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Is Instant Coffee Keto? (Yes, but here’s what to watch out for)

Navigating the keto diet can be a challenge. There seem to be so many rules, and 1 wrong move can knock you out of ketosis. So it seems innocent enough, but is instant coffee keto?

Plain Instant coffee is Keto because it has 0 carbs or sugars. However, if the coffee label says it contains added sugar or flavors, it most likely will contain carbs which can make it not keto-friendly. Also, even plain instant coffee won’t be keto-friendly if you add sugar or a carb-heavy creamer.

However, there is a lot more that you must know about instant coffee.

For instance, does your brand of instant coffee contain carbs? Will it knock you out of ketosis? And are some instant coffees better for keto than others?

Besides, there are only certain ingredients that can be added to your keto-friendly coffee. And I will also suggest the best instant coffee that is keto-friendly.

I’ll answer all of these questions in this article. Just keep reading!

What is instant coffee and is it good coffee?

I’m not going to lie. When I read that almost half the world’s population prefers instant coffee over traditional brews, I curled my lip a little. Strange, but it’s true!

Instant coffee has gotten a bad rap, especially in the western world. And not without good reason! However, instant coffee may have higher antioxidants and be lower in caffeine.

To read more about the differences between instant coffee and regular coffee, including potential health benefits, just read this recent article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Instant coffee is made from coffee extract. It’s gotten a bad rap over the years because it is often made from inferior robusta coffee beans rather than arabica. But also, many brands are just low quality that doesn’t taste very good and get other artificial flavors added to them to mask the inferior coffee flavor.

Just for quality and flavor, check for preservatives and food dyes. Those things won’t make it not keto-friendly. But you don’t want them in your coffee or your body.

Finally, make sure to check the date it was packaged. If it was packed more than a few months ago, it will be stale and have fewer antioxidants. (source). Again, not a keto-issue, just a quality issue.

But for basic, plain instant coffee, it seems simple enough. It sounds like instant coffee is Keto, right? Let’s do a little more research on it, because instant coffee may not be wholly Keto.

Can you have instant coffee on Keto?

If you’re talking plain instant coffee, like regular Folger’s Crystals, yes. Plain instant coffee has no sugars or carbs and won’t knock you out of ketosis.

However, many brands of instant coffee will have added sugar, flavors, and even vegetable oil! So while you can have instant coffee on Keto, read the label carefully.

Watch out for added sugars, vegetable oils, and especially milk or added creamer.

Heavy cream, sometimes called whipping cream is high fat. With milk products, typically the higher the fat the lower the sugar (and thus carbs). So 1% milk has a lot more carbs than whipping cream or half and half.

Here’s how the top sellers on Amazon stack up in terms of carbs and keto:

Product Total Carbs per Serving Keto-Friendly?
Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals 0 grams Yes
Starbucks VIA Instant Coffee 0 grams  Yes
NESCAFE CLASICO Instant Coffee 0 grams  Yes
Maxwell House International French Vanilla Café Instant Coffee 20 grams No
Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee 0 grams  Yes
Mount Hagen Organic Fair Trade Freeze Dried Instant Coffee 0 grams  Yes
Nescafe Instant Coffee Packets 0 grams Yes

How many carbs are in Nescafe instant coffee?

Nescafe has lots of different flavors, but Nescafe Clasico is the right keto choice.

It is a medium to dark roast that has no carbs, and its only ingredient is coffee. Nescafe Clasico would be a right, keto-friendly choice of instant coffee. The flavored varieties, however, should be approached with care. They can not only have an abundance of carbs, but they can also have a lot of weird ingredients.

Nescafe French Vanilla, for example, has sugar as the first ingredient. It also has more than one kind of syrup and many ingredients that I don’t even know how to pronounce. It also has a whopping 21 carbs in an 8-ounce serving!

If you want to check out the nutritional information, including the carb count and ingredients list, just head on over to their website. There you’ll find not only the coffees that you’ll like, but they have all kinds of recipes you can mix up, too.

While you’re shopping for coffee, you may want to look into organic coffee. For Keto’s sake, it doesn’t matter if the coffee you drink is organic. Most chemicals used in growing coffee don’t make it to the consumer. Most of it is soaked, dried, and roasted off.

However, organic coffee is good for the environment and agriculture. It’s less acidic and more flavorful. It’s also Fair Trade.

Fair Trade coffee is grown by farms that are members of a cooperative Fair Trade group. Fair Trade means that coffee is bought at a reasonable price, allowing small farmers the ability to compete with more significant operations.

There are some excellent organic instant coffees on Amazon. Like this organic Fair Trade one from Mount Hagen that has almost 1,500 5-star ratings. Just click that link to check the current price on Amazon.

To read more about why organic coffee is better, read this recent article. Just click the link to read it on my site.

What can I put in my coffee for Keto?

If you typically put cream and sugar in your coffee, you’re going to need to make some changes to make it Keto. There are a few options you can try while staying within the keto guidelines.

Black coffee. Of course, if you’re a cream and sugar person, this may be hard to do. Not everyone enjoys it because one can only acquire its taste.

Heavy whipping cream. If you can’t live without creamer or half and half, a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream has 0-2 grams of carbs. The low carb count and high-fat content make it an ideal option for the keto diet.

You can make it sweet with some natural sugar-free sweetener, such as these easy to add Stevia packets on Amazon

Grass-fed butter. Grass-fed butter is a crucial ingredient in bulletproof coffee, as is MCT oil. Bulletproof coffee is a high-calorie coffee drink popular among low-carb, Keto, and paleo dieters that are intended to replace breakfast.

But you can get most of the same benefits of Bulletproof coffee without using grass-fed butter. Just read this recent article to learn about whether you need to use grass-fed butter in your bulletproof coffee.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Does coffee stop ketosis?

Ketosis is the goal of the keto diet. It is a metabolic rate the involves the body producing ketones out of fat and using them for energy instead of carbs.

Not only is it a way to lose weight, but it may have some health benefits, such as reducing seizures in epileptic children. (source)

There is a portion of the low-carb community that avoids coffee because they think that it kicks them out of ketosis and makes them hungry.

Of course, you can find studies that both support and reject this idea. However, recent Canadian research indicates that coffee raises ketones, keeping you in that desired ketogenic state. (source)

Incorporating high-fat ingredients, like grass-fed butter and MCT oil into your morning cup of Joe, can help you maintain that state of ketosis as well. In short, coffee won’t necessarily knock you out of ketosis. And drinking bulletproof coffee can enhance ketosis.

What is the best instant keto coffee?

There are lots of options for good keto coffee. A simple search on Amazon can produce a remarkable amount of results.

Mount Hagen Organic Fair Trade is an organic Fair Trade instant coffee with over 1,400 reviews and 4 ½ stars. Its ingredient list is simple – 100% organic coffee. It gets excellent reviews, and even traditional coffee drinkers say it tastes great.

If you’re looking for an instant coffee that already has grass-fed butter in it, Rapid Fire Ketogenic coffee is a Fair Trade instant coffee mix designed specifically for the keto diet.

Just click that link to check the current price on Amazon.

The best part is that it has benefits of bulletproof coffee built right in. This is an excellent option for folks that don’t have a blender or don’t want to spend time measuring out separate ingredients for bulletproof coffee.

Final thoughts

It can be challenging to follow a new lifestyle. Hopefully, this article helps navigate coffee on Keto just a little easier. Instant coffee is fine to have while following a keto diet. But make sure to check out the ingredients list and nutrition label.

Although coffee raises ketones and keeps the person on a ketonic diet, it is advised not to use any sugar, and stick to natural sweeteners to keep the instant coffee keto. You can go for organic coffee as well, but as far as you are looking for Keto, it doesn’t make any difference.

So, what would you like to add to your coffee?

After you’ve had your coffee, you may enjoy a big salad topped with balsamic vinegar for lunch. You’ll also be surprised to find out that balsamic vinegar may not be keto-friendly. With 4 grams of carbs and sugar per serving, it’s the only vinegar that contains sugar and carbs.

Do read more about whether balsamic vinegar is keto-friendly, and to find out what makes a good substitute, read this recent article. Just click the link to read it on my site.

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Jeff Campbell