How to Make Your Coffee Keto-Friendly

13 min read DEC 16, 2023

Keto, ketogenic, low-carb, keto-friendly…what’s it all mean?

Keto is quite the trendy buzz word of late, and while most recognize this word or these phrases, what we’d like to know is what does keto have to do with coffee?

Better yet, can you still drink coffee while you’re following a ketogenic diet plan?

If you enjoy your coffee black, without the addition of conventional creamers, milks, sugars, syrups, or other additions, then yes, you can certainly enjoy black coffee while doing keto.

But, what if you typically reach for milks, sugars, and other additions when preparing your daily cup of joe? Can you use all these classic coffee add-ins while doing keto?

Or, what if you’re a keto-pro and simply looking for some tried and true keto-friendly coffee additions?

Either way, we’ve got you covered here today!

Below you’ll find a basic overview of keto, then we’ll look at some ways that keto and coffee clash.

But, we won’t leave you hanging there, we’ll also include a list of swaps, some ways you can trade out those typical coffee additions for keto-friendly choices to enhance your brew, as well as a few classic keto-coffee components.

Then, stick around for a few keto-friendly coffee recipes we’ll be sharing as we wrap things up.

What Is Keto?

Before we get into keto and coffee, let’s first briefly cover what this trendy word means.

Keto is short for ketogenic, most commonly referencing the ketogenic diet.

Simply put, the ketogenic diet is a low carb, high fat nutritional plan which many follow to promote weight loss or for the health benefits associated with this style of eating.

Essentially, following a ketogenic diet means you’ll be greatly reducing your carb intake and replacing those carbs with healthy fats. Doing this puts your body into a metabolic state known as ketosis…thus the keto name.

In ketosis, your body burns fat more efficiently, using fat stores for energy.

The standard keto diet is very low carb, allows for moderate amounts of protein, and is high in healthy fats. To break it down, this generally amounts to consuming 70% fat, 20% protein, and 10% carbs.

And, there are a few other variations of this breakdown as well, with those numbers varying, depending on one’s specific dietary or lifestyle needs.

While nearly all foods contain a combination of these macronutrients - fat, protein, and carbohydrates - the keto diet cuts out processed foods and unnatural sugars while limiting carb intake.

And, this is where keto and coffee can certainly clash.

Where Keto And Coffee Clash

If you’re accustomed to adding a variety of milks, sugars, syrups, and toppings to your brew, this may create quite the conundrum while following a ketogenic diet plan.

Why? Because many of these items are either highly processed or they come with a big carb price tag.

So, let’s take a few moments to examine these common coffee additions.

First, what about milk?

From dairy to non dairy, there’s a wide variety of choices when it comes to milk: whole, 2%, or skim dairy milk, then almond, coconut, cashew, oat, rice, and hemp just to name a few non dairy options.

Milk is one of the most common coffee add-ins for enhancing flavors and bringing texture to your cup, but it’s not necessarily keto-compliant.

Both cow’s milk and goat’s milk contain natural sugars, from lactose. Typically these choices contain 11-12 grams of net carbs per cup.

Nut milks, like almond, coconut, and cashew, often contain added sugars, which make them unacceptable on a ketogenic diet.

And, non-dairy, nut-free options like oat and rice milk are very high in carbs, containing between 17-21 grams per cup, which means they’re not keto-friendly either.

Then, what if you prefer cream over milk?

When it comes to cream and keto, if you’re going basic, it’s likely okay (more on this in a moment), but if you’re using typical store bought creamers, this can create a clash when it comes to coffee and keto.

Many flavored creamers you find at the store are loaded with hidden sugars. In some cases, these creamer options (we’re talking about the conventional flavored store bought selections here) contain up to 7 net carbs in just one tablespoon.

So then, what about sugars?

Table sugar, raw cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup…if it’s sugar, natural or otherwise, it isn’t keto-friendly.

And, flavored coffee syrups? Essentially, these are nothing more than processed sugars which contain artificial flavoring, all of which are not acceptable keto options.

I know, I know - it’s looking pretty bleak right now.

We’ve essentially taken away every popular coffee addition, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy truly delicious coffee, creamy, sweet add-ins and all, while doing keto!

Keto-Friendly Coffee

What we’ve basically done above is deliver the keto-coffee bad news first. Now for the good news…

Thankfully you can still enjoy a variety of creamy, tasty, sweet additions in your coffee while following a ketogenic diet.

So, to make this simple, let’s explore those options in list form, looking at the items we crossed off the keto-coffee list in the above section and exploring some healthy, low-carb alternatives.

This list will cover a range of common coffee ingredients, allowing you to take a glance at the broad list, and within each section find a suitable swap (if needed) to make your coffee keto-friendly.

Then, we’ll cover some classic keto-coffee add-ins before closing out with a few recipes.

1- Milk

As we mentioned above, dairy milks contain sugar from lactose which elevates their carb content. And, many non dairy options are either high in carbs or they contain added sugars.

So, when you want to add a keto-friendly milk to your coffee, look for unsweetened non dairy options such as:

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Pea milk
  • Macadamia milk
  • Flax milk

And, a little flavoring is typically acceptable in these milks, such as unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but remember, when keeping it keto, stick with unsweetened.


2- Cream

To reiterate what we covered in the section above, conventional store bought flavored creamers are typically heavily processed and contain hidden sugars.

So, if you’re looking to add a keto-friendly creamer to your coffee, you can always opt for half and half or heavy cream, preferably organic.

Half and half contains half milk and half cream, so if you’re using this option in moderation, this can be an acceptable keto-coffee choice.

Heavy cream is actually a better choice for keto-followers as it contains less than 2 net carbs per 2 tablespoons. It’s also high in fat, low in carbs, and it enhances both the flavor and texture of your coffee.

Of course, if you’re looking for added flavor in either half and half or heavy cream, try using a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, a dash or cinnamon or nutmeg, or even consider adding a teaspoon or so of unsweetened cocoa powder to your creamer.

We’ll cover more surrounding these additions or toppings in a moment, but adding them to your creamer is an excellent, keto-friendly, way to enhance your cup of joe.

And, if you’re looking for a powdered creamer, our MitoCreamer is an excellent low carb, keto-friendly, carnivore friendly, dairy-free, gmo-free, gluten-free, grass-fed option to add to your coffee.

3- Sugars

Obviously sugars, processed and natural, will frustrate your efforts if you’re doing keto, but there are some natural sugar substitutes that make great additions to your brew.

Stevia, allulose, erythritol, and monk fruit are each acceptable when making keto-approved coffee, these replacing table sugar, raw cane sugar, honey, etc.

4- Syrups

Coffee syrups and sauces are made, almost entirely, of sugar. So, these obviously aren’t keto-friendly.

Some folks opt for sugar-free syrups when making keto-coffee, and these are technically acceptable keto syrups, but I would highly recommend making your own syrups using one of the keto-friendly sugars mentioned above.

For instance, here’s a delicious keto-friendly stevia simple syrup that you can use in your coffee. And, you can add baking extracts to change the flavor to your liking.

- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup granulated Stevia

Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add stevia and let simmer until completely dissolved. Once dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Transfer to a glass jar and cover. Store in the refrigerator.

To add flavoring, once removed from heat, you can add 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla, maple, peppermint, or almond extract, etc. Pretty much any baking extract that you’d enjoy in your coffee would work here.

5- Toppings

Whipped creams, cold foams, and hot foam coffee toppers are incredibly popular for one reason…they’re delicious!

Unfortunately, many of these aren’t keto-friendly due to their sugar content.

So, if you’re looking to top your coffee, there are some keto-friendly whipped toppings available at most grocery stores, or you can also make your own at home.

Simply frothing unsweetened nut milks, half and half, or heavy cream can add an aesthetic and delicious flare to the top of your brew.

Or, you can easily whip heavy cream or softened coconut cream to add to your coffee as well.

And, any of these homemade whipped creams can be elevated with the addition of a few drops of liquid stevia, a keto-friendly simple syrup (like the recipe we shared above), or about an ⅛ teaspoon of any baking extract that you’d enjoy.

If you’re a chocolate fan, you can even use a teaspoon or so of unsweetened cocoa powder added to heavy cream or coconut cream to make a chocolate whipped cream for your keto-coffee.

The above list gives you a variety of alternatives to classic coffee add-ins, but true keto-coffee incorporates a bit of healthy fat.

The addition of fat not only aids in ketosis, but it provides a creamy texture and feel to your coffee, amplifying the richness of your brew. And, it’s satiating, keeping you feeling full for long periods of time.

The most common keto-coffee additions include:

Coconut oil - Coconut oil naturally contains medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs. These are directly taken into your liver where they’re converted to ketones.

MCT oil - MCT oil is a concentrated source of MCTs. As your body converts these to ketones, it provides you with a fat-based energy source.

Grass-fed butter - Some consider raw grass-fed butter one of the best sources for keto as it’s almost entirely, purely fat, containing zero carbs, zero sugar, and zero protein. It also contains a variety of vitamins and essential fatty acids.

Ghee - Ghee is a type of clarified butter, and many folks enjoy using it while following a ketogenic diet because it’s lactose free and still provides a component of satiating fat.

Heavy cream - Especially if you love coffee creamer, heavy cream makes a great keto-coffee addition as it contains almost no lactose, has only 0-2 grams of carbs per 2 tablespoons, and it isn’t as oily as some other options used in keto-coffee.

Collagen - Some folks opt for consuming more than the typical recommended amount of protein when following a keto diet, and collagen is a great way to get in some extra protein in your coffee.

Whether you’re following keto, carnivore, or simply wanting a healthy dose of collagen (and protein), a quality unflavored collagen powder makes a great addition to your coffee, even adding to the satiating effects of the fats used in keto-coffee.

Keto Coffee Recipes

Now that we’ve covered the keto basics as well as the do’s and don’ts of keto coffee, we’d like to leave you with a few specific, and delicious, keto coffee recipes. Enjoy!

Keto-Nilla Coffee

Fabulous flavor, some healthy fats, truly delicious coffee…and easy on the carbs. Yes, please!

This keto coffee recipe is wonderful with a neutral base, and that’s why we’re pairing it with our medium roast, an all-time customer favorite. But, feel free to use any of our flavored coffees here as well.

Our flavored selections are all keto-friendly as they’re made with essential oils and natural baking extracts.

So in this recipe, if you’d like to incorporate a tasty twist, I highly recommend using our Frosted Sugar Cookie Coffee, French Vanilla Coffee, or if you’d like a touch of spice in your brew, our Vanilla Chai Latte would be great here as well!


  • 8 ounces cold brewed Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee
  • 6 ounces unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5-10 drops liquid stevia (adjust to your personal taste)
  • 2 teaspoons MCT oil
  • Keto whipped cream, optional for topping (see recipe below)


  • If using, make keto whipped cream, and set aside.
  • Add all ingredients to a blender, and blend until well combined and frothy.
  • Pour blended coffee into a tall glass.
  • Top with keto whipped cream, and enjoy!

Keto Whipped Cream

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon stevia (or keto-friendly sweetener of your choice)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Add all ingredients to a chilled bowl and mix or whisk until semi-stiff peaks form.

Creamy Keto Cinna-Coffee

Cinnamon and coffee go together like peas and carrots, only they’re much more satisfying…in my humble opinion at least.

Adding healthy fats to your coffee is satiating and it’ll give your brew a rich flavor and texture.

But, when you add spices like cinnamon to your coffee, this truly takes your mug to the next level! In fact, adding cinnamon and a creamy element to coffee is my absolute favorite way to enjoy a cup…iced or hot!

Here I’ve used our Cinnamon Cappuccino Coffee, one of my all-time favorites, but you can use any of our classic roasts too.


  • 8 ounces freshly brewed Lifeboost Cinnamon Cappuccino Coffee
  • 1 tablespoon golden ghee
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 scoop unflavored grass-fed collagen


  • Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour into your favorite mug, and enjoy!

Dr. Charles’ Morning Mug

Many of you know that Dr. Charles generally follows a nutrition plan which more closely resembles carnivore than keto. While both plans cut out processed foods and sugars as well as many or most carbs, the carnivore eating plan is a bit more strict, including only meat and animal products.

While not all keto-friendly recipes are acceptable on the carnivore plan, all carnivore recipes are keto-friendly. So, Dr. Charles’ morning mug isn’t just a tasty treat, it’s a health-infused, low carb, satiating, delicious way to enjoy your morning (or midday, or afternoon, etc) cup of joe!

And, I happen to know that he regularly enjoys switching things up, meaning he rotates his coffee selection…yum! So, here we’re listing our Peppermint Mocha Coffee, perfect for sipping throughout the chilly months, but you can easily use any of our classic or flavored selections in this recipe.


  • 8 ounces freshly brewed Lifeboost Peppermint Mocha Coffee
  • 1 serving collagen powder
  • 2 teaspoons C8 MCT oil
  • 1 tablespoon organic heavy cream
  • 4 drops Everlo Coffee Drops


  • Brew coffee and pour into your favorite mug.
  • Add collagen powder and stir to combine.
  • Add MCT oil, organic heavy cream, and Everlo Coffee Drops, stir to combine, and enjoy!

*You can also use cold brewed coffee here. Simply add cold brew and all other ingredients to a blender. Blend on high, then pour into a tall glass, and enjoy!

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Mito Creamer.

Medical Disclaimer
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Charles Livingston nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

Headshot of Becky Livingston Vance
Becky Livingston Vance Content writer

Becky is a mother, educator, and content writer for Lifeboost Coffee. She has had three years’ experience as a writer, and in that time she has enjoyed creatively composing articles and ebooks covering the topics of coffee, health and fitness, education, recipes, and relationships.


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