Half and half is one of the most commonly used ingredients in the kitchen. Whether you use it in your morning coffee or you use it in your cooking, it is no doubt one of the most versatile things you can have.
Apart from making any coffee a little bit better, it can be used to thicken pasta sauce, gravy, or any other pan sauce, and it can even be used as a milk substitute in baking.
But, when you are on the keto diet, you have to look out for carbs in everything. To find out if you can have half and half on the keto diet, keep on reading!
What Is Half And Half?
Half and half is made by combining equal parts of whole milk and cream. This results in a liquid with a perfect combination of thickness and richness. Sometimes, half and half is made with low-fat or reduced-fat milk to reduce the calories.
While half and half is easily made at home by mixing equal parts of whole milk and heavy cream, most dairy companies will have premixed half and half packages.
Half And Half Nutritional Facts
In the table below is the nutritional information on 100 grams of half and half. (*)
|Total Carbs||4.3 grams|
|Net Carbs||4.3 grams|
Is half and half healthy?
Half and half is made out of milk and heavy cream. In 100 gram serving, there are 4.3 grams of carbs in half and half.
Whole milk is made out of 3.2% fat and most of its fat content is saturated fat. Because of this, sometimes it is viewed as unhealthy, but research shows otherwise. A review of 21 studies found no evidence of increased risk of cardiovascular disease and heart disease caused by the consumption of saturated fats. (*)
Another review of studies also concluded that there is no evidence that dairy fat increases the risk of obesity. (*)
Milk is also rich in calcium, potassium, protein, phosphorus, and vitamin K2 (in grass-fed, full-fat dairy). There is also a study that links dietary calcium and bone health- it may have a role in preventing osteoporosis in women. (*)
Milk with reduced-fat or no-fat milk can be sometimes used in making half and half.
Heavy cream is a high-fat dairy milk product. In non-homogenized milk, the fat- which is less dense than the rest of the milk, naturally raises on top of raw milk and separates itself. That top layer of fat is the heavy cream. After it is separated from the milk, it is processed to kill any pathogens through thermal processing and applying high pressure. Some additives are almost always added for preservation purposes.
Heavy cream is keto-friendly. It is high-fat and low-carb and it goes well with many keto dishes and is commonly used in the keto diet. It is also rich in fat-soluble vitamins such as K, A, D, and E.
For example, our ketogenic Creamy Bacon Carbonara Zucchini Noodles contains heavy cream which makes this recipe a creamy overload for your tastebuds!
Or, for those that like some seafood, we have the Creamy Garlic Butter Tuscan Shrimp with Zoodles which you will not even believe are low-carb!
And for those with a sweet tooth, you can try our low-carb and sugar-free Avocado Coconut Truffles!
Does heavy cream contain lactose? Yes, heavy cream does contain lactose, but it is in much lower quantities, while whole milk can contain 30% to 50% lactose.
Can You Have Half And Half On The Keto Diet?
Half and half is made from equal parts of whole milk and heavy cream. You may have already heard by now that milk is not keto-friendly. However, it is such a common ingredient in our lives and it can be hard to get rid of it completely.
Besides, why is milk not keto-friendly? Milk is not ketogenic because it contains milk sugar called lactose, which can affect ketosis. Lactose is a sugar that does not raise the blood glucose levels as much as pure glucose would, but it can still significantly affect it if it is consumed in large enough doses.
How much does lactose raise blood sugar? This question can be answered if you know the GI or glycemic index of lactose. The GI is a relative scale where a number from 0 to 100 is given to foods to determine their effect on blood sugar in comparison to pure glucose which is at a 100.
So, what is the glycemic index of lactose? Lactose has a GI of 69 ±10, however, the GI of full-fat milk is 39 ± 3. (*)
Why is heavy cream keto-friendly? Heavy cream contains much less lactose than whole milk and therefore it will not affect blood sugar as much if consumed in low quantities.
To sum it all up, can you have half and half on keto diet? Technically half and half is not strictly keto-friendly, because it contains whole milk. Additionally, most brands who sell premixed half and half will add additives and more sugar in their products, which makes them even less keto-friendly.
However, if you are not following a strict keto diet, and you still want to add a splash or two of half and half in your morning coffee, then you can do that. Just be mindful about the serving size so that you can still be in ketosis.
For reference, a serving of 1 tablespoon or 15 grams of half and half in your coffee contains only 20 calories, 1.7 grams of fat, 0.4 grams of protein, and just 0.6 grams of net carbs. This makes it easy to incorporate it into your daily carbs if you really want to.
Half and half is one of the ways to make even the worst coffee just a tiny bit better. Unfortunately, it does contain milk, which is not keto-friendly because it contains lactose- a type of milk sugar that can affect blood sugar and ultimately affect ketosis if it is consumed in large quantities.
Bands also add additives, artificial flavors, and preservatives in their premixed half and half products. That’s why half and half is not strictly ketogenic, but if you are not strictly ketogenic and you want to enjoy your morning coffee with a splash of half and half, you can do that, and still stay in ketosis!
*image by firstname.lastname@example.org/depositphotos