The creamer you add to your coffee can really transform your drink, but is it damaging your health? Replacing your coffee creamer with healthy alternatives is something you’ll want to look into if coffee is a big part of your life.
Unless you’re a straight black coffee drinker, there’s no doubt you love to spruce up your coffee. You can do this by adding sugar, milk, syrups, or coffee creamer.
But the next time you use your coffee creamer, look at the ingredients. The odds are you won’t even see cream listed and there will be a lot of ingredients you may not recognize, or even be able to pronounce.
This is the time to try some new alternatives. So, if you’re looking to cut back on creamer, or these unhealthy ingredients, read on to look at 6 healthy alternatives to creamer you can use in your coffee.
Why Should You Consider Healthy Coffee Creamer Alternatives?
Before looking at healthier alternatives for coffee creamer, it’s worth looking at why you should switch to them. Most of these creamers are non-dairy, and that means they are filled with less than desirable ingredients.
To create that cream effect, many manufacturers will use trans fat. Trans fats help to replicate that same mouth-feel that comes from cream but without the dairy.
These types of fat are the dangerous hydrogenated ones that have links to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Trans fats are finally being recognized for the danger they are and many countries are putting an outright ban on them.
This hasn’t been put into place everywhere yet, so they are still lurking around. Trans fats can fall under alternative names such as:
- hydrogenated vegetable oil
- partially hydrogenated vegetable oil
- hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated palm oil, coconut oil, or soybean oil
And this is just trans fats. The non-dairy creamers also use sugar, corn syrup, and sodium to get that creamier feel. The creamers that have actual cream will also be loaded with sugar, artificial flavors and colors, and are also a big calorie source.
There’s a good chance the creamers with real cream are not getting them from organic cows. They most likely use dairy from factory-farmed animals that are pumped full of hormones and antibiotics.
The point is, if you’re using creamers every day, it can add up. Whether it’s just from the calories or all the inferior ingredients, this stuff is not the healthiest choice you can make.
Instead, there are some better alternatives for a coffee creamer that’s healthy without any of the guilt. Here are 6 of them.
This is not a liquid alternative, but it is a choice you should use every day. The first thing with cinnamon is that it will completely change the flavor of your coffee, but with no calories. You can brew your coffee with a cinnamon stick in it, or just add a pinch or two of ground cinnamon after it’s done.
Health benefit wise, cinnamon is one of the highest antioxidant substances you can use. Cinnamon will also help to reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, and lower triglyceride levels, too.
It’s full of calcium, iron, and manganese and is also a good choice to calm an upset stomach. Cinnamon is also anti-bacterial, and anti-microbial making it the king of spices. It can help you in boosting your immune system to fight off illness and infection.
2. Almond Milk
Almond milk is an easy and healthy way to get more of that cream experience in your coffee. It’s best to go with the unsweetened varieties as some almond milk can have a lot of sugar. If you’re using unsweetened almond milk, this can be a good time to use your cinnamon to flavor your coffee and make it healthier.
Almond milk that is unsweetened is also low in calories and a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant.
3. Vanilla Extract
Most people use a creamer that’s vanilla flavored as it’s one of the most beloved tastes out there. You can cut out the middleman and improve your health by getting the flavor of vanilla without the creamer. Add a few drops of the pure extract to transform your coffee with none of the calories or sugar.
You can even add a real vanilla bean to your coffee grounds, as this will help the flavor infuse even more. Vanilla is a great healthy coffee creamer alternative, as it has medicinal value and has been used for centuries.
They regard vanilla as a superfood for the brain and it can improve your mood, your cognitive performance, and your overall brain health. It could be one reason that so many people crave it, as it’s the brain that really wants it. Vanilla will also reduce stress, reduce joint pain, and help fight stomach ache.
4. Unsweetened Coconut Milk
Like almond milk, unsweetened coconut milk is another good choice for those who need to avoid dairy. This time, however, you get more of that creaminess. This is a great low-calorie substitute, but it will give a light taste of coconut to your coffee – in case you’re one of those coconut haters…
This is the closest thing texture-wise to cream, and you can create your own healthy coffee creamer alternatives by combining this with the vanilla extract. Coconut still has some fat to it (to give it its creaminess) so be aware of that if you’re looking to keep calories down.
The fat in coconut milk, however, is from those good medium-chain saturated fatty acids. These are the fats that absorbed quicker in the body so they’re less likely to be stored as fat. They also can help fight off illness by boosting your immunity.
5. Peppermint Oil
Like the vanilla extract, the flavor of peppermint is what many people are looking for in a flavored coffee. This is another great creamer alternative for your coffee that is healthy for you. Peppermint oil has a lot of iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C.
It also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help in digestion, and calm an upset stomach. Peppermint oil also can help with heartburn and nausea. So, instead of shelling out the big bucks for peppermint flavored drinks at expensive coffee shops, use this cheaper, and healthier option.
6. Raw Cacao Powder
We might have saved the best for last and one of the classic flavors added to coffee. This is not cocoa but cacao, which is the raw form of cocoa.
This is also the form that has health benefits and creates an amazing flavor in your coffee. You can find raw cacao powder in any health food shop or also online. Adding one teaspoon to the bottom of your mug will make an amazing healthy mocha coffee.
Health-wise, you are looking at an ingredient filled with flavanols. These are important antioxidants that help lower blood pressure, increase blood vessel function, and may help combat cardiovascular disease. Cacao is also anti-inflammatory and can improve insulin resistance and how your body handles sugar.
With so many great healthy coffee creamer alternatives out there, it makes little sense not to use them. Not only are they better for you, but they give your coffee cleaner, better, and more natural flavor.
You can pick up all these things in any health food store for your coffee, and then experiment with creating your own healthy creamer alternatives.