Unless you take your coffee black, you’ll need a splash of something light and creamy to make your morning brew magical. As delightful as silky caramel macchiato or triple-mocha-flavored concoctions are, they tend to be packed with sugar. But not to fear, fellow java lover: There are plenty of better-for-you options to turn to. Here are 15 of the healthiest coffee creamers out there, plus a dietician’s advice for making a more nutritious cup of joe.
It all comes down to the ingredients used. “So often, the products on the market have way too many ingredients that just don’t belong in a healthy beverage,” says Dr. Felicia Stoler, DCN, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist. “Even the non-dairy options have so many added chemicals to give products the mouthfeel or texture of regular cream or half-and-half.”
Sugar-free or low-sugar creamers are also often made with artificial sweeteners, which Stoler can’t really get behind either: “They don’t contribute in a favorable manner towards helping people reduce their sugar or sweet cravings, and instead only continue to satisfy that urge.” That’s why Stoler is partial to using regular milk (whether it be skim or whole) or cream to lighten her coffee. (She also suggests powdered milk as a shelf-stable creamer.)
It all comes down to your needs and lifestyle: If drinks are the last place you want to rack up calories, it may be worth it to you to sip artificial sweeteners over sugar. Just be sure to read the label carefully before buying. And don’t assume that non-dairy creamers are healthy by default. “Many of those products are ultra-processed,” says Stoler. “They don’t get an automatic health halo when laden with so many added ingredients to mimic the real thing.”