Many people enjoy adding cream to their coffee, but these additions can quickly turn a healthy morning pick-me-up into a calorie-laden treat. A single tablespoon of coffee creamer can have as many as 50 calories, even fat-free or low-fat. So, why does coffee creamer have so many calories?
Coffee creamers have so many calories because their milk or cream ingredients are both high in fat. Also, many creamers contain added sugar and oils, which adds even more calories to the mix. Finally, some include additional flavorings like chocolate or nuts to increase the calorie content.
While coffee creamer is popular, not many people know how unhealthy these extra calories may be to our bodies. The delicious creamy sweetness comes with a price—consumed in excess; these guilty luxuries can affect your health. This article will also examine why it is so, the risks involved, and the alternatives to replace these unhealthy creamers.
Why Coffee Creamer Is So High in Calories
The coffee creamer that many of us use to flavor our morning cup of joe may set you back with loads of calories without you even noticing. A typical coffee creamer can have as many as 50 calories and an additional 5 grams of sugar in just one serving. That’s more sugar than a can of soda!
Some also contain additional ingredients like stabilizers, emulsifiers, and flavorings.
Let us look at the ingredients in detail:
Milk Is the Main Reason for the Calorie Content
Milk is high in calories and fat, which makes it an excellent choice for adding creaminess and body to the coffee. However, milk adds a significant amount of calories to the creamer. A cup of coffee with full cream milk and milk-based creamer can pack a load of extra calories.
If you are concerned about your waistline, consider using a non-dairy creamer or milk alternative. These products are usually lower in calories than milk-based creamers. You can also try using less creamer or using half and half instead of full-fat milk.
Small changes like these can reduce the number of calories in your coffee without sacrificing taste or quality.
The Role of Sugar in Coffee Creamer
Most coffee creamers contain some form of sugar or sweetener. The sugar helps to make the coffee more palatable and to add calories. The calories in coffee creamers can vary widely, depending on the type of creamer and the amount of sugar it contains.
The sugar in coffee creamers can also affect the calorie content. Some common types of sugar used in coffee creamer include sucrose, glucose, and fructose. These sugars can all add calories to your coffee.
Creamers with sugar and sweeteners also often contain artificial sweeteners, including aspartame and Acesulfame potassium. Artificial sweeteners are calorie-free but can still affect your health by causing metabolic upset. Artificial sweeteners can also contribute to strokes, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
If you are concerned about sugar intake, it is best to avoid sweetened coffee creamer altogether.
Unsweetened coffee creamer can be a healthy alternative to coffee creamers that contain sugar or artificial sweeteners.
For instance, you can use this Laird Superfood Coffee Creamer (available on Amazon) to get your coffee fixed without all the sugar and calories as it’s a sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan coffee creamer.
If you are looking for a way to reduce the calorie content of your coffee, consider using skim milk instead of creamer.
Liquid Coffee Creamers Contain Vegetable Oils
You may often find vegetable oils and corn syrup in liquid coffee creamers; these ingredients can add a lot of calories to your cup of coffee.
Corn syrup is a high-calorie sweetener that can add up to 50 calories per tablespoon, and vegetable oils contain saturated fat. These high-calorie additions can add up over time, leading to weight gain and obesity.
People who drink regular creamers instead of decaf have an increased risk of obesity-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to creamers, try using unsweetened soy or almond milk with your coffee. These drinks will still give you the flavor you crave without all the added sugar and calories.
Non-Dairy Coffee Creamers Contain Thickening Agents
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think twice about the ingredients in your coffee creamer. But if you’re trying to watch your waistline, you may want to look closer. Some non-dairy coffee creamers contain artificial thickening agents to make them creamy.
Creamers often include a thickening agent like carrageenan, which does not offer high calories per se but may contribute to the ill effects of a high-fat diet—including diabetes. Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed and is a common food additive. It’s what gives coffee creamer its thick, creamy texture.
However, studies also link carrageenan to gastrointestinal issues like inflammation and ulcerations.
So if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to coffee creamer, check the labels carefully. Look for creamers made with wholesome ingredients like almond milk or coconut milk. And be sure to avoid any product that contains carrageenan.
The Calorie Content of Popular Creamers
A cup of coffee is only about five calories. But like most people, you probably don’t drink it black. You add milk or cream and maybe even some flavored syrup. And that’s where the calories start to add up.
One popular creamer, International Delight French Vanilla, has 90 calories in just two tablespoons. That might not seem like much, but if you’re having multiple cups of coffee throughout the day, those calories can start to tally.
Another popular creamer, Coffeemate Cinnamon Vanilla Creamer, has 35 calories per tablespoon. And while that’s still not a lot, it’s important to remember that those calories are in addition to the calories from the coffee itself, including sugar.
So if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, be aware of how many calories are in your coffee creamer. And even if you’re not, you’ll save yourself some calories per cup by using a creamer that’s lower in calories.
You might even want to choose a low-calorie coffee creamer from this list of Best Coffee Creamers For Weight Loss or make your own at home with milk and a little sugar.
Watch this short 5-minute YouTube video to know what is the easiest way to make coffee creamer at home:
Or, you could stick to black coffee and save yourself some calories.
Should People Continue To Consume These Coffee Creamers?
Coffee creamers are common in cafes and grocery stores, but do they have any benefits to outweigh the drawbacks? In general, coffee creamers are high in calories and sugar. They also contain artificial flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon, vanilla, and others, which can be unhealthy for you.
There are a few reasons why people continue to consume these high-calorie coffee creamers.
- Creamers can also be addictive and hard to give up once someone starts using them.
- Many people don’t find readymade, easy-to-purchase coffee creamers at their nearest stores.
- They may not be aware of the high-calorie content in these creamers because they don’t feel the need to check the labels at the back.
- Finally, some people enjoy the taste of creamers and find them hard to give up.
If you’re one of those but trying to find a healthier replacement for those sugar-loaded high-calorie creamers, you should watch this 5-minute video on YouTube:
Ultimately, it is essential to consider all of the drawbacks and benefits before deciding whether to use coffee creamer.
The health hazards of using coffee creamers are not well known, but they can be harmful if consumed in large quantities.
Coffee creamers can increase your heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes risk. Furthermore, creamers can also contribute to obesity because they are high in calories. This potential for excess weight is a severe issue as obesity is reaching a crisis in the US, with a staggering 113 million adults suffering from this condition in 2022.
Coffee creamers contain as many as 70 calories per serving, and if you use three servings per cup, you add up almost 200 calories to your diet from a cup of coffee. So you can always opt for dairy-free, sugar-free coffee creamers available on the market.
I recommend you try the Laird Superfood Coffee Creamer (available on Amazon) created by the famous surfer Laird Hamilton. This product is a non-dairy, organic, gluten-free, vegan, and paleo diet-approved coffee creamer that comes in 4 variants to suit every palette.
In the US, people consume more coffee than any other beverage besides water.
Coffee creamer thus naturally becomes an everyday kitchen staple, but people don’t realize how many calories it contains.
A single tablespoon of coffee creamer can have over 60 calories, and even low-fat or sugar-free varieties can be surprisingly high in calories.
Coffee creamer contains milk, cream, and sugar—adding to its calorie content.
While it’s tempting to add creamer to your coffee to make it flavorful, it’s essential to be aware of the calorie content and consider using a non-dairy creamer or milk instead.