I’m a coffee lover, and enjoy it when it’s a bit creamy. While I often enjoy it with 2% milk, I have also tried various creamers. I’ve read the ingredients carefully on these, as they are often filled with artificial ingredients and lots of sugar. Here, I provide some considerations for your selection and share a few of my favorites.
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Before we get to coffee creamer, you might be wondering if coffee is good for you. A study published this year in the New England Journal of Medicine provides some useful commentary on this topic. The authors note that a large body of evidence suggests that drinking caffeinated coffee does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers. Rather, drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee daily has been associated with reduced risk of several chronic diseases.
Coffee contains several compounds that are known antioxidants, which provide protection against disease. Coffee also contains a very small number of calories when consumed black. When you add creamer, you can easily add a lot of undesirable empty calories. This blog post will help you navigate your selection if you prefer not to drink your coffee black.
You should also note that considering your coffee is only one way to make your breakfast healthier! For lots more tips on ways to level up your nutrition at breakfast, check out this post on simple ways to get nutrients in at breakfast.
Selecting coffee creamer
In selecting, these are a couple of considerations:
Sugar is the very first ingredient listed for some brands, which means it is the ingredient that weighs the most in the product. A little sugar is fine, but if your diet already contains a lot of added sugar, you might want to consider ways to cut back a bit (I provide many suggestions as to how to do this in this blog post). Two of the options I provide below don’t contain any sugar at all and still make coffee really enjoyable.
Partially hydrogenated oils.
While the FDA has determined that these are NOT Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), the agency has allowed until Jan. 1, 2021 for these products to work their way through distribution. These are the primary dietary source of trans fat in food, which have contributed to many heart attacks and deaths each year. Anne Mauney, MPH, RD provides a useful post about trans fat and how to avoid it.
With these considerations in mind, here are a few of my favorites:
I purchased this recently to last me a while rather than making trips to the grocery store to buy milk. I chose it because all of the ingredients are organic, and the first ingredient is milk powder. It does contain sugar, and I find that I need to use more than 1 tsp to achieve the right level of creaminess in my coffee. I really enjoy the taste of the coffee with this creamer, however.
Since I generally don’t feel the need to add sugar to my coffee, I enjoy this simple option. It adds a nice creaminess to my coffee. Be aware of the saturated fat content and how that fits in with the rest of your dietary choices.
I love this because it only has one ingredient, organic coconut milk powder. I appreciate that there is nothing artificial added. This gives the coffee a nice taste due to the fat content.
Grassmilk Organic Half and Half
The only ingredients in this product are organic Grade A milk and organic cream, and it gives coffee a nice consistency. As with my previous suggestion, I value that there are no artificial ingredients.
Hope the additions to your coffee allow you to do one of the most important things: thoroughly enjoy your coffee at the start of your day! Making food choices is definitely about pleasant taste and enjoyment–hope this post gives you some ideas to achieve that in a healthful way.
Have questions? Comments? I would love to hear what you think below!