My husband and I tested our blood glucose and ketones after drinking coffee with cream to see if we could get closer to answering the question: Can I have cream in my coffee while I am fasting?
We’ve concluded that yes, it is ok, but there are five important things that you need to keep in mind for optimal health and weight loss benefits.
Can I Have Cream in Coffee – At-A-Glance
- My husband and I tested heavy cream in our coffee, and the result was favorable.
- From that test, we concluded that cream in your coffee would not knock your body out of fat-burning mode, and therefore it was okay to consume during your intermittent fast.
- These home experiments with just two subjects are far from a rigorous scientific study. There are several factors to consider when determining if you’d like to add cream to your coffee. They are:
- Consideration #1: Black Coffee vs Coffee with Cream
- Consideration #2: Insulin Was Not Directly Tested
- Consideration #3: Cream Has Calories
- Consideration #4: Multiple Cups of Coffee with Cream?
- Consideration #5: What about Autophagy?
Can I Have Cream in Coffee When Fasting? [Video]
In this video, you will learn…
- The results of testing blood glucose and ketones after drinking coffee with cream.
- Five things to consider when it comes to cream in coffee while fasting!
Testing the Effects of Cream in Coffee when Fasting!
On my second YouTube channel that I run with my husband, Keith, we perform a lot of small-scale tests to determine how different foods affect our intermittent fast.
On testing days, we get up in the morning, take our baseline blood glucose and ketone readings, consume something, and then retest our blood at 30, 60, and 120 minutes.
What we’d like to see is that a food or drink does not cause a spike in glucose or a drop in ketones, because that may indicate a rise in insulin. Insulin is the fat-storing hormone, so if it goes up, fat is being stored, not released and burned.
When we tested heavy cream, the result was favorable meaning it caused a slight drop in glucose and a slight rise in ketones.
From that, we concluded that cream in your coffee would not knock your body out of fat-burning mode, and therefore it was okay to consume during your intermittent fast!
Now admittedly, these home experiments with just two subjects are far from a rigorous scientific study. There are several factors to consider when determining if you’d like to add cream to your coffee.
Want more info on what you can put in your coffee when Intermittent fasting? See our complete test here: What Can I Put In My Coffee when Intermittent Fasting?
Consideration #1: Black Coffee vs Coffee with Cream
First off, in our home experiment, coffee with cream was not quite as favorable as black coffee alone.
Keith had more of a drop in glucose and I had more of an overall rise in ketones with black coffee compared to coffee cream. While cream did not stop our fat burning, it may have slowed it down.
Consideration #2: Insulin Was Not Directly Tested
Secondly, we did not directly test insulin, which is the hormone that determines if fat is to go into and out of storage. Insulin is not something that you can test at home. If you experience a rise in blood glucose and a drop in ketones after consuming food, it is fair to assume that insulin is entering your blood.
Heavy cream is mostly fat and fat has been shown to produce little if any change in insulin levels. Despite the fact that we don’t clearly know what was happening to our insulin levels, we felt fairly comfortable stating that cream did not cause a significant rise in insulin.
Consideration #3: Cream Has Calories
The third thing to consider is that heavy cream has calories and calories are energy. Your body will likely use those easily accessed calories before returning to the less accessible fat calories stored on your body.
Note: If you follow the strictest definition of a fast, which would be water-only or nothing at all, then you are breaking your fast by consuming calories.
Consideration #4: Multiple Cups of Coffee with Cream?
The fourth consideration is that we tested the effects of one tablespoon of cream over a two-hour period.
If you have three cups of coffee over the course of a morning and you add cream to each of those cups, then you are providing your body with a consistent source of energy instead of burning it from your body stores.
Consideration #5: What about Autophagy?
I see a lot of people concerned that any number of calories consumed during a fast will shut down autophagy. Autophagy is a self-cleaning process that your body has time to perform because resources are not used for the digestion of food.
While intermittent fasting does lend itself to better autophagy, it is challenging to determine how much cream in your coffee impacts the process.
I have a video on my YouTube channel that discusses autophagy and intermittent fasting if you’d like to look into that topic further!
Cream in Coffee When Fasting: The Bottom Line!
The bottom line is that intermittent fasting is a tool that can help you reach your weight loss goal. If cream in your coffee makes it easier for you to stretch out the time between meals, then it is helping, not hurting.
My husband, Keith, lost 80 pounds using intermittent fasting paired with a low-carb and then keto diet.
During his fasting periods, he added cream to his coffee, which made his weight loss journey easier and more enjoyable. His results show that consuming cream did not take away from the effectiveness of his plan.
Thanks for reading and I will see you back here next week!
What Breaks a Fast? Our Tests
- Will Coffee Break Intermittent Fasting?
- Will Cream, MCT Oil, or Butter Break My Fast?
- Will Keto (Bullet-Proof) Coffee Break Intermittent Fasting?
- Will Ghee Break My Intermittent Fast?
About the Author
Dr. Becky Gillaspy, DC graduated Summa Cum Laude with research honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1991.