How To Make Your Coffee Taste Better Without Making It Unhealthy

While health experts often advise that you monitor the amount of coffee you consume, they also acknowledge that coffee in moderation can be good for you. According to the experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine, coffee contains antioxidants and other substances that may reduce your risk of disease. For instance, studies have shown that coffee is linked to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and kidney disease. Experts also say that drinking coffee can help prevent Parkinson's disease, and help those who have Parkinson's disease manage their movements better. And, according to research, drinking coffee can also lead to a healthier liver by keeping your liver enzyme levels in a healthy range. Drinking moderate amounts of coffee can also reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer's disease and colon cancer. 

So, how much coffee is too much? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day — or four to five cups of coffee — is usually not associated with adverse effects; however, this will vary from person to person depending on individual sensitivity to caffeine.

But suppose you're someone who doesn't like drinking black coffee? What can you do to keep your coffee tasting the way you love without mitigating the health benefits?

Nutritionists suggest these options

While many people add some creamer to their coffee and this may not seem like an unhealthy practice, nutritionist Lisa Richards tells Byrdie that when you're pouring that creamer into your cup, you may also be pouring in refined sugar. Richards suggests trying plant-based creamers instead as a healthier option. Using a plant-based creamer like oat milk not only helps you avoid saturated fat and refined sugars, it also provides a healthy dose of vitamin D and vitamin B12, among other nutrients. However, if you must have dairy, nutritionist Dawn Jarvis tells Byrdie that you should look for certified organic cream, half and half, and whole milk options.

To give your cuppa joe a sweet kick while keeping it healthy, Richards suggests adding either honey or monk fruit extract. Monk fruit extract is sweeter than cane sugar but super low in calories. You may also want to try a dash of the sugar substitute stevia as an alternative to regular sugar (via Byrdie).

Bottom line: There are numerous healthy alternatives to creamers and sugar that you can use to keep your coffee healthy, but if you must add a bit of creamer here and a sprinkle of sugar there, chances are it won't do you much harm.