Java. Joe. Cuppa. Jig juice.
Whatever you call it, chances are you’re one of the 66 percent Americans who drink coffee.
With most coffee drinkers averaging about three cups a day, that’s over 500 million cups of coffee every day!
However, if you’re also one of the many people looking to limit your carb intake to help you achieve your weight loss goals, you might be wondering if you can still drink your precious cuppa joe when trying to reduce your carbohydrate intake. on carbohydrates.
Does coffee contain carbohydrates?
How does coffee rank on the carb counter? Very, very low – if, that is, we are talking about a cup of black coffee.
Of course, that all changes as soon as you start adding cream, sugar, whipped cream with sprinkles and a drizzle of caramel.
How many carbohydrates are there in coffee?
Let’s start simple.
A 12 ounce cup of black coffee – the average small cup in most coffee shops – contains less a gram of carbohydrates.
Of course, if you use a very large cup or regularly drink multiple cups, this carb count will increase slightly northward.
Yet compared to other traditional breakfast foods, it is negligible: a donut clocks at 55 grams, a small banana has 23 grams, and even an 8 ounce cup of Orange juice has 27 grams of carbs.
Fun fact: Caffeine doesn’t impact carb counts, so whether you drink regular or decaffeinated coffee, the carbs in a cup of black coffee will be the same.
If you order something other than black coffee or espresso at your local coffee shop, chances are your carb intake will be higher.
Black coffees, Americanos, and espressos all contain less than 1 gram of carbs, but lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos all increase that number.
Compare these large (12 ounce) coffee drinks from Starbucks, all made standard with 2% milk:
Can you drink coffee on a low carb diet?
So can you enjoy coffee on a low carb diet?
Yes, said Martha L. LawderMSRDN, dietitian and coffee lover, especially if it’s black coffee, espresso or an Americano.
If you’re in the habit of adding extras to your cup of coffee, be careful, Lawder says.
This is especially important when looking at creamers, which range from simple nut-and-half milk alternatives to highly flavored non-dairy creamers – all with their own carb counts that can vary wildly.
When looking at the Nutrition Facts table, don’t just focus on total calories, Lawder says, because that also includes protein and fat.
“Under ‘Total Carbohydrates,’ look for ‘added sugar,’ because that lets you know if the carb is from nutritious milk sugar or if it’s from non-nutritive added sugar,” says Lawder.
The best coffee to drink on a low carb diet
If you want to enjoy your coffee and are watching your carbs, black coffee is your best bet, says Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, registered dietitian nutritionist and advisory board member of daily healing.
“Keep in mind that creams, mousse, milk, sugar, honey, syrup, juices, and other flavorings can all add carbs,” Miller repeats.
She recommends these low carb and very low carb coffee options:
- Unsweetened iced coffee, plain
- Nitro cold brew, plain
- Cold brew coffee, plain
- Blond roast, plain
Coffee can definitely be part of a low carb diet. Just be careful not to add anything else to your cup besides the coffee.