If you drink your coffee black, there’s some good news coming to you. Black coffee doesn’t just give you an energy boost — it can keep you healthy in multiple ways.

Health Benefits

Black coffee may be able to help manage symptoms of or even prevent a number of health problems. In moderation, black coffee may help:

Alzheimer’s Disease Prevention

Drinking coffee may help to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease affects one in every eight people aged 65 and older. Scientists estimate that the risk is 16% lower for coffee drinkers than non-coffee drinkers, but more studies still need to be done to confirm the connection.

Reduced Risk of Cancer

Coffee may help to prevent some forms of cancer, including oral cancerprostate cancer, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. Scientists haven’t determined why coffee can reduce cancer risk. Part of the reason may be that coffee is high in antioxidants, which some studies say can help to prevent cancer.

Reduced Risk of Cirrhosis

About 31,000 people die every year from cirrhosis of the liver. Studies show that drinking coffee can reduce your risk of cirrhosis, especially when the damage comes from alcohol. Drinking four or more cups a day can reduce your risk of alcoholic cirrhosis by as much as 80%. Drinking the same amount may reduce your risk of non-alcoholic cirrhosis by up to 30%.

Mood Improvement

Depression affects more than 18 million adults nationwide. Studies have shown that coffee may help to reduce depression risk, especially if you drink four or more cups per day.

Diabetes Management

People who drink coffee regularly have a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes mostly affects adults. It develops when someone’s body can’t use insulin to get glucose (sugar) into cells, so sugar builds up in the blood instead.

Multiple studies show that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of diabetes. One group of researchers found that the risk is 35% lower for people who drink six or more cups of coffee per day and 28% lower for people who drink four to six cups. Another study showed that for every extra cup of coffee a person drinks per day, their risk of developing diabetes drops by 7%.

Obesity Management

The caffeine content in coffee can help with weight management. Research shows that you burn more calories when you consume coffee regularly throughout the day. Coffee also helps your body to burn more fat, especially when you exercise.

Parkinson’s Disease Prevention

Like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease mostly affects older adults. The most common symptoms are shaking, muscle stiffness, and changes in speech and walking.Research shows that the more coffee you drink, the less likely you are to develop Parkinson’s. Scientists believe that the caffeine in coffee is responsible. According to another study, though, it may not work if you take oestrogen as hormone therapy.


Black coffee is rich in antioxidants, which can fight cell damage and reduce your risk of serious health conditions like cancer and heart disease. Coffee is the primary source of antioxidants in most Western diets.

Black coffee also contains high levels of:

  • Vitamin B2
  • Caffeine
  • Magnesium

Does adding milk alter these benefits?

Most people think dairy issues are lactose related but the reality is it’s unless you’ve had a positive lactose intolerance test, its likely to be more about the casein and the associated inflammatory response within the body. If you’re following a Ketogenic diet the whole goal is to modulate inflammation.

Milk contains Lactose. Lactose is a sugar. Our bodies stop producing lactase which breaks down lactose when we are around 5 years old hence why many people suffer with lactose related problems. Undigested lactose sits in the gut and gets broken down by bacteria, causing gas, bloating, stomach cramps, and diarrhoea. Due to this lactose, whole (pasteurised) milk contains a high amount of carbs. 12g of carbs per 8oz to be precise.
If you’re thinking that semi or skimmed milk will reduce this, think again, skimmed milk actually has more carbs than whole milk. The carbs go up as the fat reduces,  this is true of so many low fat alternatives to their original.  If you are following The Keto Diet using conventional food, you will be keeping your carbs between 25-50g a day depending on your goals and size in order to remain in a ketogenic metabolic state (far burning). So, just to put this into perspective; a Latte uses 8-12oz of milk depending on its size. That is a large % of your recommended carb intake taken up just with your morning drink. For me who only has 25g of carbs a day, its almost half.

If you want to remain in ketosis and continue the associated benefits of following a ketogenic diet but still don’t like your coffee black then double cream is an option for you which for 1 tbsp has 0 zero carbs in. Yes it has a higher calorie content than milk but as part of a Keto diet this can be factored in easily.

Another alternative is to use nut milks which have close to zero carbs too so these are a great alternative to dairy options if you want to follow The Keto Diet using conventional food and include milk in your diet.

Several studies have found that adding milk to tea and coffee decreases its antioxidant capacity, or to be more precise, how effective its antioxidants are at preventing oxidation.
This effect is thought to occur because the milk protein casein binds with antioxidants, reducing their ability to fight harmful free radicals and we know that excess free radicals can contribute to ageing and the development of certain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.

In summary, its a choice whether you add milk to your coffee or not but hopefully after reading the above information that choice will be more informed. Personally I add cream to my coffee every day. I am able to incorporate that into my calorie intake for the day, it doesn’t affect my body’s ability to remain in ketosis and it tastes so much better than milk in my opinion. I would personally never go back to Dairy forms of milk.

If you are following a VLCD such as Lighterlife, it is not recommended to add milk, cream or anything else for that matter to your coffee. A VLCD is often scientifically produced to provide the correct amount of nutrients on a very low amount of calories. Just a few calories increase could knock some people out of ketosis and prevent them losing weight. Remember a VLCD is a diet that uses the ketogenic metabolic state to burn fat and lose weight. It is not comparable to The Keto Diet using conventional food.  For further information on this check out my other blogs.