How Unhealthy Is Coffee Creamer?

Coffee creamer can be a welcome and comforting addition to any morning cup of coffee. From mocha to sea salt caramel, the wide variety of available flavors have made coffee creamers a staple in many homes and workplaces across the country. Despite their great taste, however, coffee creamers can be bad for your health if consumed in excess (via Byrdie).

That's because most brands of coffee creamer are made with added sugar and hydrogenated oil, which is a type of trans fat. "We consume trans fats when we eat animal products. However, if we take too much of trans fats, we're putting ourselves at risk of raising LDL (or 'bad' cholesterol)," Dr. Nikola Djordjevic told Byrdie. The daily recommended intake of trans fat is 2 grams per day — roughly the same amount of trans fat in a single serving of coffee creamer. That's why it's important to consume coffee creamer in moderation. According to the American Heart Association, you should try to limit your coffee creamer intake to 6 to 9 teaspoons per day.

Healthy alternatives to conventional coffee creamer

Many conventional coffee creamers are highly processed and contain a variety of food additives and thickening agents, some of which can be unappealing or just straight up bad for your health. For instance, cellulose gel and cellulose gum are fillers that are commonly used in coffee creamers (via Prevention). They can be derived from either cotton or pulp wood. Processed coffee creamers also tend to contain artificial flavors and sweeteners, which can cause your blood sugar to spike.

Luckily, there are a number of natural and healthy alternatives to conventional coffee creamers. Aside from using regular milk, there are a variety of dairy and nondairy creamers that lack the potentially harmful ingredients found in many traditional coffee creamers. "A few healthy coffee creamers I would recommend include SO Delicious Coconut Creamer as a dairy alternative and Natural Bliss All Natural Sweet Cream as a healthy dairy creamer," Diana Gariglio-Clelland, a registered dietician at Balance One Supplements, told Byrdie. "The benefit of these two creamers is that they don't contain added sugar."