Question: I recently picked up some store-brand commercial coffee creamer and there seems to be a lot fewer long-worded ingredients in it compared to the popular name brand. Might it be safer? ~ J.K., Hayward, CA
Answer: All in all, when you add artificial creamers to your coffee, you’re essentially adding oils and sugar – the principal ingredients. The other ingredients prevent the oils from separating and provide a hint of dairy flavor as well as artificial flavor/color. Sound yummy? How about trying a shot of REAL 2% milk instead? You’ll gain some essential nutrients while you feed your coffee-drinking ritual.
An ounce (2 Tbsp) of 2% milk has 1 gram of protein and just 17 calories. In addition, you’ll gain some of your daily dose of vitamins and minerals: Vitamin A (1%), Calcium (4%), Vitamin D (3%), Phosphorus (3%), and Potassium (2%). To trim the fat even more, switch to skim (nonfat) or 1% lowfat milk.
Better yet, try some evaporated skim milk (not to be confused with sweetened condensed milk). It has zero fat and a rich consistency since 50-60% of its water has been removed. Compared to regular milk, evaporated skim milk has twice the protein (2 gm) and 25 calories per ounce with double the nutrients: Vitamin A (2%), Calcium (8%), Vitamin D (6%), and Potassium (3%).
Fit Tip: If you also gradually reduce the amount of sugar you add to your coffee, this single adjustment would be healthier for your heart. A study found that sugar can lower your levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and raise your levels of triglyceride (fats in the blood).