Coffee Creamer: Good or Bad?

by in Grocery Shopping, Healthy Tips, September 23, 2013

coffee and creamer
Do you start your morning with a splash of liquid coffee creamer? Find out if that’s a smart way to begin the day.

It’s hard to deny–the stuff tastes good. Sweet? Yes! Creamy? For Sure! The wide variety of flavors (including seasonal favorites like pumpkin spice and peppermint-mocha) makes these easy-to-pour bottles a staple in many fridges.

Folks that suffer from common allergies also have reasons to smile. Despite their name, most liquid creamers are lactose-free; they’re also gluten-free.

For fans of real food, it’s a little disheartening to see that these “creamers” contain no actual cream (more on this below). On the plus side, some popular brands are now offering products that contain a blend of nonfat milk, cream, sugar and flavorings that are also lower in calories than the traditional versions.

You may be wondering, if there’s no dairy, what are these creamy imposters made of? They’re nothing but concoctions of oil, sugar and thickeners. To make matters worse, the oils are the partially hydrogenated kind. While a one-tablespoon serving contains less than 0.5 grams of this super unhealthy trans fat, slurping this every morning will quickly pile up.

These creamers come in fat-free and sugar-free varieties too. They’re made from the same mixture of unhealthy oils, thickeners, plus additional chemicals from artificial sweeteners–it just doesn’t seem worth the 10 to 20 calorie savings. Even varieties that contain real dairy are spiked with thickeners and stabilizers.

The Verdict: Go for the real deal. If you enjoy a bit of sweet creaminess in your coffee, do it the old fashioned way, with measured portions of cream and sugar.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana’s full bio »

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Comments (10)

  1. Kaylan says:

    I like the fact that your blog provided both the good and bad details of the sweet coffee creamers that many people enjoyed ,but I feel that there is a sense of contradiction within your blog because the good facts about the creamers drag people into wanting to try them ,but I noticed that you said, "for people who like real foods its disheartening to see that the creamers don't contain any actual cream." which is what you said in the good section ,so to me its seems like the people who like the creams aren't real?? Other than that your blog provided both the good and bad of the artificial coffee creamers.

  2. […] View Original Article Filed Under: Articles · […]

  3. Bible Ben says:

    I read that certain seafoods, like shrimp, are not fit for human consumption, yet, you have a Baked Coconut Shrimp offering. Are you not aware of the distinction between edible seafoods and inedible seafoods?

  4. albat says:

    Your site is good actually, i have glimpsed your posted letters and That was very informative and very entertaining for me. Thanks for posting really Such Things. I should recommend your location to my friends. Green coffee will remove your fat day by day.

  5. […] Angelo White, a registered dietitian and certified athletic trainer, says you should be. Writing for Food Network, White says that sugar, thickeners, and oils are used to achieve the non-dairy creamy sweetness […]

  6. […] Angelo White, a registered dietitian and certified athletic trainer, says you should be. Writing for Food Network, White says that sugar, thickeners, and oils are used to achieve the non-dairy creamy sweetness […]

  7. […] dash of half and half with a small teaspoon of real maple syrup. Popular non-dairy creamers are filled with unhealthy hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners. Hydrogenated oils are trans fats, which are considered by doctors and health experts to be the […]

  8. toko buku says:


    In Malaysia, the original white coffee started in the town of Ipoh, referring to a drink made from coffee beans roasted in margarine, brewed and served with sweetened condensed milk in a cream-color form. An example is Chang jiang White Coffee, or Ipoh White Coffee. Local coffee manufacturers subsequently mix instant coffee powder with non-dairy creamer or whitener and sugar together, and market the 3-in-1 mixture as White Coffee as well.
    The mixtures are packed in various sizes from 15 g to 40 g, and are preferred by Malaysians at home or in office as convenient easy-to-prepare coffee drinks. The health benefits however of consuming instant coffee mixed with non-dairy creamer and sugar daily are slowly coming into question, with some manufacturers now taking the sugar out of the mixture, and market the 2-in-1 mixture as Sugar Free White Coffee.
    For overseas visitors into Malaysia wishing to try out White Coffee but finding the margarine roasted coffee beans unorthodox (due to its slight caramelized flavor), and doubting the purity of the 3-in-1 instant mixture, most are misled into believing that there is another type of coffee bean endemic to Malaysia called the White Coffee Bean. These are invariably imported Robusta or Arabica beans roasted to a light color and simply passed off as White Coffee.
    Whether roasted with margarine, or prepared in instant 3-in-1 mix, White Coffee in Malaysia should simply refer to how the drink is prepared and presented – added with milk or creamer, so the liquid is cream colored, just like cafe au lait, or Latte in essence.


  9. jason says:

    If you switch to cream and sugar though thats bad for you to. the amount of sugar really adds up just like the creamer. also heavy cream has a lot of fat. you don't want to be drinking a pint or more of that a week.

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