Is Coffee Creamer Bad for You? An Ingredient Analysis

Is Coffee Creamer Bad for You? An Ingredient Analysis

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Creamer is a staple for most American consumers, because drinking coffee black is still relatively uncommon. But with so many creamer brands on the market, it can be paralyzing for consumers to make an informed and healthy choice.

But is coffee creamer bad for you? What ingredients should health-conscious consumers look out for? What do medical experts have to say about the healthiness of coffee creamer? And are there any healthy coffee creamer brands on the market?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in popular coffee creamers to give our take on whether or not they're healthy.

We'll highlight creamer ingredients that health-conscious consumers may wish to avoid, feature videos from health experts discussing coffee creamer, and give our healthy coffee creamer pick.

Why Coffee Creamer is Unhealthy

Most popular coffee creamers are unhealthy in our opinion.

This isn't due to their status as coffee creamers, but due to the ingredients commonly used.

There is nothing inherently unhealthy about coffee creamer, but we consider a creamer that's loaded with questionable ingredients to be unhealthy.

Consider the ingredient list below from Land O' Lakes coffee creamer:

Land O' Lakes coffee creamer ingredients

Milk is nutritious, but the brand fails to document whether or not the milk is from pastured animals.

Milk from pasture-raised animals is clinically shown to be nutritionally superior to milk from conventionally-raised animals.

Sodium citrate is the sodium salt of citric acid, and citric acid was shown to cause inflammatory reactions in some individuals in a medical review published in the Toxicology Reports journal.

We haven't come across any clinical evidence that sodium citrate is harmful, but figured this was worth mentioning.

Tetrasodium pyrophosphate is a type of phosphate, and this class of compounds has been associated with negative health effects in at least one medical review, as we discussed in our article on is Coffee mate bad for you.

Carrageenan was shown in a 2001 medical review to disrupt gut function in animals.

Overall, we consider commercial coffee creamer with these filler ingredients to be unhealthy.

Medical Experts on Coffee Creamer

A TikTok creator and oncology dietitian named Nichole suggests that coffee creamer is unlikely to cause cancer:

@oncology.nutrition.rd #stitch with @Lexi Lou Scientific consensus confirms: Soybean oil, carrageenan, and coffee creamers pose no increased cancer risk make sure you go hit the link under my profile to order my number one best selling book, sugar does not feed cancer ✨✨✨  ##cancerwarrior#cancerfighter##oncology##breastcancersurvivor##cancerresearch##chemotherapy##chemo##cancerpatient##oncologist##oncologista##breastcancerprevention##breastcancerjourney##lungcancerawareness##bravetheshave##lymphomaawareness ##livercancer##kidneycancer##prostatecancerawareness##radiationtherapy##hormonetherapy##sarcomaawareness##cancercare#cancermeme#cancerprevention#cancersupport#cancersurvivors##cancertreatment#breastcancerfree##breastcancerfighter ♬ original sound - Nichole | Oncology Dietitian

A TikTok creator and dietitian named Shirley gave her top picks for coffee creamer in a "processed food" review video:

@fueledbyshirley Replying to @Victoria Applegarth #cleaningredients #healthyfinds #dietitiantips #guthealth #healthyfood ♬ Hurts Me (Alone At Prom) - Tory Lanez

What Makes Creamer Healthy?

Since we covered ingredients we recommend avoiding in coffee creamer in the first section of this article, we figured it would be useful to explain what criteria we use to qualify a healthy coffee creamer.

1) No questionable additives

We recommend choosing a coffee creamer with primarily whole food ingredients.

This means no carrageenan, no artificial flavors, no synthetic dyes, and so on.

2) Dairy from pastured animals

We discussed previously in this article why we consider dairy products sourced from pastured animals to be a healthier choice than dairy products sourced from conventionally-raised animals.

Look for a creamer brand that uses "grass-fed" or "pastured" milk.

3) No refined sugar

We consider sugar from fruits and whole foods like maple syrup to be healthy in moderation, but we consider refined, added sugar to be unhealthy.

A medical review published in the Nutrients journal concludes that overconsumption of added sugar puts individuals at risk for "poor health outcomes."

Make Healthy Creamer at Home

A YouTube creator named Valeria Lipovetsky has a video tutorial on how to make a simple, healthy, four-ingredient coffee creamer at home that's only 30 seconds long:

Our Clean Creamer Pick

Bulletproof Original Creamer is our top creamer pick.

This creamer is made with grass-fed butter (one of the only products on the market we've come across with dairy from pastured animals), MCT oil and acacia gum.

There are no unhealthy additive ingredients like artificial flavors or refined, added sugar.

This creamer costs under $1 per serving at the time of publishing this article.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


Most coffee creamers sold at big-box grocery stores are bad for you in our opinion, but this doesn't mean that all coffee creamers are bad for you.

It just means that health-conscious consumers should be sure to read the ingredient list before purchasing a coffee creamer.

While many popular coffee creamer brands use questionable filler ingredients like carrageenan and phosphates, there are some brands that are free of these ingredients and sell coffee creamer that we deem to be healthy.

It's also possible to make healthy coffee creamer at home using four simple ingredients, by following a video tutorial that we shared in this article.