Most adherents to the keto way of life understand that they shouldn’t add sugar or sweetened, flavored syrups to their coffee. But not everyone enjoys plain black coffee.
Is half-and-half keto? Half-and-half is half milk, which contains sugars and carbs. Depending on the desired macros, it’s possible to incorporate small amounts of half-and-half into a keto diet, but it’s probably better to go without or find an alternative.
In keto talk, “macros” are the macronutrients such as protein, fat, and net carbs. Everybody’s ideal macros are different, but in all cases, the goal is to minimize carbohydrates. Net carbs represent the total carb intake in grams less the fiber intake in grams.
There may be room in your calculated macros for a little bit of half-and-half; despite the fact that it contains milk sugars, most people only put small amounts in their coffee. However, it’s worth learning about why it isn’t ideal in a keto diet and what your alternatives are.
What Is Half-and-Half?
Half-and-half is a mixture of half milk and half cream. In the United States, it must be between 10.5% and 18% milkfat, and it must be pasteurized or ultra-pasteurized. It is primarily used as a coffee creamer, but it can be used in other dishes as well.
You may see fat-free half-and-half in grocery stores, and that’s an even worse choice for the keto diet. Fat-free half-and-half is skim milk (high in sugar, low in fat) thickened with corn syrup (pure sugar) derivatives.
Is Half-and-Half Keto?
As most keto followers know, there are few foods that are specifically designated as keto. Many foods have a place in a keto diet as long as the total day’s intake fits the desired macro profile.
Half-and-half is relatively high in milk sugars, which are simple carbohydrates. This means that it is not an ideal keto food, but in small portions, it can have a place in a good keto regimen. Most people don’t put more than a tablespoon or two of half-and-half into their coffee.
Carbs in Half-and-Half
A tablespoon of half-and-half typically contains:
- 18 calories
- 1.6 grams fat
- 0.5 grams protein
- 0.7 grams carbs
- 0 grams dietary fiber
- 0.6 grams sugar
The key numbers here are the carbs and the fiber. There is no fiber in half-and-half, so all the carbs count as net carbs. Two tablespoons of half-and-half will have 1.4 grams of net carbs. Depending on the desired macros, this could be up to 5% of the daily allotment of carbs.
Does Half-and-Half Have Sugar?
Half-and-half is unsweetened, which means that it does not have any added sugar, but the milk in half-and-half is naturally high in milk sugar. Although it does not taste particularly sweet, you should be aware that half-and-half is indeed relatively high in sugar.
Milk sugar is known as lactose. It is a disaccharide compound made up of glucose and galactose, which are both monosaccharides. Although it is a sugar, as denoted by the -ose suffixes, it has only a mildly sweet taste.
What Can I Put in My Coffee on Keto?
You could always learn to drink your coffee black, but if that doesn’t appeal to you, you have several options. Many of these are just as easily available as the standard half-and-half.
You can drink your coffee with heavy cream. Heavy cream is high in fat and contains no sugars or carbohydrates, which makes it ideal for the keto diet. Be aware that it is much richer than half-and-half, so you will likely want to use less.
Creamers made with almond milk or coconut milk are also available in most grocery stores. You should be careful when you shop since many commercial coffee creamers are flavored and/or sweetened; however, plain almond milk or coconut milk has no carbohydrates.
You can also buy coffee creamers that are made to be keto-friendly. They are usually high in fat and low in sugars and carbohydrates. Some are flavored, and many of them are sweetened with keto-compliant artificial sweeteners.
What Is Bulletproof Coffee?
Bulletproof coffee is beloved by many keto followers. It turns your morning cup of coffee into a complete meal with high-quality fats and other benefits. Bulletproof coffee is a great way to start off any day!
The original bulletproof coffee recipe blends together brewed black coffee, MCT oil, and melted unsalted butter or ghee. Whirl in a blender (or use an immersion blender) until the drink resembles a frothy latte.
MCT oil is derived from coconut or palm oil. It is intended to boost brain power, suppress hunger, increase energy, and help the body burn fat as part of a keto diet regimen.
Some bulletproof coffee recipes add cinnamon for taste and to lower blood sugar, egg whites for protein, or salt for minerals and electrolytes. You can also add keto-friendly sweeteners or flavored syrup; these have no health benefits but if you’re careful, they can fit into a keto regimen.