January 19 2022 – Diana L
Starting a keto diet for weight loss? If you're in the researching phase, or ready to get started, learning what you can eat or drink on the keto plan is of utmost importance to achieving optimum results. The toughest thing about any kind of diet is figuring out the foods and sugar-free drinks that are allowed and what you should avoid to reach your goals.
Can I drink tea on a keto diet?
While there are certain drinks you need to avoid on a keto diet, loose leaf tea is something you can continue to enjoy to your heart's content. A keto diet can be difficult, especially in the first few days, because the drastic change in your diet can also dramatically reduce your energy level. Loose leaf tea may actually help increase your energy, lean body mass as well as keto results. But are all teas keto-friendly?
Does tea have carbs?
The keto diet is all based on burning stored fat for energy instead of sugars and carbs. To get your body into a "keto-state", carbs and sugars need to be avoided particularly for the first few days. This can be difficult since carbs and sugars are so prevalent in most diets.
Ideally, to reach the ketosis state, a daily intake 20-30 grams of carbs per day is the limit. So it is time to pick and choose your carbs carefully. A keto rule of thumb is to look for drinks that are calorie-free or contain fewer than 5 grams of carbs per serving. Yes, tea has carbs, but it is a negligible number — typically less than 1 gram of net carbs per 8 oz cup.
Compare that to a can of soda that is packed with 39 grams of sugar or a healthy 8oz glass of OJ that serves you up 25 grams of sugar. Remember, sugar is carbs.
Are all teas equal?
Pure loose leaf tea is keto compliant, but not all teas are equal. While green and black tea leaves are keto-friendly, those ready-to-drink bottled teas or instant teas in the grocery store can contain a lot of sugar and should be avoided.
If you are a tea drinker who adds milk and sugar to your tea, you will need to adjust this habit. Even honey that is a natural product contains sugar and should be avoided during a keto diet.
Green tea is a great keto choice. While being negligible on the carbs and calories chart, the antioxidants in a cup of green tea can help prevent damage that may occur during ketosis. Combined with exercise, green tea may even help with fat oxidation to improve lean body mass and muscle strength.
Plus, green tea may provide that boost of energy that is needed to get you through the day. Caffeine may actually help stimulate ketone production.
Chai is a spiced tea from India that is often served with milk as in a latte. Milk is not on the keto list, and sweetened milk makes it even worse. However, substituting dairy with some unsweetened almond milk will give you zero carbs and zero sugars.
Sugar is often added to enhance the flavor of chai, so be sure to swap with stevia or other keto-friendly sweetness. Also, check for added ingredients in the chai such as cocoa nibs that should be avoided in a keto diet.
Choose a chai such as Turmeric Chai with the earthy flavor of turmeric blended with the warm spiced flavor of ginger and clove, the soft sweet flavor of cinnamon, and a touch of fennel.
Herbal teas are also perfect for a keto diet. Look for blends with licorice root or cinnamon with natural sweetness to cure the cravings.
The main things to watch for in herbal teas are fruit or other ingredients that may contain carbs. Herbal teas are often blended with pieces of dried fruit that won't comply with the keto rules.
Try Vanilla Honeybush herbal tea that is made purely with Honeybush Tea, and natural vanilla flavor. Vanilla is an essential spice used in the keto diet to add flavor to desserts and dishes.
Be leary of the bottled iced teas as they can contain a lot of sugar. But make your own cold brew tea at home with loose leaf tea for a refreshing, keto-friendly drink!
You should always consult your doctor before starting a keto diet or making any extreme dietary changes. If you feel it is a healthy and safe option for you, now you know tea can be a part of this journey.