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Does Coffee Have Carbs?

For people who love coffee, the question of how many carbohydrates are in a cup of their morning pick-me-up can be a complicated one.  

Black coffee has been on the “approved” list of goods in many diet plans for decades due to its low calorie content.  

On the other hand, there are multiple magazine articles and internet videos warning people about the “hidden” calories in most drinks made by coffee shops.  

Counting carbohydrates is similar, there are still multiple diet plans that allow their users black coffee, but that also tell dieters that coffee drinks from shops can use up all their allowed daily carbohydrates in just one cup.  

How can it be possible to avoid carbohydrates simply by brewing coffee at home?  

Why are restaurant cups of coffee so much “worse” then home brewed drinks?

The truth is that coffee, brewed only from coffee beans and without any added milk or sugar, has no carbohydrates.  

Coffee beans contain such a low amount of natural sugar that it doesn’t even register on most lab tests.  

The brewing process only adds water, which has no carbohydrates or calories.  

Therefore, black coffee does not have any carbohydrates or calories, or such a minimal amount of either that it’s not worth worrying about.

The problem for many people, however, is that they don’t like to drink their coffee black.  

Every teaspoon of sugar that is added to a cup of coffee has about sixteen calories and four grams of carbohydrates.  

If you add two teaspoons of sugar to your coffee every morning, and you tend to drink at least two cups, you’ll have consumed sixteen grams of carbohydrates before you even eat your breakfast.  

Milk has about nine calories and 0.68 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon.  

That means a single cup of coffee with 2 teaspoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk will cost someone watching their diet fifty calories and just under ten grams of carbohydrates.

While this might not sound like much, a typical person should aim to consume between 100 to 150 grams of carbohydrates everyday.  

People who are on very strict diets and those who are trying to lose weight should probably consume much less.  

If you tend to add milk and sugar to your coffee each morning, a single cup of coffee could use up between ten and twenty percent of your allowed carbohydrates for the day.

If you tend to favor coffee drinks, such as those made by a lot of local coffee shops, the calorie and carbohydrate count can be a lot worse.  

These drinks tend to add a lot of sugar, milk, whipped cream, and other ingredients that increase the total amount of carbohydrates and calories by a lot.  

In fact, some of these drinks have as much as fifty to seventy grams of carbohydrates.  

These drinks truly are less a cup of coffee and more of a coffee flavored milkshake.

Of course, there are some ways to save on these carbohydrates without giving up on drinking coffee.  

Artificial sweeteners are made by a lot of different companies these days, and have improved a lot since the pink packets that you probably remember your parents using.  

Try out several different types until you find one that you like.  

Even if you have had artificial sweeteners in other types of foods or beverages, you might discover that they taste different when mixed into a hot beverage such as coffee. 

You might also want to consider trying different types of milk.  

Goat milk, almond milk, and other varieties have different amounts of carbohydrates and calories.  

Several of these varieties also have a lot more protein than “regular” milk, which under some diet plans may allow you to have more carbohydrates.

If you like to go out for coffee drinks, look for options to reduce the carbohydrates by request different types of sweeteners other than sugar.  

If you make your coffee drinks at home, make these substitutions yourself.  

If you enjoy iced coffees, consider adding extra ice to the cup to reduce the amount of sweetened beverage you use.  

Other ways to reduce carbohydrates are to look for low-carb whipped cream options or carb-free flavored syrups.

When compared to the amount of sugar and carbs that are in the coffee drinks that are purchased in most coffee shops, a cup of coffee made at home has relatively few carbs.  

Brewing your own coffee also gives you direct control over the ingredients used; it’s very easy for coffee shop employees to mix up ingredients or put too much sugar and cream into a cup.  

By brewing at home you can control exactly how much you’re consuming.

 Fortunately, there are a lot of options for home brewers that allow you to customize your coffee.  

Today most grocery stores carry multiple varieties of sweeteners, milk, and flavored coffees that can bring your total carb count down to zero for your favorite morning beverage.

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