Is Coffee-Mate Bad For You? (Must Read)

Coffee-Mate is a non-dairy alternative to dairy and cream that people put in their coffees. Since it has no nutritional value and contains refined sugars and corn syrup, it’s not good for you, considering the amount of coffee we drink on a daily basis. But it isn’t necessarily bad either.

People all around the world enjoy coffee. Some like to drink it straight up; plain black like Americanos and espressos, and some enjoy milky creamy versions of coffees like lattes, café au lait, and much more.

But with everybody having different taste preferences, many people skip the actual dairy and try its alternatives for coffee. Like plant-based milk, creamers, and even skimmed milk. One such thing that is very popular is Coffee-Mate.

But is it bad for you?

In this article, let’s find out together whether it’s bad or good for you. 

Is It Okay To Have Coffee-Mate?

You can have Coffee-Mate once in a while as a non-dairy alternative. But if you drink two to three cups daily, it isn’t that healthy.

The best thing about coffee is that it can be consumed in many ways. The delicious earthy notes can be enjoyed in plain black strong coffee or can be mellowed down with milk or cream with hints of sweetness to give it a nice balance of flavors.

Whichever you prefer, on average, people drink more than two cups of coffee, especially in America. And keeping that in mind, if you use Coffee-Mate, which is a non-dairy alternative to have fats like milk or cream in your coffee.

These types of coffee creamers are usually made with ingredients that aren’t safe for your body if consumed regularly in large quantities.

You must be thinking that one tablespoon in each cup of coffee shouldn’t be considered a large quantity, right? Well, let’s say if you drink 2 to 3 cups in a day with one tablespoon of creamer in each cup, every day you’re consuming about 3 tablespoons of creamers. And in a month that would be equal to 90 tablespoons which are about 47 fl. oz. And trust me, that is a lot.

The million-dollar question is, is it okay to consume Coffee-Mate? It’s okay to consume Coffee-Mate, but on a regular basis, it isn’t ideal for your health.

What Is Coffee-Mate Made Of?

Coffee-Mate is made up of hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors, corn syrup, refined sugar, sodium caseinate, and other preservatives that may be harmful.

Coffee-Mate was introduced in the market in 1961 by Nestle. You all must be familiar with Nestle products like the famous instant coffee that most people rely on.

It’s a dairy-free product for people who can’t cut back on dairy in their coffee or are just lactose intolerant. For those of you who don’t know, more than half of the world is lactose intolerant.

milk getting poured in coffee

Lactose intolerant people cannot digest lactose, which is sugar from dairy, and therefore get the runs. In such cases, a non-dairy coffee creamer that doesn’t give the runs comes in handy. Or even better, doesn’t give the side effects of having dairy regularly. But what is Coffee-Mate made up of?

Coffee-Mate is made of:

  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Corn syrup
  • Refined sugars
  • Sodium caseinate
  • Artificial flavorings

All of these ingredients have no nutritional value and can impact your health negatively.

Hydrogenated Oils

They are derived from vegetable oils and are a type of fat. They help in keeping the food fresher for longer. These are trans fats that increase bad cholesterol in your body.

Refined Sugars

Cane, beets, and corn are the three primary sources of refined sugar, heavily processed to separate out the sugar. High-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, glucose, and maltose are other names for refined sugar. On nutrition labels, this sugar is referred to by many different names. It is added to foods to make them taste sweeter.

Refined sugar is a cause for concern as they have been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and several heart diseases. They may also play a part in increasing your chances of depression.

Sodium Caseinate

Sodium caseinate is a chemical compound derived from casein, which is found in the milk of mammals. The predominant protein in cow’s milk is casein, which is why its color is opaque and white.

Here I’ve prepared the table of the contents of Coffee-Mate and the calories and fats it has in one tablespoon.

Coffee-Mate Creamers FlavorsFatsSugarsCalories
Coffee-Mate Regular5 g5 g35
Coffee-Mate Original Powdered5 g5 g35
Coffee-Mate Hazelnut Creamer6 g6 g50
Coffee-Mate Café Mocha6 g6 g40

Is Milk A Better Alternative To Coffee-Mate?

milk being poured into a glass

Dairy milk is a better alternative to Coffee-Mate. If you don’t want to consume that, you can opt for plant-based milk like almond milk, oats milk, or hemp milk.

Many people can’t cut back on consuming coffee without any dairy or no dairy creamer added to it. And it’s absolutely alright. But some people try to avoid dairy. There could be plenty of reasons for that but the most known one is that they have some health condition or simply because they’re lactose intolerant.

Whatever, the reason may be, is Coffee-Mate better than regular milk?

You see, Coffee-Mate is made up of refined sugars and hydrogenated oils with no nutritional value like antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and much more. One tablespoon of Coffee-Mate is equal to 5 grams of sugar and the same amount of fat. Whereas if you compare it with regular whole milk, there’s about 0.8 grams of sugar and 0.4 grams of fats. You can clearly see the difference!

So, instead of using Coffee-Mate, I think regular whole milk is much better. It has way less sugar, way fewer fats, and has many nutrients and minerals like omega- 3, calcium, iron, and much more.

But if you don’t want to consume dairy milk, you can choose plant-based milk which works fine with coffee like almond milk, oat milk, and even hemp milk.

You can watch this awesome video for more information:

What Are Healthier Creamer Alternatives For Coffee-Mate?

Creamers that are the healthier are half-and-half, Oatly, and whole milk. All of these don’t contain any bad fats and aren’t high in sugars.

Till now you’ve understood that Coffee-Mate isn’t actually your mate. But if there isn’t any dairy in Coffee-Mate like it claims, how is it so creamy and rich and instantly makes your coffee feel like it has tons of heavy cream?

All the vegetable oils, glucose, and sugar are responsible for that. Indulging in tons of sugar isn’t good for your body. The American Heart Association even recommends not consuming more than 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 teaspoons for men in a day.

While the sugar in Coffee-Mate isn’t insanely high that it’ll get you past the healthy limit, having multiple doses can be detrimental. The wise thing to do is to watch your sugar intake and not overindulge.  

Here are healthy alternative creamer options for your next cuppa.

Half-And-Half

In half-and-half, half heavy cream and half whole milk are combined. Although it has a high calorie and fat content, it is made from natural ingredients. The fact that some fat can be satiating – allowing you to feel full for longer – might help prevent future cravings. The downside, however, is that it has a higher calorie content (9 calories per gram) than protein or fat sources (4 calories per gram).

a barista pouring frothed milk into latte

Oatly

It is made from the yellow flowering plant known as rapeseed, a member of the mustard and cabbage families, along with oats. With no added sugar, this product is heart-healthy and contains beta-glucans.

The products from Oatly are all plant-based, sustainable, and do not contain GMOs.

A barista’s edition of Oatly is also available. As a result, this milk substitute will foam without becoming too light or heavy if you enjoy your coffee in cappuccino or latte form.

Whole Milk

A delicious option for your coffee is milk. Besides containing many vitamins and minerals, it is high in macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates).

The perfect drink for building muscle is milk. During exercise, it replenishes drained glycogen stores and supports muscle growth.

You can also help your bones by adding a dash of milk. This study indicates that coffee may reduce calcium absorption by a few milligrams per cup but this can be compensated for by adding just a few tablespoons of milk. The choice between non-fat, low-fat, and full fat depends on your preferences as well as how strict your calorie goals are. 

In Conclusion

Coffee-Mate is a non-dairy creamer that is often used to add to coffee in replacement of dairy products like milk and cream. It is made up mostly of hydrogenated oil and refined sugars. Both of which can negatively affect your health if consumed consistently in large quantities.

Coffee-Mate isn’t necessarily bad for you, especially if you only add small amounts to your coffee occasionally. But it does have plenty of hydrogenated oils and refined sugar, which, as we’ve discussed, can pose some health risks.

However, if you only take Coffee-Mate as something to sweeten your coffee on the days when you can’t handle its bitter taste, then I don’t see why you shouldn’t have Coffee-Mate. All in all, it’s entirely up to you, your health conditions, your diet, and your personal preferences.  

But if you want to cut back on dairy, a good option is to go for plant-based creamers like Oatly. I personally think they’re much healthier. Plus, they contain many essential nutrients which Coffee-Mate lacks.

Marty Spargo

Caffeine aficionado and coffee student (if there's such a thing!). I've come to love coffee in recent years and share what I learn along the way on this website.

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