The Surprising Coffee Ingredient That’s Actually So Bad For Weight Loss, According To Dietitians

woman stirring coffee
woman stirring coffee

Coffee, a popular beverage enjoyed by millions worldwide, has become an integral part of many people’s daily routines. It offers a much-needed pick-me-up and is often associated with various health benefits. However, there is one surprising coffee ingredient that some dietitians have flagged as potentially detrimental to weight loss efforts: added sugar. While coffee itself is relatively low in calories, the practice of sweetening it with sugar or flavored syrups can significantly impact its caloric content. These additional calories can add up quickly and interfere with weight loss goals, especially if one consumes multiple cups of sugary coffee throughout the day.

To find out the one coffee ingredient that’s not healthy for weight loss, we spoke with Liz Keller, MS, CNS from Well-Choices. She revealed to us that sugary coffee creamers, sadly, are the one ingredient we should avoid in our morning drink.

Coffee Creamer

Coffee creamer, often used to add richness and flavor to coffee, can have mixed effects on weight loss. Some coffee creamers may be high in added sugars and unhealthy fats, contributing to excess calorie intakes. Opting for low-calorie or unsweetened coffee creamers, such as those made with almond milk or coconut milk, can help mitigate the impact on weight loss efforts.

Keller states that coffee creamers contain calories and added sugars, unhealthy fats, and blood sugar spikes. "Some coffee creamers are loaded with added sugars and unhealthy sweeteners, which can significantly increase the calorie content of your coffee. Consuming excessive calories from coffee creamer without accounting for them in your overall diet can hinder weight loss efforts. Certain coffee creamers contain unhealthy trans fats, which are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and inflammation. Lastly, the added sugars can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to increased hunger, cravings, and potential overeating throughout the day."

It's essential to read labels carefully and be mindful of portion sizes when using coffee creamer to ensure it aligns with your weight loss goals. As with any dietary choice, moderation and balance are key to maintaining a healthy coffee routine while on a weight loss journey.

Healthier Alternatives

Discovering better alternatives to high-sugar coffee creamers can transform your coffee routine into a healthier and more weight-loss-friendly experience.

Keller recommends we indulge in low calorie, sugar-free creamers, plant-based creamers, or half and half and whole milk. "Opt for coffee creamers that are labeled as low-calorie or reduced-calorie. These options typically have fewer calories and are often sweetened with artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners with minimal impact on blood sugar. These alternatives can add sweetness without the extra calories and sugar. Consider using plant-based creamers made from almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or coconut milk. Look for unsweetened options to avoid added sugars. If you prefer a creamier texture, consider using half-and-half or whole milk in moderation."

While coffee can be a part of a healthy diet, it is crucial to be mindful of the ingredients added to it, particularly sugar. By choosing healthier coffee options and moderating sweeteners, individuals can still savor their favorite brew while supporting their weight loss journey and overall well-being. As with any dietary change, it's always best to consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional for personalized advice and guidance.