Java. Joe Kappa. jitter juice
Whatever you call it, there’s a good chance you’re one of the 66 percent of Americans who drink coffee.
Most coffee drinkers drink an average of about three cups per day, which adds up to over 500 million cups of coffee per day!
However, if you’re one of the many people looking to limit your carb intake to meet your weight loss goals, you may wonder if you can drink your precious cuppa joe while you’re trying to slim down. on carbohydrates.
Are there carbohydrates in coffee?
How does coffee rank on the carb meter? Very, very little — if, that is, we’re talking about a cup of black coffee.
Of course, this all changes as soon as you start adding cream, sugar, sprinkles, whipped cream and caramel drizzle.
How many carbohydrates are in coffee?
Let’s start with the simple.
A 12-ounce cup of black coffee — the average small cup at most coffee shops — contains less than one gram of carbohydrates.
Of course, if you’re using an extra large mug or downing multiple cups regularly, that number of carbs will come in slightly north.
Still, compared to other traditional breakfast foods, it’s negligible: A bagel clocks in 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 affect the carb count so whether you drink regular or decaf, the carbs in a cup of black coffee will be the same.
If you order anything other than black coffee or espresso at your local coffee shop, chances are your carb intake is high.
Black coffee, Americano, and espresso contain less than 1 gram of carbs, but lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos all increase that number.
Compare these tall (12-ounce) coffee drinks from Starbucks, all standardized with 2 percent milk:
Can you drink coffee on a low-carb diet?
So can you enjoy coffee on a low carb diet?
Yes, Martha L. says Lauder, MSRDN, a registered dietitian and coffee lover — especially if it’s black coffee, espresso or Americano.
If you’re in the habit of adding extra to your cup of joe, be aware, Lauder says.
This is especially important when looking at creamers, which range from simple half-and-half almond alternatives to highly flavored nondairy creamers with nut-based milk alternatives—all with their own carb counts that can vary widely.
When looking at the nutrition panel, don’t just focus on total calories, Lauder says, since that includes protein and fat, too.
“Under ‘Total Carbohydrates,’ look for ‘Added Sugars,’ because that lets you know if the carbs come from nutritious milk sugars or if they come from non-nutritious added sugars,” Lauder explains.
The best coffee to drink on a low-carb diet
If you want to enjoy your coffee and you want to watch your carbs, black coffee is your best bet, Amanda A. says Kostro Miller, RD, a licensed dietitian nutritionist and member of Healing Daily’s advisory board.
“Remember that creams, foams, milk, sugar, honey, syrups, juices and other flavors can have added carbohydrates,” Miller reiterates.
She recommends these low-carb-friendly coffee options that are very low in carbs:
- Unsweetened Iced Coffee, Plain
- Nitro Cold Brew, Plain
- Cold brew coffee, plain
- Blonde roast, plain
Coffee can definitely be part of a low-carb diet. Be careful about adding anything else to your cup besides coffee.