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Why your coffee creamer needs a healthy upgrade

Healthier coffee creamers Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Aila Images

While too much of any good thing can backfire (yes, caffeine, we mean you), your morning cup of joe qualifies as beneficial to your overall well-being. That is, of course, unless you cancel out the health-boosting effects of its stellar anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant-rich polyphenols by stirring in a super sweet, flavored creamer (which many PSL drinkers are of course guilty of).

Here’s why: Many recognizable creamer brands contain—by admission on their own nutrition labels—undesirable ingredients such as corn syrup, sodium, sugar, vegetable oil, and carrageenan. “Coffee creamers are full of sugar, unhealthy fats, fillers, thickeners, and emulsifiers,” says nutritionist Adrienne Dowd of Parlsey HealthSo while you’re forgiven for needing a pick-me-up before your morning meeting—the pre-caffeine struggle is real—know that there’s a better way.

Many recognizable creamer brands contain—by admission on their own nutrition labels—undesirable ingredients such as corn syrup, sodium, sugar, vegetable oil, and carrageenan.

To mimic the creaming effect of some of these products (and, if you live a dairy-free life, actual cream or milk), Dowd offers healthy alternatives that are just as satisfying. “The best alternatives are homemade nut or seeds milks,” she says. (Store-bought kinds can also be a sugar trap—so read the ingredients list!) These aren’t too tough to make—this how-to is a good place to start—but you might not always have the time, patience, or presence of mind to prepare DIY options before 9 a.m. In ASAP scenarios, you can opt instead to add MCT oilcoconut oil, ghee, butter, coconut butter, and egg, all of which will help to supercharge the flavor of your cup

Even better news: Wellness-oriented brands are releasing coffee-centric creamer-like options with increasing frequency, many of which utilize natural, plant-based ingredients such as nut milks and coconut cream and are additionally powered up with extras like turmeric, omega-3s, and adaptogenic mushrooms.

When shopping these new age creamers, nutritionist Charles Passler notes that it’s still important to pay attention to the sugar and fat content. “If it’s all-natural and has a maximum of 4 to 5 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fat, it will only raise your blood sugar very slightly,” he says of the ideal numbers to look for on your product’s nutrition label. As for those seeking a creamer version of their no-sugar, high-fat Bulletproof coffee? Simply focus on seeing a zero sugar stat on the label since it’s all good to go all out when it comes to fat. (FYI, BP-friendly options are the Know Brainer and Coffee Booster products below.)

Shop some of the latest and greatest wellness-oriented offerings to add texture, flavor, and nutrients to your coffee each day.

Worried you might be drinking too much brew? Find out what would happen if you stopped altogether. Or, just make yours even healthier with these easy mix-ins.