Many coffee lovers can’t do without their morning coffee ritual, regardless of their health challenges. There should be a way out for them that is both healthy and savory. Don’t you think? This guide on the best coffee creamers for diabetics tries to address that while providing you clarity on how milk, cream and creamer affect your diabetes.
Over the years, food companies have sought for ways to include diabetics and several dieting individuals by continually developing and improving coffee cream and creamers.
But how do you know which coffee cream or creamer is best for diabetics?
What are the key factors to consider before purchasing a coffee cream or creamer for a diabetic?
In what ways do they affect a diabetic?
These questions and more are what we shall be discussing in the following topics in this article. The main intention to find out the differences in the health impact between having a coffee with Milk vs. Cream vs. Creamer for diabetes and the best coffee creamers for diabetics.
Staying in the know is key to staying healthy.
Let’s start rolling with some background understanding of the possible effect of drinking coffee on your diabetes.
Coffee and Diabetics
Broadly speaking, coffee has been found to have a lot of health benefits and no longer condemned for being bad for your health.
Research has shown that it could be a protective measure against some diseases such as liver disease, depression and some cancer.
The good news for you is because it may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the same couldn’t be said for those who already have type 2 diabetes.
A person is said to be diabetic when there’s excess blood glucose, also known as ‘sugar’ circulating in the blood. This is because the body has become insulin resistant and can’t properly take glucose into the cells for energy.
Some signs and symptoms of diabetes are below.
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Increased thirst
Please see your doctor if you notice some of these symptoms.
Although, as noted above, coffee drinking meant to be not -harmful for most people with diabetes, there are some circumstances where coffee is not recommended for people with diabetes.
When is Coffee Bad for Diabetics?
Even though coffee has its benefits (discussed in detail below), it could be dangerous for those with type 2 diabetes.
In a recent study, it showed that generic proponent could be involved in the metabolism of caffeine. The study showed that diabetic patients had increased blood glucose levels than those without diabetes, possibly as a result of drinking coffee.
For persons on insulin and at risk of blood glucose dropping (hypoglycemia) too low, coffee could be harmful. Additionally, some coffee creamers, especially those with added sugars and trans fats, may negatively impact blood sugar levels and heart health for individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Some research has shown that having regular coffee right before exercise reduces blood sugar levels too.
Tip: Do you think Rule of 15-15 for low blood glucose management works every time for everyone? Think again!
The caffeine in coffee has several side effects even for healthy people. They are:
These are common side effects of caffeine.
Tip: Did you know that Amino Acids can help you manage anxiety and depression?
As you know, everything should be taken in moderation, even coffee and tea.
Coffee has other bad effects even when taken in moderation, especially for people with prediabetes. These may include:
- Elevated risk of heartburn and reflux
- Higher cholesterol with expresso-type or unfiltered coffee
- Increased blood sugar levels after a meal
When is Coffee Good for Diabetics? And, Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Low sugar, refined carbs and overall healthy diet is the required measure for reducing progression and treating diabetes. Various studies and research have proven that coffee is and can be a part of that diet that could treat, prevent and even possibly reverse type 2 diabetes. Antioxidants present in coffee contribute to this risk reduction. However, for individuals with insulin impairment, it is essential to be cautious with caffeine intake.
In a study conducted by the American Diabetes Association, showed that regular coffee is better than decaffeinated drinks. Individuals who consumed regular coffee over a space of time showed lower sugar (in people with pre-diabetes) and insulin levels this could even prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
A very recent review published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has discovered that for every cup of caffeinated coffee, there is a 9 % reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes.
While many other studies have shown that caffeinated coffee reduces type 2 diabetes risk, it may be problematic for insulin impaired individuals, so take note of that.
How Coffee Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes?
You may wonder what it is that causes this type 2 diabetes risk reduction in the coffee.
Certainly not the caffeine, but antioxidants in the coffee.
Because decaffeination also removes those antioxidants, individuals who want to experience this risk reduction should go for good old regular coffee.
Having caffeine right before exercise has also been proved by researchers to reduce blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetics.
Now the question is the best way to drink the cup of coffee. Wither to mix it with milk? With coffee cream or creamer? If you are a white coffee lover.
Let’s find out.
Tip: It’s handy to use a Medical Alert or ID Bracelet.
Coffee with Milk Vs. Cream Vs. Creamer – What is the Difference in the Effect on Diabetes?
You may wonder the difference between milk, cream, and coffee creamer. Do they have sugar? Is white coffee a go for diabetic individuals?
We shall be looking into some of these things as we read on.
The best way to start the exploration is by identifying what’s in milk, cream and creamer and then to identify their effects on diabetes.
Adding milk to a cup of coffee can never go wrong, they go perfectly together. Don’t you think?
But it’s that all there is to know about milk?
Milk comes in different varieties and flavors, and based on the type their content differ.
Types of Milk and Their Contents
|Milk Type||Calories (per serve)||Carbohydrates (total, per serve)||Sugars (per serve)||Fat (total, (per serve)||Protein (per serve)|
|Cow’s milk (whole)||150||12 g (0.4 oz or 0.03 lbs)||12 g (0.4 oz or 0.03 lbs)||8 g (0.28 oz)||8 g (0.28 oz)|
|Cow’s milk (1%)||110||12 g (0.4 oz or 0.03 lbs)||12 g (0.4 oz or 0.03 lbs)||2 g (0.07 oz)||8 g (0.28 oz)|
|Cow’s milk (skim)||80||12 g (0.4 oz or 0.03 lbs)||12 g (0.4 oz or 0.03 lbs)||0 g||8 g (0.28 oz)|
|40||1 g (0.35 oz)||0 g||3 g (0.1 oz)||2 g (0.07 oz)|
|Soy milk (unsweetened)||80||4 g (0.14 oz)||1 g (0.035 oz)||4 g (0.14 oz)||7 g (0.25 oz)|
|Rice milk (unsweetened)||120||22 g (0.8 oz)||10 g (0.35 oz)||2 g (0.07 oz)||0 g|
Coconut milk beverage
|50||2 g (0.07 oz)||0 g||5 g (0.18 oz)||0 g|
* Each milk serve contains approx. 250ml (8.5 oz).
Milk is a good source of protein calcium and other nutrients, although the amount of carbohydrate, milk sugar and added sugar may not be favorable to diabetic individuals.
But because there are varieties, one can always opt for unsweetened and low carbohydrate milk versions.
Since type 2 diabetes increases the risk of stroke and heart disease, watch out for saturated fat and trans-fat found in high-fat dairy products.
Going for more thickness?
The cream is thicker than milk and contains more calories and nutrients as well. The cream is mostly fat and has more consistency, so coffee lovers go for it to help enjoy the coffee more.
Types of Coffee Cream
Here are the types of coffee cream.
- Heavy cream (38%)
- Whipping cream (35%)
- Light whipping cream (30%)
- Light cream (20%)
- Half and half (12%)
Heavy cream is the thickest containing about 38 % fat, whipping cream and light whipping cream comes next containing approximately 35 % and 30 % respectively.
Light cream is not as thick as the previous three and contains about 20 % fat.
Half cream half milk, commonly known as half-and-half is the most popular cream used by coffee lovers providing about 12 % fat.
The most asked question – let’s find out more about coffee creamers.
Many coffee lovers absolutely enjoy their pure black cup of coffee, while some others enjoy it better with a little bit of something added to it.
There’s a constant supply of non-dairy, and diary, sweetened and unsweetened coffee creamer options available. We will look into them shortly after defining the ‘coffee creamer’.
Coffee creamer is essentially made of three main components, Sugar (or artificial sweetener), thickener and oil.
Coffee creamer companies in an effort to produce healthy and natural creamer harness various ingredients from nature, but having a completely sugar free and dairy-free creamer is always challenging. It’s either one of the two that is viable.
You will find creamers that use alternative milk bases such as coconut and almond because they contain approximately 0g of sugar as a good option for you.
Tip: Did you know coconut can help you low blood pressure as well?
You may also find Casein in some of the creamers, used as a dairy alternative too, although people who are allergic to milk should be careful with it.
To sum up the above, and to better understand the impact of different coffee additives on diabetes, let’s compare milk, cream, and creamer broadly.
|Additive||Calories (per serving)||Carbohydrates (per serving)||Sugars (per serving)||Fat (per serving)||Protein (per serving)|
Liquid vs. Powder Coffee Creamers – What is the difference in the Effect on Diabetes?
Powder coffee creamer has more shelf life than liquid coffee creamer, but how are they different. Let’s compare their nutritional facts and ingredients on labels to see the difference.
Image obtained from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Non-Dairy Creamer (powder)
- Corn Syrup Solids,
- Sodium Caseinate (A Milk Derivative),
- Dipotassium Phosphate,
- Silicon Dioxide,
- Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil,
- Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate,
- Soy Lecithin,
- Mono- And Diglycerides,
- Artificial Flavor,
- Artificial Color.
Non-Dairy Creamers contain artificial flavors and color, but most importantly highly processed TRANS-FAT from partially hydrogenated oil.
Non-Dairy Creamer (liquid)
- Corn Syrup,
- High Fructose Corn Syrup,
- Sodium Caseinate (A Milk Derivative),
- Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate (Not a source of Lactose),
- Dipotassium Phosphate,
- Soybean & Cottonseed Oil,
- Mono- & Diglycerides.
Non-Dairy liquid creamers contain low fat, low sodium, low calories, no trans fat, and no artificial flavors or coloring. But it includes 2 different, highly processed added sugars(corn syrup).
Is Liquid Creamer Better Than Powder Creamer?
Clearly liquid non-diary creamer is better than powdered non-dairy creamer for diabetic individuals.
From the nutritional factors listed above, although non-diary liquid creamer contains small amounts of added sugars in the form of corn syrup, trans-fat found in non-diary powdered creamer comes with increased risk of heart disease or stroke for type 2 diabetes.
Powdered creamer can, of course, be stored in a cool, dry place, whereas liquid creamer must be refrigerated.
While this applies to the non-dairy version, powdered creamer is said to give a creamier coffee than liquid creamer. Because it is more concentrated, 1 tb of powdered creamer is approximately equal to 2 tbs liquid creamer. It contains more calories as well.
Can Coffee with Cream Raise Blood Sugar?
The big question – can coffee with cream raise blood sugar?
Coffee creamers come in a variety of liquid and powder and are made of three main components, sugar or Sweetener, thicker and oil, as stated before.
Speaking of sugar, about 2 tablespoons of the liquid creamer has up to 11g of carbohydrate, 10g out of it is sugar. Apart from that, they also contain high saturated fat, added flavors contribute to sugar as well.
Type 2 diabetics watching their sugar levels and diet should be in the know about these nutritional facts. They are advised to consult their dietitian for healthy eating and proper monitoring to keep their glucose levels in check.
It is not a bad idea to add cream to your cup of coffee, but the type of creamer and nutritional content, and your diet should be taken to account.
Some individuals prefer to exercise right after having their cup of coffee with creamer to burn those calories and reduce sugar levels. But keeping track of your diet and eating healthy is safest.
What to Look For in a Coffee Creamer Label When Choosing a Creamer for Diabetes?
It is important to check labels for nutritional facts when purchasing a coffee creamer. There are some ingredients to watch out for in those labels.
Added sugar is present in creamers to add sweetness to it, even in some unsweetened creamers there are traces of added sugar present.
Corn syrup is an example of such sugar, if you find it as an ingredient in your coffee creamer label then take note of the quantity of creamer you add to your cup of coffee. Large quantity may cause blood sugar spikes. Although some people are on a strict no-sugar diet and as such shouldn’t consume it.
Carbohydrates contribute to the amount of sugar in a creamer. Note the amount per serving and your daily sugar intake. Checking your blood glucose levels after a meal helps you monitor your sugar intake as well.
Trans-fat is a big NO for diabetes.
They may come in traces, but regular consumption doesn’t help it just increases the risk of heart disease and stroke for a type 2 diabetic.
You will see it as partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredients section, so take note.
Saturated fat consumed in high quantity doesn’t help a diabetic same as trans-fat, so monitor your daily intake and take necessary precaution.
5 Best Coffee Creamers for Diabetics
1. Nestle Coffee-Mate Coffee Creamer Review
This creamer is a good option for those who are lactose intolerant because the Nestle Coffee-Mate Coffee Creamer range contains no milk.
However, even if they are free from lactose, they are usually not vegan because they may still include derived milk proteins in the form of Casein.
This famous brand of dairy-free creamers come to the market in 3 different forms:
- powdered, and
Additionally, to help with your taste buds, they come in 20 different flavors, as well as fat-free and sugar-free options you can choose from.
- Sugar-Free French Vanilla Creamer: 0g sugar
- Original Creamer: 0.5g sugar
- Fat-Free Creamer: 0g sugar
- French Vanilla Creamer: 5g sugar
- Coffee-mate brand is one of the oldest brands out there in coffee creamers, and still amongst the best in quality and variety.
- These creamers are available in almost every large store and come at an affordable price.
- The sugar-free version arguably cannot be 100% sugar-free, if it contains Corn syrup. So, it should be better put as low sugar?
- It is not vegan-friendly, even though it is dairy-free, it still contains milk-derived protein.
2. Nutpods Dairy-Free Creamer Review
This is certified to be non-GMO, gluten-free, Whole30 approved, and vegan, which is why they use almond and coconut as diary base alternatives.
Nutpods dairy-free creamer comes in different flavors such as hazelnut, french vanilla, original and caramel.
- Whole30 diet has gained popularity in recent times and has helped quite a lot of people to maintain a good and healthy diet.
- Whole30 is a great first step in helping those who crave for the food they’d like to cut off or control chocolate, cheese and even sugary food.
- Various recipes are available for the whole30 diet, resources can also be found on several sites online.
- It is vegan-friendly and healthy.
- The ‘natural flavor’ in the ingredients seems to be unexplained.
- It separates when mixed into the coffee.
3. Prymal Sugar-Free Coffee Creamer Review
This is a powdered creamer that is totally vegan and keto-friendly.
Its uniqueness is found in the sweetener alternative used – Stevia. It mimics a sweet flavor and yet adds no sugar to the creamer, yes it is sugar-free.
Prymal sugar-free creamer is made of three main components –
- MCT oil derived from sustainably sourced palm and coconut,
- Sweetener (stevia, monk fruit, chicory root)
- Coconut (oil and milk powder).
This creamer also comes in various flavors such as Salted Caramel, Original, Birthday Cake, Cacao Mocha and so on, to suit your preferences and they are all sugar-free.
- Completely sugar-free and still tastes great. Salted caramel is just awesome.
- This creamer comes in powdered form alone.
4. Califia Farms Almond-milk Coffee Creamer Review
Like the Nutpods, Califa farms is also among the few vegan-friendly creamers.
Because they use alternative milk bases, they are lactose-free and dairy-free, and they are, of course, a much healthier option compared to dairy creamers.
Califa farms use almond-based diary alternative to make creamers and can be found in different flavors like
- Mexican cocoa and Irish cream.
- Unsweetened Creamer: 0g sugar
- Vanilla Creamer: 2g sugar
- It is diary-free and vegan-friendly.
- The carton container creamer tastes different from the bottle version even though they both have the same ingredients.
5. Laird Superfood Unsweetened Original Coffee Creamer Review
This creamer is keto-friendly, it is diary-free, gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan coffee creamer.
That’s not all, its milk base alternative is coconut oil and coconut milk powder, it contains no added sugar too.
This awesome creamer comes in powdered form but mixes really well into coffee to give a perfect blend and texture.
If you’re you have a sweet tooth, you can opt for Laird super food Original creamer, not a good choice for diabetics though!.
It comes as:
- Laird Unsweetened creamer: sugar 0g
- Laird Original creamer: sugar 1g
- So far, Laird creamers have been nothing but impressive. People with diabetes love it.
- Even though it comes in powder form, it mixes well into the coffee and is just pleasant.
- This creamer only comes in powdered form.
To sum up the above products, here I have put together the below table.
|Nestle Coffee-Mate||– Widely available and affordable||– Sugar-free version may still contain corn syrup|
|Nutpods Dairy-Free Creamer||– Vegan and Whole30 approved||– The presence of ‘natural flavor’ is not explained|
|Prymal Sugar-Free Creamer||– Completely sugar-free with Stevia||– Only available in powdered form|
|Califia Farms Almond-milk Creamer||– Vegan and dairy-free||– Taste differences between carton and bottle versions|
|Laird Superfood Unsweetened Original Creamer||– Keto-friendly, dairy-free||– Only available in powdered form|
Tip: Did you know Chinen Salt is a better alternative to table salt, especially for people with diabetes and high blood pressure?
What are the Substitutes for Coffee Creamer for Diabetics?
If you’re looking to try something different for your coffee ritual, try using these coffees creamer alternatives that are both healthy and nutritious, not to mention sugar-free.
Whipped coconut cream
Whipped coconut cream is an excellent substitute for the regular whipped stuff and has no sugar.
Quite odd, but coconut oil is packed with MCT (medium-chain triglycerides), meaning it’s easy to metabolize compared to other fats. It has also been said to be a good performance enhancer, and worth a try.
Now, this butter tastes like chocolate, adding a teaspoon to your hot cup of coffee, melts it and gives you that sweet chocolate flavor.
Grass-fed fat is a healthy fat recommendation. Adding butter to coffee has become a thing and is said to slow the body’s response to caffeine.
Just as it says, spices can be an excellent substitute for coffee creamer.
Someone recently invented Chai latte, made with cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper and 5 Chinese spice powder. Surprisingly, tastes good too.
Unsweetened almond milk
Almond milk is light and breaks down faster than other milk, it’s also a good substitute for coffee creamer.
Cold brew coffee is something to try if you don’t want it naked, adding ice won’t be a bad idea.
Cold-brewed coffee is said to be 67 % less acidic and suitable for people who experience heartburn.
Honey in coffee is a perfect substitute for white/refined sugar.
If you don’t like the idea of raw eggs, you can opt for a pasteurized egg.
Egg yolks are a great blend with coffee, nutritious and come with a silky-smooth finish. Don’t yank it till you’ve tried it.
These are just a few of many other substitutes for coffee creamer, there are a bunch of recipes and additives that can boost your cup of coffee.
Everything should be taken in moderation, health issues should also be put into consideration. Maintaining a good healthy diet is vital, whether taking regular coffee or adding milk, cream, creamer or a substitute, be sure to check the nutritional content in each cup.
Diabetic persons aren’t forbidden from consuming coffee or coffee with creamer, as long as they monitor their sugar levels regularly. Individuals with diabetes can still enjoy their coffee with the right choice of creamers or substitutes.
Be sure to consult your Dietitian/Doctor before making any dietary changes.
Whether using milk, cream, creamer, or a substitute, moderation is key to staying healthy and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee.