Let's face it, most of us love a splash of creamer in our morning coffee. The velvety touch transforms our daily cup of Joe into a relaxing, flavorful experience.
But in our quest for that perfect, creamy coffee, it's vital to remember that not all creamers are created equal.
While some can enhance your health and wellness journey (some are pretty good quality), others may sneak in seriously bad ingredients.
This guide will walk you through what you need to be wary of and the best creamer choices to maintain weight and live a healthy lifestyle.
We've also included some brand recommendations for you.
So get ready to turn your morning coffee routine into a health-boosting ritual.
The Problem With Conventional Coffee Creamers
Many workplaces nationwide are stocked with popular creamers such as Coffee Mate or Walmart's Great Value. While these creamers might be quick, easy, and cheap, they represent the epitome of unhealthy coffee creamers.
Sorry, but it is very true. Do NOT use these creamers in your coffee, or please reduce your consumption of them.
The first ingredient in many of these creamers is corn syrup solids. Yet, the nutritional labels could claim zero grams of added sugar. This contradiction exists because of certain loopholes in food labeling regulations. If a serving contains under a specific amount of sugar, it can be labeled as sugar-free, regardless of the ingredients.
So, just because a creamer could say sugar-free or 0g added sugar, you must still pay attention.
In addition to corn syrup, these creamers also contain hydrogenated vegetable oil, which makes the product shelf-stable and gives it a creamy texture. However, hydrogenated vegetable oil is processed, refined, inflammatory, and often sourced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Furthermore, these creamers often contain artificial flavors, making them far from the best choice for your coffee.
Here's a list of ingredients to steer clear of:
Corn Syrup Solids: This highly processed sweetener can spike your blood sugar and contribute to weight gain.
Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils: They are high in trans fats, which can increase bad cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.
Artificial Flavors: These synthetic ingredients can cause allergic reactions and other health problems.
Canola Oil: Even when it's organic, canola oil is a processed and inflammatory seed oil, best to be avoided.
Cane Sugar: This is another form of refined sugar that can lead to weight gain and health issues like diabetes.
Natural Flavors: Despite the name, these are often artificially produced and can contain many chemical additives.
Non-Organic Dairy: Conventional dairy products often contain hormones and antibiotics.
Here are some brands to stay clear of or, again, reduce consumption of:
Coffee Mate: The traditional line of these creamers often contains corn syrup solids, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and artificial flavors.
International Delight: Many of their creamers are high in sugar and contain artificial flavors and other undesirable ingredients.
Nestle Liquid Coffee Creamer: This creamer contains corn syrup solids and partially hydrogenated oils, sources of unhealthy trans fats.
Dunkin' Donuts Extra Extra Creamer: This creamer contains high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.
Starbucks Liquid Coffee Creamer: While it may be tempting to get the coffee shop flavor at home, these creamers can be high in sugar and contain ingredients like mono and diglycerides.
Great Value Coffee Creamer: The Walmart brand contains similar unhealthy ingredients, such as corn syrup solids and partially hydrogenated oils.
Find Healthier Alternatives
Fortunately, there are healthier and more nutritious options available on the market.
You are looking for REAL FOODS and NO ARTIFICIAL INGREDIENTS.
These creamers are not necessarily more expensive; many are often on sale. Here are a few top picks:
Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer
This creamer is not only loaded with collagen but also contains coconut milk, which is packed with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are great for your energy and brain health. Furthermore, each creamer serving includes 10 grams of grass-fed collagen, which supports hair, skin, nail, and joint health.
Laird Superfood Creamer
This creamer is an excellent choice for those looking for a liquid creamer. It is a Paleo creamer based on coconut milk and contains functional mushrooms known to improve cognition. The creamer is unsweetened, but even the sweetened one uses coconut sugar, a Paleo sweetener.
Nut Pods Original Creamer
Unlike its flavored counterparts, the original Nut Pods creamer contains no natural flavors, making it a healthier option. It uses emulsifiers and gums to achieve its creamy texture, but these are not excessive and, therefore, not a concern.
Organic Half and Half
For those who prefer traditional creamers, opting for organic or, even better, 100% grass-fed half-and-half can be a good choice. Grass-fed dairy is nutritionally superior to regular milk and even organic milk. This is because grass-fed cows eat grass, their natural diet, rather than grain.
When it comes to selecting the right coffee creamer, aim to find ones that contain the following wholesome ingredients:
Coconut Milk: A great dairy-free option, it's full of beneficial fats and lends a creamy texture to your coffee.
Grass-fed Dairy: Dairy products sourced from grass-fed cows are higher in nutritional value and devoid of antibiotics and hormones commonly found in conventionally raised livestock.
Collagen: This protein is excellent for skin, hair, and joint health. If you can find a creamer with collagen, it's a great way to boost your protein intake.
MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides): These are healthy fats, often derived from coconut oil, that can provide a quick energy source and are beneficial for brain health.
Organic Oats: If you prefer oat milk, ensure it's organic to avoid pesticides and other chemicals.
Unrefined Sweeteners: If you prefer a sweetened creamer, look for natural, unrefined options like raw honey, coconut sugar, or stevia.
Here are some more brands to consider:
Califia Farms Unsweetened Almondmilk Creamer: Made with almond and coconut cream, this creamer is soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and carrageenan-free.
Organic Valley Grassmilk Half & Half: This creamer is made from 100% grass-fed dairy, free of artificial hormones, toxic pesticides, and GMOs.
So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Milk Creamer: A non-dairy, vegan-friendly option made with organic coconuts.
MALK Unsweetened Almond Milk Creamer: A simple, clean ingredient list makes this a healthy choice. It’s dairy-free and made with sprouted organic almonds.
Picnik Original Creamer: A butter coffee creamer with grass-fed butter and whey protein. It’s a keto-friendly choice that also contains MCT oil.
Elmhurst Oat Creamer: Made from just six simple ingredients, it's free from artificial flavors and added oils.
Choosing the right coffee creamer can significantly impact your health. As seen with traditional creamers, some options can be filled with processed oils, artificial flavors, and refined sugars. However, there are healthier options available that provide a creamy texture to your coffee and offer additional health benefits. Always remember to read the ingredients before making a purchase.
In addition to these healthier store-bought options, you can consider making your coffee creamer at home using ingredients like coconut milk, grass-fed butter, or organic half-and-half.
Whether you're a seasoned coffee drinker or a casual sipper, making informed choices about your coffee creamer can significantly impact your overall health. So the next time you reach for a coffee creamer, consider these healthier alternatives.
Remember, every little change in your diet can make a big difference. So, keep exploring healthier options, cooking, and, most importantly, enjoying your coffee!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What's wrong with using conventional coffee creamers?
Traditional coffee creamers often contain unhealthy ingredients such as corn syrup solids, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and artificial flavors, harming your health and hindering weight loss.
Why are grass-fed dairy products a better choice?
First, grass-fed dairy is nutritionally superior to regular milk because it comes from cows that eat grass, a diet they're naturally meant to follow, unlike grain-fed cows.
What's a paleo creamer?
A paleo creamer is a dairy-free creamer that uses natural ingredients, such as coconut milk, that align with a paleo diet's principles.
How do I choose a healthy coffee creamer?
Always read the ingredients. Look for creamers made from natural, nutritious ingredients, and avoid those with added sugars, artificial flavors, or highly processed oils.
Can I enjoy coffee on the SOZA weight loss plan?
Absolutely, as long as you're mindful of what you add. Opt for healthier coffee creamers, as discussed in this article.
Gus Bouari, Co-Founder of SOZA
Health Blog Writer
About Gus Bouari, SOZA Co-Founder
After his childhood friend and co-founder, Dr. Anthony Wehbe lost 50 pounds on the SOZA weight loss program, he also did the program and lost 35 pounds. Gus is a wellness advocate and enthusiast. Gus truly believes we can all transform our lives by adapting to and following a healthy, wellness-focused lifestyle.
He has appeared on Miami NBC 6 Health in the Mix, discussing healthy eating and healthy cooking. If you ever bump into Gus, it would most likely be at a health foods store helping fellow shoppers make better food choices.
His continuous education and certifications include Precision Nutrition PN1 Certification, Stanford Online University's Food Sustainability, Mindful Eating, Healthy Cooking, Nutrition For Health and Sustainability, Nutrition Science: Obesity, and Healthy Weight Loss.