Plain black coffee isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (or, rather, coffee). But the ingredients that you add to your cup of joe to spice it up could also be adding unnecessary amounts of sugar and other unhealthy additives to your diet.
This is the one ingredient no one should be adding to their coffee anymore because it’s so bad for you.
Lots of coffee drinkers prefer a lighter cup of creamier coffee — something that can be achieved with a tablespoon or two of low-fat or whole milk. But coffee creamer is a bit like milk on performance enhancement drugs. It’s creamier than milk, sweeter, tastier — and even comes in fun flavors like hazelnut and caramel.
What’s not to love about coffee creamer? Actually, quite a bit — here are a few good reasons why it’s wiser to skip creamer and opt for plain milk.
Your Creamer May Not Contain Actual Cream
Sad but true: many coffee creamers don’t actually contain real cream, but are instead thickened with a substance called carrageenan (cellulose gels and gums are also sometimes used). Carrageenan can cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to illnesses and weight gain. And it may be the reason why your tummy doesn’t feel so great an hour after drinking that cup of coffee with creamer.
Creamers Are Filled With Preservatives
You know how that carton of milk barely lasts in your fridge until it reaches its expiration date? Well, the opposite is true when it comes to creamers. Most have a much longer shelf life than milk, but that’s the result of a number of additional preservatives that have been added to it. If the thought of including these preservatives in your otherwise healthy diet makes you feel uncomfortable, skip creamer.
Creamers Contain Highly Processed Fats
Some fats are good for you — including omega-3 fatty acids you’ll find in foods like avocado, salmon, and nuts. But creamer contains a highly processed fat called partially hydrogenated oil, or trans fat. This type of fat raised your blood cholesterol levels and is bad for your heart.
Creamers Don’t Usually Contain Natural Flavors
Ever wonder why your creamer tastes like mocha heaven? It’s not because there is a natural caramel mocha tree providing all of that tasty goodness. Most creamers are loaded with artificial flavors. Artificial flavors that are made in a lab aren’t always bad for you but one thing they can do is distort the taste of foods so that a natural tasting fruit or ingredient like vanilla can never compare to the much sweeter version you’ll find in foods like creamers.
The occasional drop of creamer in your coffee isn’t going to wreck your diet. But if you’re trying to make the healthiest choices possible, swapping creamer for milk (or even attempting to drink your coffee black) is the way to go.