If you don’t like to drink your coffee black, you might add a splash of milk, half-and-half or heavy cream and a spoonful of sugar or sweetener. With creamer, you kill two birds with one stone because it’s creamy and, most of the time, it’s sweetened, so you don’t need to add extra sugar. Some basic flavors include hazelnut, French vanilla and caramel, but you can find exotic varieties like Funfetti and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, too.
Because of convenience and customizability, creamer is a popular addition to America’s cup of joe. However, it’s not always especially healthy. If you use store-bought creamer regularly, it’s smart to know which ones are best and worst for your health. Some are higher in fat, calories and sugar. Some are made with just a few ingredients while others sound more like chemistry experiments. They’ve been listed here in order from generally unhealthy to healthy.
Dunkin’s creamer is, in a word, extra. If you’re buying a creamer with this level of excess advertised on the label, you’re probably not trying to limit your fat and sugar. If you are, this is not your best choice. With 40 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 6 grams of sugar per tablespoon, you might want to pour this dessert-like creamer lightly.
International Delight offers creamers inspired by some of America’s favorite chocolate candies, including Hershey’s and Almond Joy. It’s no surprise that these aren’t healthy, but they will turn your coffee into a delicious treat. Each tablespoon has around 35 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 5 grams of sugar. On the bright side, your at-home blend will likely have less sugar than a seasonal latte from one of the best coffee chains in America.
This creamer has America running on sugar. Dunkin’s Vanilla creamer is similar to its Extra Extra flavor, but with a few small differences. It has 35 calories and 1.5 grams of fat, with a little more sugar (6 grams).
Like International Delight, Coffee Mate gets creative with its creamers. The brand is keen on adding seasonal flavors to its arsenal of sweet creamers, but some core products include crème brulée, hazelnut, caramel macchiato and Italian sweet cream. They all have similar nutritional profiles, racking up 35 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 5 grams of sugar per tablespoon.
French vanilla is a classic creamer flavor, so we singled it out for your comparison. International Delight’s French vanilla is on par with its candy editions, with 6 grams of sugar, 1.5 grams of fat and 35 calories in each tablespoon.
Coffee Mate’s French vanilla creamer has the same nutritional value as its competitor, International Delight. It has 35 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 5 grams of sugar in each tablespoon of this rich vanilla flavor.
If you’re opting for a Dunkin’ creamer, this is your least-sugary option. Just 2 grams of sugar, 1 gram of fat and 25 calories are in each tablespoon. The coffee chain makes its creamer with skim milk to keep the fat content, just 1 gram, to a minimum.
Even though sugar-free options obviously contain less sugar than their regular counterparts, International Delight is made with palm oil and just a slight amount of corn syrup along with the artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium. This sugar-free French vanilla creamer contains just 20 calories per tablespoon but has 2 grams of fat and more artificial ingredients than International Delight’s regular French vanilla creamer.
Coffee Mate also relies on a very small amount of corn syrup and artificial sweeteners to sweeten its sugar-free French vanilla creamer. It has 15 calories and 1 gram of fat per tablespoon, plus a lengthy list of oddball ingredients including sucralose, acesulfame potassium, dipotassium phosphate and other unrecognizable words.
Califia Farms makes dairy-free creamers using simple ingredients such as cane sugar, sea salt and natural flavoring. The brand’s coconut- and almond-based variety comes in sweet flavors including vanilla, hazelnut and pecan caramel, all of which have 15 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of sugar.
Soy milk is a popular plant-based alternative to dairy milk, as are soy-based creamers. Silk’s original soy variety has 1 gram of sugar, 1.5 grams of fat and 20 calories per tablespoon.
Coffee Mate’s original flavor is a classic creamer that’s been in grocery aisles for ages. It’s held up over time, offering just 20 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of sugar per serving. While those numbers look great, this creamer is a little more processed than others on the list, with ingredients including high oleic oil and mono- and diglycerides.
So Delicious’ original coconut-based variety has just 15 calories, 1 gram of fat and 0 grams of sugar in each serving. Even better, it contains just four ingredients: organic coconut milk, potassium citrate, sodium citrate and gellan gum.
Some people like sugary coffee, but if you’re not one of them, this creamer could be for you. The unsweetened nature of this option keeps the sugar content at zero, while providing just 10 calories and 1 gram of fat per tablespoon.
Walden Farms is known for its zero-calorie creations, concocting everything from salad dressing to mayonnaise to marshmallow dip. The health-conscious brand also makes a calorie-free, sugar-free, fat-free coffee creamer. However, the ingredients are something to balk at. The first two are water and food coloring, followed by the ambiguous non-dairy “cream flavor,” salt and other perplexing additives. If you want to live your life calorie-free, you might have to settle for living joy-free, as well. This option probably doesn’t taste that great, though it’s the least caloric option. Here are some healthy ways to flavor your coffee that actually taste great, without relying on creamer.
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