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7 Unhealthiest Non-Dairy Coffee Creamers on Grocery Shelves

Coffee creamers can add a surprising number of calories and grams of added sugar to your coffee, and you might be better off skipping some.
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On its own, coffee is a very low-calorie drink that actually provides some antioxidant benefits as well. A cup of black joe will run you only 5 calories and contains no added sugar or fat. However, coffee creamers can add a surprising number of calories and grams of added sugar to your coffee. While the flavor they provide cuts the bitterness and acidity of coffee, you may be better off skipping certain creamers. Even non-dairy creamers, which some may associate with being healthier, contain added sugar and ingredients you may want to skip.

How we chose the unhealthiest coffee creamers

  • Sugar content: Options with higher sugar content, typically 4 grams or more per serving, made this list. Added sugar can contribute to weight gain and health conditions, and is an empty source of calories.
  • Low protein: Non-dairy creamers are generally very low in protein. In fact, most options provide zero grams of this important nutrient. While your coffee drink doesn't need to include protein, a few grams of this nutrient could contribute to satiety and stabilize blood sugar.
  • Preservatives and additives: Non-dairy creamers can stay on shelves for quite some time. This is partially due to the preservatives and additives they contain. Some of these ingredients have been documented to lead to concerning health outcomes, making them unhealthy options.

The 7 unhealthiest non-dairy coffee creamers

Adding 30 calories to your coffee may not sound like much, but when you use multiple servings on a daily basis, this can add up. Not only can this lead to excess calorie intake, but with the majority of calories in non-dairy creamer coming from sugar, more concerning outcomes are possible. Here are the seven unhealthiest non-dairy coffee creamers on grocery shelves. And for what to buy instead, don't miss 9 Healthiest Non-Dairy Coffee Creamers on Grocery Shelves.

Coffee Mate Caramel Almond & Oat Liquid Coffee Creamer

Coffee Mate ® Caramel Almond & Oat Liquid Coffee Creamer
Coffee Mate
Per serving: 30 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 25 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (0 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 0 g protein

Containing 5 grams of added sugar per serving, which is only one tablespoon, this Coffee Mate option has the highest sugar content amongst non-dairy creamers. Let's be honest, most people will use more than one serving per cup of coffee, and many will have more than one cup in a day. This combination can lead to hundreds of extra calories per day from added sugar.

 9 Unhealthiest Coffee Creamers on Grocery Shelves

Starbucks ® Non-Dairy Caramel Flavored Creamer

Starbucks ® Non-Dairy Caramel Flavored Creamer
Starbucks
Per serving: 30 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 20 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (0 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 0 g protein

Another option with 5 grams of added sugar per serving, this Starbucks creamer packs a sugary punch. Although it is on the lower end of sodium content compared to other options on this list, that doesn't make up for the sugar content. You'll also find "natural flavors" in this option, which sounds reasonable, but has some questionable research behind it.

Silk Mocha Almond Creamer

Silk Mocha Almond Creamer
Silk
Per serving: 30 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 0 g protein

This non-dairy creamer is another option with added sugar and natural flavors, and provides the highest sodium content on our list. While 30 milligrams of sodium leaves plenty of room to consume other sodium sources throughout the day, multiple servings of even small amounts can add up significantly.

 11 Coffee Orders That Make Baristas Roll Their Eyes

SOWN Organic Oat Creamer Vanilla

SOWN Organic Oat Creamer Vanilla
SOWN
Per serving: 35 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 0 g protein

At 35 calories per serving, this is the highest-calorie option on our list. This doesn't inherently make something unhealthy, but, again, the majority of these calories come from added sugar. In fact, organic cane sugar is the second ingredient listed, behind organic oat milk. Being an organic ingredient may lead you to think this sugar is healthier than other options, but organic sugar can lead to the same negative health outcomes as conventional sweeteners.

Planet Oat Sweet & Creamy Oatmilk Creamer

Planet Oat Sweet & Creamy Oatmilk Creamer
Planet Oat
Per serving: 25 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 20 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 0 g protein

This variety provides only 25 calories per serving, making it the lowest calorie option on our list. While this is a positive, these calories come almost entirely from added sugar. Along with this sugar, you won't find any valuable vitamins or minerals, making this creamer an empty source of calories.

 9 Tastiest Weight Loss Meals That Are 500 Calories or Less

So Delicious Sweet & Creamy Coconutmilk Creamer

So Delicious Sweet & Creamy Coconutmilk Creamer
So Delicious
Per serving: 30 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 0 g protein

With marketing phrases like USDA organic, gluten-free, and vegan, you may pick this option thinking it is a healthier variety. Although it may have slightly less sugar than other options, it still provides four grams per serving. You'll also find organic glycerin in this product. While this additive is used in very small amounts in creamer, some research has linked it to headache and dizziness, amongst other symptoms.

 12 Best & Worst Greek Yogurts, According to Dietitians

Almond Breeze Vanilla Almondmilk Non-Dairy Creamer

Almond Breeze Vanilla Almondmilk Non-Dairy Creamer
Almond Breeze
Per serving: 25 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 20 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (0 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 0 g protein

Last on our list, this almond-based creamer still provides four grams of added sugar per serving. Unfortunately, you won't get any of the heart-health benefits from the almonds used as there is only a half gram of unsaturated fat in this product. The 25 calories it provides per serving is on the low end of what the creamers on this list provide, contributing slightly fewer empty calories. However, you are still better off looking for varieties with no added sugar.

Kelsey Hampton, MS, CSSD, RDN, LD
Kelsey is a Texas-based dietitian and professor who specializes in sports nutrition. Read more about Kelsey
Sources referenced in this article
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