Are you a coffee lover who is following the keto diet? Then you might be wondering if you can still enjoy your favorite milk-based coffee drinks. Well, the answer is not as simple as a yes or no. While milk is generally higher in carbs, there are some ways to incorporate it into your keto lifestyle without sabotaging your progress. In this article, we will explore the options and alternatives available to you, so grab a cuppa and let’s find out if milk-based coffee drinks can be a part of your keto journey.


Understanding the ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet, often referred to as the keto diet, is a low-carb, high-fat diet that has gained popularity for its potential benefits in weight loss and improved metabolic health. The main principle of the keto diet is to drastically reduce your carbohydrate intake and replace it with healthy fats. By doing so, your body enters a state of ketosis, where it starts using fat as its primary source of energy rather than glucose. This can lead to weight loss, increased energy levels, and improved mental clarity.

The role of milk-based coffee drinks on keto

While the ketogenic diet focuses on minimizing carbohydrates and increasing fat intake, many individuals wonder if they can still enjoy their favorite milk-based coffee drinks while following the keto lifestyle. In this article, we will explore the nutritional considerations of milk-based coffee drinks, how they can impact ketosis, and provide options for low-carb milk alternatives. Additionally, we’ll discuss sweeteners commonly used in coffee and how to order keto-friendly coffee at cafes. Finally, we’ll share some delicious homemade milk-based coffee recipes and provide tips for staying on track with your keto diet while enjoying your daily cup of joe. Let’s dive in!

Nutritional considerations

Carbohydrate content of milk-based coffee drinks

When considering the inclusion of milk-based coffee drinks in your keto diet, it’s important to be aware of their carbohydrate content. Regular cow’s milk contains lactose, a natural sugar present in milk, which contributes to its carbohydrate content. On average, an 8-ounce serving of cow’s milk contains around 12 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from lactose. This can vary slightly depending on the fat content of the milk. Additionally, flavored coffee drinks, such as lattes and cappuccinos, often contain added sugars or syrups that significantly increase their carbohydrate content. It’s essential to consider these carbohydrates when calculating your daily carb intake on keto.

Impact of milk-based coffee drinks on ketosis

The carbohydrate content in milk-based coffee drinks can potentially impact your state of ketosis. Consuming too many carbohydrates, especially from sources like milk with higher lactose content, can kick you out of ketosis and hinder your weight loss progress. However, it’s important to note that individual responses to carbohydrates can vary. Some people may be able to tolerate small amounts of milk-based coffee drinks and remain in ketosis, while others may need to avoid them altogether. It’s crucial to understand your own tolerance and track your ketone levels to determine how milk-based coffee drinks affect your body.

Options for low-carb milk alternatives

If you’re following the keto diet and want to enjoy milk-based coffee drinks without the high carbohydrate content, there are several low-carb milk alternatives to consider. These alternative options are typically lower in carbohydrates and can be used in your favorite coffee beverages. Some popular choices include almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk, hemp milk, rice milk, oat milk, and macadamia milk. However, it’s important to carefully read the labels as some brands may contain added sugars. Experimenting with different milk alternatives can help you find the perfect keto-friendly option for your milk-based coffee drinks.

Milk-based coffee options

Traditional milk-based coffee drinks

Traditional milk-based coffee drinks, such as lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos, are beloved by coffee enthusiasts around the world. These classic drinks typically consist of espresso and steamed milk, often topped with foam or a sprinkle of cocoa powder. While these beverages are delicious, their high carbohydrate content can make them challenging to fit into a keto diet. However, with some modifications and smart choices, you can still enjoy these drinks without compromising your keto goals.

Low-carb milk-based coffee drinks

To make milk-based coffee drinks more keto-friendly, opt for low-carb milk alternatives with minimal carbohydrates. Almond milk, unsweetened coconut milk, and macadamia nut milk are excellent choices due to their low carbohydrate content. By substituting regular milk with these alternatives, you can significantly reduce the number of carbs in your coffee drink, making it easier to stay in ketosis.

Reduced milk portions

Another option to limit your carbohydrate intake while enjoying milk-based coffee drinks is to reduce the amount of milk you use. Instead of filling your cup with milk, opt for a smaller quantity or use a shot of espresso as the dominant flavor and add just a splash of milk. This way, you still achieve the desired flavor and creaminess without consuming excessive carbohydrates.

Adding heavy cream or nut milk

If you prefer a creamier and richer texture in your coffee, consider adding heavy cream or nut milk instead of regular milk. Heavy cream contains minimal carbohydrates and adds a luxurious mouthfeel to your coffee. Nut milk, such as almond or cashew milk, can also be a suitable option. Just be sure to choose unsweetened varieties to avoid added sugars or artificial sweeteners that may interfere with your keto diet.

Bulletproof coffee

Bulletproof coffee has gained popularity in the keto community as a satisfying and energizing morning beverage. It usually consists of coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil or coconut oil. This high-fat coffee drink provides a steady source of energy and keeps you feeling full for longer periods. While it may not be a traditional milk-based coffee drink, bulletproof coffee offers a delicious alternative for those following the keto diet.

Assessing milk alternatives

Almond milk

Almond milk is a popular low-carb milk alternative often favored by individuals following the keto diet. It has a creamy texture and a subtle nutty flavor that complements coffee well. It is typically low in carbohydrates and calories, making it an excellent choice for those on a keto diet. However, some brands may contain added sugars or thickeners, so it’s essential to choose unsweetened almond milk to minimize carbohydrate intake.

Coconut milk

Coconut milk is another fantastic option for those seeking a keto-friendly milk alternative for their coffee. It is rich, creamy, and imparts a subtle tropical flavor to your beverage. Coconut milk is low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats, and can be a great choice for individuals following a keto or paleo lifestyle. Look for unsweetened coconut milk to ensure minimal carbohydrate content.

Soy milk

Soy milk is a plant-based milk alternative made from soybeans. While it can be suitable for those following a vegetarian or vegan keto diet, it’s important to note that soy milk contains slightly more carbohydrates compared to almond or coconut milk. It’s crucial to read the labels and select unsweetened varieties to keep your carbohydrate intake in check.

Cashew milk

Cashew milk is a creamy and mildly sweet milk alternative that works well in coffee. It is relatively low in carbohydrates and can be enjoyed by those following a keto diet. Similar to other milk alternatives, be sure to choose unsweetened cashew milk to minimize your carbohydrate consumption.

Hemp milk

Hemp milk is made from hemp seeds and has a slightly nutty flavor profile. While it may not be as common as almond or coconut milk, hemp milk can be a suitable option for individuals on a keto diet. It is typically low in carbohydrates, high in omega-3 fatty acids, and offers a good source of protein. As always, check the labels for any added sugars or sweeteners.

Rice milk

Rice milk is a milk alternative made from milled rice and water. It has a sweet flavor and a thin consistency. However, rice milk is higher in carbohydrates compared to other milk alternatives and may not be the best choice for those following a keto diet. If you enjoy the taste of rice milk, it’s essential to consider its higher carbohydrate content and moderate your consumption accordingly.

Oat milk

Oat milk has gained popularity in recent years due to its creamy texture and mild oat flavor. However, it is higher in carbohydrates compared to almond or coconut milk, making it less suitable for individuals on the keto diet. While small amounts may still fit into your daily carbohydrate allowance, it’s important to consider its higher carb content when planning your meals.

Macadamia milk

Macadamia milk is a rich and creamy milk alternative made from macadamia nuts. It has a buttery flavor and a smooth texture that complements coffee exceptionally well. Macadamia milk is low in carbohydrates and contains beneficial monounsaturated fats, making it an excellent choice for individuals following a keto diet. Look for unsweetened macadamia milk in stores to keep your carb intake minimal.

Considerations for milk alternatives

When choosing milk alternatives for your coffee, it’s essential to be mindful of the carbohydrate content and any potential additives. Reading labels and opting for unsweetened varieties can help you control your carbohydrate intake. Additionally, some individuals may be sensitive to certain milk alternatives due to allergies or intolerances. It’s crucial to listen to your body and make choices that align with your dietary needs.

Sweeteners in milk-based coffee

Effects of sweeteners on keto

Sweeteners in coffee can add flavor and enhance the taste of your milk-based coffee drink. However, it’s important to choose sweeteners that do not disrupt your state of ketosis. Regular table sugar, honey, and maple syrup are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided on a keto diet. These sweeteners can spike your blood sugar levels, potentially knocking you out of ketosis. Additionally, some artificial sweeteners may have a similar effect on blood sugar and insulin levels for some individuals. Understanding the impact of sweeteners on your body and choosing keto-friendly options are key.

Low-carb sweetener options

Thankfully, there are various low-carb sweetener options available that can satisfy your sweet tooth without hindering your progress on keto. Stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, and xylitol are popular natural sweeteners with minimal impact on blood sugar levels. These sweeteners can provide the desired sweetness without adding significant carbohydrates to your coffee drink. It’s important to note that individual tolerances and responses to sweeteners may vary, so experiment and listen to your body to find the best option for you.

Natural sweeteners

Natural sweeteners, such as stevia and monk fruit, are derived from plants and offer an alternative to artificial sweeteners. They provide sweetness without the added carbs or calories, making them suitable for those following a keto diet. While these sweeteners are generally considered safe, it’s essential to be mindful of any potential digestive discomfort or reactions you may have.

Artificial sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, such as sucralose and aspartame, are zero-calorie sweeteners commonly used in beverages and foods. While these sweeteners do not contribute to carbohydrates or affect blood sugar levels, some individuals may experience adverse effects or have concerns about their long-term safety. It’s crucial to listen to your body and make choices that align with your preferences and health goals.

Ordering keto-friendly coffee at cafes

Customizing milk-based coffee drinks

When ordering coffee at cafes while following a keto diet, don’t be afraid to ask for customizations to make your drink more keto-friendly. For milk-based coffee drinks, request a low-carb milk alternative like almond or coconut milk. You can also ask for a reduced portion of milk or heavy cream. Many cafes are accustomed to catering to various dietary needs and will gladly accommodate your requests.

Asking for sugar-free options

To avoid added sugars in your milk-based coffee drinks, be sure to ask for sugar-free syrups or sweeteners. Many cafes offer a variety of flavored syrups that are specifically formulated without added sugars. Steer clear of flavored syrups that contain artificial sweeteners if you have concerns about their impact on your keto diet.

Checking ingredients

If you’re unsure about the ingredients or nutritional content of a particular milk-based coffee drink at a cafe, don’t hesitate to ask. Baristas are knowledgeable about the beverages they serve and can provide information about the ingredients used. Checking the ingredient list for any hidden sugars or high-carb items can help you make informed choices that align with your keto diet.

Homemade milk-based coffee recipes

Keto-friendly latte

Making a keto-friendly latte at home is easier than you might think. Combine a shot of espresso or strong brewed coffee with your choice of low-carb milk alternative, such as almond or coconut milk. Add your preferred low-carb sweetener, such as stevia or erythritol, and mix well. For an extra touch of indulgence, top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder. This homemade latte allows you to enjoy a delicious milk-based coffee drink while staying within the boundaries of your keto diet.

Iced coffee variations

Iced coffee is a refreshing option, especially during the hot summer months. To make a keto-friendly iced coffee, prepare a strong brew and let it cool. Fill a glass with ice cubes, pour the cooled coffee over the ice, and add your choice of low-carb milk alternative. Sweeten with a keto-friendly sweetener if desired. You can also experiment with adding flavors like vanilla or chocolate extract for a unique twist. Stir, sip, and enjoy your homemade keto iced coffee creation.

Protein-packed coffee smoothie

If you’re seeking a coffee-based beverage that not only satisfies your caffeine fix but also provides a boost of protein, try a protein-packed coffee smoothie. Blend together a shot of espresso or strong brewed coffee, your preferred low-carb milk alternative, a scoop of protein powder (choose a brand with minimal carbohydrates), and ice cubes. You can also add a dollop of unsweetened Greek yogurt or a spoonful of nut butter for added creaminess and flavor. This delicious and filling smoothie can be a keto-friendly meal replacement or a post-workout pick-me-up.

Tips for staying on keto with milk-based coffee

Portion control

When enjoying milk-based coffee drinks on a keto diet, portion control is essential. While low-carb milk alternatives may have fewer carbohydrates, it’s still crucial to be mindful of the quantity you consume. Measure your milk or cream carefully and consider using a smaller cup size to ensure you stay within your daily carbohydrate goals.

Tracking macros

Tracking your macronutrients, including carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, is a helpful strategy when following a keto diet. By logging your food intake, you can keep tabs on your carbohydrate consumption and make adjustments as needed. There are various smartphone apps and online tools available that make tracking macros convenient and easy.

Experimenting with different milk options

To keep things interesting and find the milk alternative that best suits your taste preferences, don’t be afraid to experiment with different options. Try almond milk, coconut milk, or macadamia milk in your coffee and see which one you enjoy the most. Each milk alternative offers unique flavors and textures, so it’s worth exploring the variety to find your favorite keto-friendly option.

Being mindful of coffee shop additions

Coffee shops often offer a range of additions to enhance your coffee experience, such as whipped cream, caramel drizzle, or chocolate sprinkles. While these extras may add flavor and visual appeal to your drink, they often come with added sugars and carbohydrates. Be mindful of these additions and opt for low-carb alternatives or skip them altogether to stay on track with your keto diet.

Bulletproof coffee as a meal replacement

Bulletproof coffee, with its combination of coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil or coconut oil, can serve as a meal replacement in your keto diet. This high-fat coffee drink provides a substantial amount of calories and healthy fats, keeping you satiated for longer. It’s essential to listen to your body and determine if bulletproof coffee works as a suitable meal replacement for you.

Moderation and individual differences

Understanding your own tolerance

As with any dietary approach, individual responses and tolerances can vary. While some individuals may be able to enjoy milk-based coffee drinks in moderation and maintain ketosis, others may find it more challenging. It’s crucial to listen to your body, track your ketone levels if desired, and assess how milk-based coffee drinks affect your overall progress and well-being on the keto diet.

Evaluating your overall carb intake

When incorporating milk-based coffee drinks into your keto diet, it’s important to consider your overall carbohydrate intake from all sources throughout the day. While milk alternatives may offer lower carbohydrates, other foods or ingredients in your diet may still contribute to your carb limit. Evaluating your macros and ensuring you stay within your targeted carbohydrate range can help you maintain ketosis and continue progressing towards your health goals.

Listening to your body’s response

Ultimately, the best guide for your milk-based coffee consumption on a keto diet is listening to your body’s response. Pay attention to how you feel after consuming milk-based coffee drinks. If you experience adverse effects like increased cravings, spikes in blood sugar levels, or difficulty maintaining ketosis, it may be necessary to adjust your intake or explore alternatives. Prioritize your well-being and make choices that support your body’s unique needs.


Finding balance with milk-based coffee drinks on a keto diet is achievable with proper knowledge and thoughtful choices. While regular cow’s milk may contain more carbohydrates, there are several low-carb milk alternatives available that allow you to enjoy creamy and delicious coffee beverages while staying in ketosis. Experiment with different milk options, customize your drinks at cafes, and try out homemade recipes to enhance your keto coffee experience. Remember to be mindful of your overall carbohydrate intake, track your macros, and listen to your body’s response to ensure that milk-based coffee drinks align with your keto goals. With the right approach, you can savor your coffee while still achieving success on your keto journey. Cheers to finding the perfect keto-friendly milk-based coffee options for you!