There aren't very many bad things you can say about coffee these days.
Research shows that people who drink three to four cups of coffee per day enjoy longer lifespans, and the beloved beverage has also been linked to a reduced risk of diseases like Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, as well as gout. However, research has been less clear about whether the way we drink coffee might impact its potential health benefits.
"Literally nothing beats a good old cup of Joe."
HuffPost says 72 percent of coffee drinkers enjoy their brew with a dairy or non-dairy coffee creamer, and 30 percent sweeten their coffee with a sweetener.
And then there are flavored coffee creamers, which bring the best of both worlds into one cup.
In an effort to save money and avoid a daily coffee shop tab, it's understandable that you're thinking of replicating your favorite flavored coffee experience at home each morning.
But before you do that by using the coffee creamers on the market, you might want to find out just what goes into creamer, and why it may be a good idea to avoid indulging on a daily basis.
If you are one of the 72 percent that likes cutting black coffee with milk or another non-dairy option, you're likely to reach for heavy cream, half-and-half, or coffee creamer.
Healthline explains that heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, is the high fat cream, which normally gets skimmed off the top of fresh milk.
It then gets packaged and sold separately.
Cream is usually sorted according to its fat content, though some creams have thickeners added to improve consistency.
Half-and-half mixes cream and milk, giving us a dairy product that is thicker than milk, but lower in fat than cream.
Healthline points out that fat-free versions of half-and-half might substitute cream with corn syrup, making them higher in sugar.
Coffee creamers, which come in a variety of flavors from Dunkin' vanilla to Coffee mate Snickers, contain no real milk, so are typically non-dairy and lactose-free.
But of the three, coffee creamer comes with alarm bells, because most are usually made with a mix of water, coffee creamer comes with alarm bells, because most are usually made with a mix of water, plenty of sugar, and vegetable oil.
Healthline also notes that they can come with additives like carrageenan, cellulose gum, and artificial flavorings to mimic the textures and flavors of the real deal.
MedBroadcast says that pouring or spooning creamer into your coffee three to four times a day can present its own set of issues.
People with milk allergies who take non-dairy creamers thinking they're in the clear could actually be setting themselves up for problems, because some of those products still contain casein, a milk protein.
As a result, they will be ingesting a dairy derivative that has the potential to trigger their allergies.
Also, in order for creamer to have the same qualities as dairy, manufacturers need to add ingredients like sugar, sodium, food coloring, and corn syrup.
Some non-dairy creamers can even contain trans-fat, and adding a high-cholesterol chemical mix can only be bad news if you're trying to keep your cholesterol count down.
Flavored creamers also have the added disadvantage of being a potentially hidden source of calories.
While some creamers claim to have just 35 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and six grams of sugar, we don't really look at serving sizes, which can come to about one tablespoon.
For instance, an unmeasured pour of creamer could end up being as much as four times that amount, depending on the size of your spoon.
If you're taking creamer with multiple cups of coffee per day, you could exceed your maximum daily sugar intake after just the second cup.
It's worth remembering that The American Heart Association recommends that women don't exceed 25 grams of sugar per day.
"I think that pretty much sums it up."
While most people would probably rather gain weight than give up their daily coffee habits, Eat This, Not That! reports that those hefty daily pours of sweetened creamer could actually amount to a 15-pound weight gain each year.
Basically, what you put in your coffee is no joke.
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