some popular unsweetened teas include green tea, black tea, and herbal teas such as peppermint or chamomile.
Personally I like my tea served cold, so I always go for unsweetened iced tea, and let me tell you, it’s awesome! Don’t forget to consider any added ingredients in teas, such as milk or flavored syrups, as they can also add carbohydrates to your diet. It’s best to stick with plain, unsweetened tea when following a ketogenic diet.
What Teas Are Keto Friendly?
Tea is a great way to get your caffeine fix without sugar. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of being able to drink tea without any added sugar or cream, and when I learned that it’s possible (and even better than drinking coffee), I started experimenting with different types of teas on my own. Here are some unsweetened tea variations which are Keto-friendly that I recommend:
Growing up, I knew green tea drinks were a traditional medicine for losing weight and not just a morning energy-boosting smoothie, but again, food is medicine so maybe I was right. If you’re on Keto or planning to start, you might be wondering whether green tea is Keto-friendly. Don’t worry, I got you!
Green tea is a great option for you following a high-fat diet like the Keto diet. You get low carbs when you consume and you enjoy plenty of health benefits thanks to its antioxidants. Strongly brewed green tea is also a great option for weight loss due to its thermogenic properties that can help boost metabolism. From the USDA database, you get 0g of carbs when you drink 16 fl oz. of unsweetened, ready-to-drink green tea.
According to a study that was published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2005, catechins or epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) with caffeine that can be found in green tea can have a slight beneficial effect when it comes to shedding pounds and maintaining weight loss.
Another study from the International Journal of Molecular Sciences that was released in 2020 proposed that catechins which can be located in green tea could have anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential.
Black tea is another Keto-friendly option, and it’s still my favorite up to date.
A research study published in the European journal of clinical nutrition in 2007 concluded that drinking black tea regularly had a beneficial effect on well-being such as improved antioxidant levels.
A further study published in Food & function (2014) proposed that regular intake of black tea for three months could lead to a decrease in body weight and changes in body fat distribution compared to a caffeine-matched control drink. These effects were not apparent at six months.
Herbal teas like peppermint, chamomile, and rooibos are not only carb-free, but they are also full of antioxidants, providing plenty of advantages to your health. A research paper in the Nutrients journal from 2021 discovered that herbal teas boast many properties, such as antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, neuroprotective, and thermogenic.
Teas to Avoid on Keto diet
Everyone loves things that taste sweet and I’m not an exception even if I’m a Nutritionist. But when it comes to your health, you have to make tough decisions. Teas that are sweetened with sugar, honey, or other sweeteners, such as fruit juice, are a no-go on a ketogenic diet. These sweeteners are high in carbohydrates and can quickly take you out of ketosis.
Now get this, if you just add 1 tbsp. (21 g) of honey to your tea, then you’ve have added a whopping 17.3g of carbs to your tea!
Flavored teas often contain added sugars or syrups, which can also add carbohydrates to your diet. It’s best to stick with plain, unsweetened teas when following a ketogenic diet.
Teas that are made with milk or creamer, such as bubble tea, chai or latte, or Indian milk tea, are also not recommended for a keto diet. Milk is high in carbohydrates and can take you out of ketosis. A 16 fl oz. Chai Tea Latte at Starbucks gives you a whopping 240 calories and 42g of sugar! However, unsweetened almond milk maybe be low in carbs.
Top Keto Tea Tips
Here are a few tips for making the most of your Keto diet with tea. Spoiler alert! These are the tips that worked for me:
Avoid any teas with added sugar or artificial sweeteners
Flavored teas often contain added sugars or syrups, which can also add carbohydrates to your diet. Teas that are made with milk or creamer, such as chai or latte, are not recommended for a ketogenic diet. Milk is high in carbohydrates and can take you out of ketosis. Opt for other unsweetened tea powders.
Make your own iced tea
Some pre-made iced teas contain added sugars, syrups or fruit juice, which can be high in carbs. Making your own iced tea at home with unsweetened tea and some ice cubes is a great way to enjoy a refreshing drink without added sugars. Choose loose leaf tea blends.
Be mindful of the tea ingredients
We all know how the food industry tricks with terms like no added sugar,” “zero sugar,” to make you that the product doesn’t have sugar. Be sure to check the ingredients of the tea you are drinking, as some teas may contain added sweeteners or syrups.
Don’t be afraid to experiment things
Try different types of tea to find the ones you like best and also experiment with different brewing methods to explore new flavors.
Finally, don’t note this before you drink that tea!
Tea can be a great drink, but it comes with a few downsides. Caffeine is the primary culprit, while some people may appreciate the energy boost, for others it can cause jitteriness and difficulty sleeping. Too much caffeine has been linked to a variety of health problems, like high blood pressure and heart palpitations.
Tannins can also make tea taste bitter and might cause nausea or stomach issues.
Lastly, the tea leaves might be contaminated with pesticides, heavy metals, or other harmful chemicals. To lessen the risk, it’s best to pick teas that are certified organic.
Which Low-Carb Sweeteners Can I Use on Keto?
Allulose, is a kind of sweetener found in small amounts in figs and wheat. It can be found in maple syrup, and molasses. I personally like allulose better than other sweeteners for the Keto diet because it’s low in calories(about 0.4 calories per gram) , has a relative sweetness of about 70%, and won’t have negative effects on blood sugar and weight management due to low glycemic index. So, it is suitable for those with dietary restrictions. The only downside is that it can be pricey.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol derived from natural sources such as birch trees that has a similar flavor and texture to sugar. It is an excellent choice for people who want a sweetener that is low in calories and has a low glycemic index, meaning it won’t increase your blood sugar levels. Just be extremely careful with xylitol because it’s can be poisonous to your pet dog according to FDA.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol that is derived from fermented fruits and vegetables. It’s a low-carb and low-calorie sweetener, and it doesn’t affect blood sugar levels.
Is unsweetened tea Keto-friendly? Yes, you can add unsweetened tea to your Keto. It is a low-carb and calorie-free alternative to sugary drinks, making it a great choice for achieving Keto success. If you like yours a bit cold, you can try unsweetened iced tea.
The tips I’ve shared with you above really helped improve my overall health. The many clients I’ve worked with have also given me positive updates about their lives since I shared with them the tips on Keto, so I hope you’ll benefit from this too.