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Is Coffee Mate Bad For You?

Also Known As: Coffee Mate coffee creamer



Short answer

Coffee mate creamer is a non-dairy creamer that contains refined sugar, partially hydrogenated oils and preservatives. It is void of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants and therefore has no nutritional value and is bad for you.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Coffee mate creamer was introduced in 1961 as a lactose free non-dairy sweetener product.  Its formulation has changed over the years and today we are looking at a product that is loaded with preservatives and refined sugar.

The refined sugar in coffee mate is corn syrup solids. Corn is a problem in general because most of the corn in today’s society is genetically modified. Corn syrup is 100% glucose and when you extract out approximately 90% of the water you are left with a very sweet concentrated ingredient.  Refined sugars have been linked to the obesity epidemic and the resultant health issues that stem from excessive weight gain.  Refined sugars are linked with visceral fat accumulation which in turn is directly linked to metabolic syndrome-higher incidence of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood lipids and cardiovascular disease.  Refined sugars lead to more sugar cravings and can accelerate tooth decay.  Refined sugars can deplete our mineral and vitamin stores by replacing nutritious foods (like natural sugars from fruits and vegetables that are high in minerals and vitamins). More recent research also shows that refined sugars are blocking certain enzymatic functions that decrease our ability to absorb and utilize essential nutrients and micronutrients.

Coffee mate uses partially hydrogenated soybean oil to extend the shelf life of the product and give it a fuller flavor and thicker texture. Partially hydrogenated oils are a trans-fat which has adverse consequences to our health. In order to create partially hydrogenated oil, you add hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils in order to make them more solid. By hydrogenating natural oil you take a good oil and make it a bad oil. Ironically, partially hydrogenated oils are actually more dangerous to the body than fully hydrogenated oils.

Partially hydrogenated oils are directly associated with adversely impacting blood lipid levels and causing systemic inflammation. These oils can decrease your HDL levels (good cholesterol), raise the LDL levels (bad cholesterol) and accelerate your risk for heart disease. Trans fat prevents the synthesis of prostacyclin which is produced in the arterial walls to act as a natural anti-coagulant and vasodilator. When your arteries cannot produce prostacyclin, blood clots can form, and you may succumb to a sudden cardiovascular event. Trans fat plays a role in hardening of the arteries and development of arterial atherosclerosis. Trans fat can oxidize cholesterol which increases thromboxane formation-a factor that increases clotting of your blood.

Another synthetic ingredient in this creamer is dipotassium phosphate. This compound keeps liquids from coagulating and increases shelf life. It is also used in fertilizers and cosmetics.

Coffee mate cream is an unhealthy combination of ingredients that provides no nutritional value for your health.  Some healthier alternatives for your coffee or tea would be honey, stevia, agave, coconut milk, almond milk, whole milk, real cream or half and half. Or just skip the creams and sweeteners and drink your coffee or tea without additives.  Some experts believe that you will absorb more antioxidants that way.   

Possible short-term side effects

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • inflammation
  • blood sugar spike

Possible long-term side effects

  • metabolic syndrome
  • diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • weight gain
  • elevated blood lipids
  • mineral and vitamin depletion

Ingredients to be aware of


  • none

Healthier alternatives

  • stevia sweetener
  • half and half
  • almond cream
  • coconut milk
  • black coffee

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Laird Superfood Creamer

  • Non-Dairy Alternative
  • Sweet & Creamy
  • Gluten-Free Product
  • Non-GMO Ingredients
  • Vegan-Friendly
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Dr. Becky Maes
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 11-30-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Dr. Becky Maes
Published on: 12-28-2015
Last updated: 11-30-2023

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