Some people just aren’t up to the task of drinking black coffee every day. But sometimes you need a little something more in your coffee. A little cream never hurt anyone, but some of out there follow the ketogenic diet. So, is half and half keto approved? Read on to find out.
There’s no real denying it, I am absolutely a coffee fanatic. It’s something I just can’t live without. As much as I love coffee, I must make a confession…I don’t often drink it black. If I do drink coffee black I tend to not drink as much and as someone – as I said – who is a coffee fanatic, I enjoy drinking large amounts of coffee.
I know I’m not the only one who is like that either. Coffee with some sort of creamer in it is just bliss. And do you know what’s really good to put in your coffee? Half and half. Isn’t it just the best? But what about if you’re on a keto diet? Can you put half in half in your coffee? Is half and half keto-friendly?
The answer to this question really isn’t very simple though. Let’s first state the obvious. Half and half does have some carbs in it and as you know, depending on how many carbs you’ve consumed in a given day, even something with just a few carbs can put you over your limit. That limit is typically 50g of carbs for most people.
However, half and half only contains about 0.6g of carbs. Whew! That’s a relief isn’t it? Well, keep in mind that’s per tablespoon. I’m not sure how much half and half you put in your coffee, or if you even use half and half for that matter. Maybe you’re just doing your research to find out if you should or can use half and half. I think you’ll find all the answers you need as you continue reading this article.
Now, let’s talk a little bit more about half and half. What is it exactly? Half of what? It’s half milk and half cream. For those unaware, cream is the milkfat in the milk. So if you actually went out and milked a cow and got yourself some fresh milk, as it sits, the cream would rise to the top because of the density of the cream. That’s the good stuff!
The regular milk that you buy from the supermarket is going to be homogenized most likely and what that homogenization process does is breaks up those fatty cells and evenly distributes them throughout the milk.
So then you may ask yourself, wouldn’t it just be better (and cheaper) to buy whole milk and use that instead of half and half? Well, no actually. The problem is when you’re doing keto, you have to prioritize your fats and reduce the number of carbs you take in. Because the cream is the milk fat that rises to the top, it has a higher percentage of fat and a lower percentage of carbs making it better than milk. With milk, you’re going to evenly distribute that fat content throughout the rest of the milk thereby lowing the amount of fat you get per serving while simultaneously increasing the number of carbs that you take in because the milk has more lactose than the cream and is, therefore, richer in carbs.
Now the question you’re probably considering is why drink half and half at all? Why not just put straight cream in your coffee instead of half and half since there are more carbs and more sugar in the half and half because of the milk? Well, that is because it comes with some nutrients with it. We know that milk is rich in Vitamin A and calcium which is good for your bones, your vision, and your immune system.
Now, I know that there are some people who are super strict about their keto diets and try to consume as few carbs as possible. Therefore, half and half may not be what they want in their coffee because of the carb count. In that case, there are some alternatives that you could use if you want to further cut down on your overall carbs.
One alternative to half and half would be using heavy cream in your coffee. The heavier it is, the less lactose there is going to be resulting in fewer carbs. Yes, it’s going to be higher in calories given that the fat content is higher, but you may even be able to get away with using less if that’s what you really wanted. However, I would opt for a good heaping dollop personally.
Another good alternative would be coconut milk or almond milk. With coconut milk, you’ll still be getting a lot of healthy fat, and all for only 0.5g of carbs per serving. Almond milk is going to be very similar as well.
Butter or ghee is another good keto alternative to half and half if you are on a more strict keto diet. Ghee is just clarified butter. What that means is that the butter is heated to separate the butterfats from the rest of the butter. So essentially, ghee is pure butterfat. I’m not sure of the carb count of ghee, but it is only very trace amounts.
Going along with putting butter in coffee is bulletproof coffee. I’m sure you’ve heard of it already, but it’s made by putting butter or ghee and MCT oil inside your coffee. The best way to make sure that your bulletproof coffee is mixed properly is by actually blending it. Otherwise, it’s not going to mix properly and you may not like the taste of it very much. Bulletproof coffee is a great way to trigger weight loss through ketosis.
So, in summary, what have we learned here? Well, at the end of the day, half and half does have carbs, but it’s not much, only 0.6g per tablespoon. So don’t be afraid to have your half and half and drink it too, just make sure that you’re still tracking them so you can ensure that you don’t go over your daily carb intake. You don’t have to be afraid of it, as long as you’re not filling up half of your coffee mug with it, you’ll more than likely be just fine.
When you’re on the go, you are free to take advantage of coffee with either half and half or heavy cream at both Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. You have no risk of being knocked out of ketosis with these options.