Coffee has always been special for me, not just because it makes me feel good but because of all the health benefits it provides. However, the addition of some ingredients in a coffee can ruin the whole experience. So, I researched and found out that many coffee ingredients that coffee stations and even we are using at home can harm our health.
I have divided these ingredients into three categories:
Neutral: The coffee ingredients that don’t have any negative or positive impact on your health.
Positive: The ingredients that have a positive impact on your health.
Negative: The ingredients that have a negative impact on your health (and I seriously don’t recommend adding them in your coffee).
1. Plant-Based Milk
Whether you are looking to lessen your dairy consumption or lower your carbon footprint, plant-based milk is an excellent choice. Today, you can easily find plant-based milk made of various ingredients, such as soy, legumes, grains, nuts, almonds, oats, etc.
Some come with high protein while others are flavored or sweetened – it all comes down to your personal preference. The best thing about plant-based milk is that it contains three major nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fats. These macronutrients help our bodies function properly.
2. Cow’s Milk
The recommended daily dairy consumption for adults is 3 cups, as per the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And adding cow’s milk is an excellent step towards your goal. Cow’s milk is the best source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D. whether you consider taking whole milk or skimmed, both are better than processed creamers because they contain less saturated fats and sugar.
In short, milk in your coffee along with a healthy, balanced diet would never hurt or bring you any adverse effects.
What can be better than the addition of organic spices in your coffee? If you are a fan of cappuccino or latte, you can always add a pinch of turmeric or cinnamon to your milk latte or cappuccino. The addition of spices won’t just amp up the flavor of your coffee but also provide some additional health benefits.
Cinnamon is known for balancing blood glucose levels due to the chemical Cinnamaldehyde it contains. In other words, cinnamon brings out the sweetness in the food without adding processed sugar.
On the other hand, turmeric is loaded with antioxidant curcumin that helps reduce pain and may slow down the development of dementia.
1. White Sugar
Adding a spoonful of white process sugar in your morning joe might sound like a good option to sweeten its bitterness, but unfortunately, it isn’t healthy. Sugar doesn’t fulfill any nutritional need; instead, too much of it might lead to several health risks, such as weight gain and diabetes.
So, before sweetening your morning coffee with processed white sugar, think of all the consequences. However, you can surely add some coconut sugar as it contains more minerals and vitamins than refined white sugar.
2. Powdered Creamer
Powdered creamers are an unhealthy combination of flavoring agents, sweeteners, and trans fat that can be flavorful but not a healthy addition at all. Another worst thing about these creamers is that they are highly flammable.
You might already be using these powdered creamers in your coffee without knowing how calorie-laden they are. If you want creamy consistency in your coffee, you can achieve it without adding these creamers. A combination of plant-based milk and sugar-free substitute can mimic it.
3. Flavored Syrups
Although these delicious flavoring agents, such as vanilla, caramel, peppermint, and white chocolate, are fine in small doses, they can add up. A four-pump caramel syrup serving contains about 25 grams of sugar, which is the daily recommended limit of sugar for adults. So, clearly not a healthy ingredient to add to your coffee, right?
If you still want your coffee to be sweet but without adding up extra calories, you can consider adding natural sweeteners like maple syrup or honey along with some spices.
4. Whipped Cream
Many cold beverages and coffees look incomplete without whipped cream, but unfortunately, this ingredient packs extra calories and sugar. And starting your day with a high sugary drink doesn’t sound so healthy, does it?
However, a little bit of whipped cream topping won’t increase your calorie intake as per serving can range from 30 to 80 calories, depending on how much sugar it has.
1. Butter or Coconut Oil
If you are on a keto diet, you will know the importance of healthy fat. This healthy fat can come from coconut oil or grass-fed butter. Adding one or two tablespoons of fat to your coffee won’t harm you at all. Instead, the MCTs (Medium-Chain Triglycerides) found in coconut oil can aid in satiety and prevent fat accumulation.
However, commercially made coconut oil doesn’t include any MCTs, so that’s a letdown. Although fat is a vital part of a healthy diet, overeating can lead to other problems, such as high cholesterol.
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are available in several varieties, and sometimes, the options can confuse you as well. However, they all have one major goal: to provide a sugar substitute that doesn’t have as many calories. Depending on the ingredient and brand, artificial sweeteners can taste 200 to 700 times sweeter than traditional white sugar without adding any extra calories.