If you prefer sweet but healthy coffee, here is a list of 10 healthy alternatives for coffee creamer.
Coffee is advantageous when consumed responsibly. One study found coffee reduces the risks of type 2 diabetes. However, this is only true if cream and sugar do not comprise most of your cup.
But what if you're not one of those people who like black coffee?
That's ok. Black coffee isn't most people's first choice. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy ways to sweeten your coffee. Check out our list of healthy alternatives for coffee creamer.
1. Skim Milk
If you enjoy the buttery texture of coffee creamer, try using skim milk. It is an excellent source of calcium, protein, potassium, and other vitamins. But what about the health cautions surrounding dairy?
Full-fat dairy, like whole milk, contains saturated fat, which many researchers believe causes heart disease risk and weight gain. Therefore, no more than 10 percent of your daily caloric intake should consist of saturated fats. Sticking to skim milk will help you achieve this.
If you desire a sweeter taste, try mixing a small amount of honey with your milk. Still, err on the side of caution as honey is an added sugar and can have adverse health effects if overused.
You might be interested in learning about drinks you can make with a milk frother.
2. Plant-based Milk
If you have dietary restrictions, opt for plant-based milk. Remember that some plant-based milk contains added sugars, causing similar consequences to saturated fat.
Check the nutrition label to ensure your product is free of added sugar and fortified with the nutrients found in regular milk. A few examples of beneficial plant-based milk include almond, oat, and soy milk.
Research found that fortified soy milk contains a similar amount of protein and potassium as regular milk establishing it as one of the best options.
3. Protein Powder
Most protein powders carry a delightful flavor, making them an excellent replacement. However, check the nutrition label for added sugar and dairy if you have dietary restrictions.
Both protein powder and coffee carry extensive benefits when consumed properly. Coffee contains antioxidants that combat illnesses like heart disease and cancer, but only when ingested without sugary coffee creamer.
This substitute is best for people who have trouble consuming their recommended daily protein, as most adults receive what they need from their diet.
You may also be interested in reading about how to make protein coffee.
If black coffee is too bitter for you, add stevia! The natural sweetener comes from the stevia plant and is a sugar replacement containing zero calories. Stevia also has a glycemic index of zero, establishing it as a safe coffee creamer alternative for people with diabetes.
Stevia is 100 to 300 times sweeter than regular sugar. Many people find it overbearing, so use it in moderation!
Stevia also has potential health benefits, including weight control and antioxidants that fight illnesses like pancreatic cancer.
5. Monk Fruit Extract
Monk fruit is a natural sweetener extracted from the Luo Han Guo melon and is 100 to 250 times sweeter than sugar. It is considered safe by the FDA.
It comes in liquid or powder form, but it is laborious to grow and export, so it’s harder to find than many natural sweeteners.
However, if you can find it, give it a try! It has no calories, carbohydrates, or sugars. Studies also show that it contains beneficial antioxidants.
6. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is a natural sweetener extracted from the sap of a maple tree, not to be confused with maple-flavored syrup, which is mostly sugar.
The extraction process of maple syrup creates a molecule with anti-inflammatory properties called quebecol. So, it’s beneficial for people with ailments like arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and inflammatory-related illnesses.
7. Cocoa Powder
If you love a good mocha, you’ll love using cocoa powder as a coffee creamer replacement. Cocoa powder is one of the purest forms of chocolate. However, some production processes eliminate its valuable micronutrients.
Studies find that the superfood's micronutrients boost cognitive ability, improve blood flow, reduce blood pressure, and enhance insulin resistance.
Dark cocoa powder is the healthier choice. Check the label to see how many micronutrients, also called flavonols, are in a single ounce, then opt for the highest one!
Cinnamon is notorious for its good taste and is probably far more impressive than you think. The spice can prevent cell damage, curb inflammation, and regulate blood sugar levels.
Most impressively, cinnamon enhances caffeine by improving brain function and combating progressive illnesses like Alzheimer's and Parkinson’s.
Combine it with skim or plant-based milk, and you will wonder why you used that sugary coffee creamer for so long.
9. Vanilla Extract
There are synthetic vanillas, but they do not carry as many health benefits. Research shows pure vanilla's rich antioxidants improve heart health, digestion, respiratory illnesses, and inflammation.
If you are sweetening your coffee with pure vanilla, be sure it is iced coffee as heat diminishes the character. Also, beware of potency. It takes less than a quarter teaspoon to get the job done.
10. Egg Yolk
Egg yolk coffee gives your morning beverage the same buttery texture as cream while suppressing bitterness.
Place the yolk in your cup, then whip it with a frother or fork. Pour your coffee over it, and enjoy! You can also add a small amount of honey or other natural sweeteners.
Be sure to stick to pasteurized eggs as they’re treated to eliminate illness-causing bacteria. If you do, you can reap the health benefits, including a rich balance of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.