It’s easy to get in a routine with coffee. Whatever preferred technique you have, that being Chemex or a classic drip, you probably know how to make a cup of coffee that tastes perfect for you. Maybe that is a black cup of coffee brewed to perfection, maybe you like your creamer with a little bit of coffee (hey, we are not here to judge), or something in between all together. It is important to sit back and analyze whether your routine is really the best that it can be—or if it is the best it can be for you. Do you know if coffee creamer is unhealthy?
We’re here to discuss whether coffee creamer is healthy or not. Because there seems to be a good amount of disparity between the perceptions out there. Keep reading if you want to learn what exactly you are putting in to your body!
The Bad News
We’ll start with the negatives, but there are some positives to come later. You probably associate coffee creamers with dairy, which is completely valid considering that is what they are supposed to be. What a lot of companies fail to share is that a lot of creamers are not made with milk but instead “concoctions of oil, sugar and thickeners“.
Sugar is a big aspect of creamers. A little bit of sugar is not going to hurt you, but it can add up day-after-day of adding it to your coffee. Besides plain white sugar, creamers can also contain corn syrup. Corn syrup is full of fructose, but lacks any other natural benefits that can come from natural sugars.
Any creamer that is advertised as “sugar-free” or “fat-free” is failing to acknowledge the other unhealthy ingredients that are bad for the body, such as artificial sweeteners. Splenda is a popular one, both in creamers and in many households. The catch there is that Splenda is sugar—just sugar that is rinsed with chlorine. That alone is scary, and a lot of artificial sweeteners are too new to the market to really know their longterm affects.
Oils & Fats
Besides flavor, creamers are popular because they aid in the texture of the coffee. Even someone who loves black coffee cannot deny how nice the smooth feel of coffee with creamer is. Partially hydrogenated oils and trans fats are used in order to make the creamer have that somewhat thicker consistency. No smoothness is worth the raised bad cholesterol that can come with a lot of creamer consumption.
What about the dairy? As mentioned earlier, some creamers don’t even have dairy or lactose sometimes. People with lactose-intolerance should not rejoice yet. Many creamers have casein, a protein that is found in milk and is often not responded well to if you are someone who typically avoids dairy. Considering that the coffee creamers do not have real dairy in them, the body does not reap the benefits of real milk (i.e. getting protein and calcium) and only gets the negatives.
Ingredients in some creamers include Dipotassium phosphate, Beta-carotene, or Erythritol (normally not all together). Except for a select few, most of us are not going to even know what those are or what they do to our bodies. For example, Beta-carotene aids in the color in CoffeeMate creamers. There are also a number of preservatives in creamers, because it only makes sense that you are not going to use up a carton of it like you would regular milk.
All of the bad elements that make coffee creamer unhealthy also take away from the benefits of coffee. The great antioxidants in a light roast are not going to shine through to their full capacity when being masked by the sugary creamers.
We know, that was a lot of negative feedback to digest on creamers. While you may feel a little betrayed by your beloved caramel creamer at this moment, there are plenty of options for you out there for you to try.
The Good News
As promised, it is not all bad news. You do not need to quit creamers cold turkey—unless you want to in order to avoid any concerns all together. Use up the last of your favorite sugary coffee creamer, just maybe consider using it in more moderation. You can easily try to scope out creamers with less additives or with less ingredients overall.
Fitting with the added transparency that we are seeing in the third wave of coffee, more and more companies are making creamers that are not as bad for our bodies! That means— ingredients we recognize and just less ingredients all together. The following are creamers from reputable companies that are providing flavor with very few ingredients.
- Laird Superfood Creamer has no highly-refined sugars, with only 4 ingredients! Laird has a number of creamers, from cacao to turmeric, that all maintain the same straightforward ingredients.
- Coffee Mate has released a number of healthier creamer alternatives, including their Natural Bliss Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer. With a variety choices, from dairy and non dairy, plus many flavors to choose from, like their Almond Milk Vanilla and Sweet Créme Coconut you’re bound to find one perfect for your taste buds.
- Califia Farm’s Almond Milk creamers are not quite as simple, but they still use more natural ingredients while providing you with that sweetness the you’re bound to be drawn to from traditional creamers. Give their Vanilla Almond Milk or their Barista Blend a taste!
Thanks for reading, we’ll brew ya later!! ☕️