If you’re diabetic or have a friend or family member with diabetes, you’ll know all about the importance of diet.
And if you also love coffee, you’ll want to know how to prepare it in a way that’s healthy.
So what’s the best coffee creamer for diabetics? Here we take a look at the options.
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What to look out for if you have diabetes
Let’s start by looking at what being diabetic means for your diet.
In the past, people with diabetes were often sent away from their doctor with instructions like “cut out sugar”.
These days, it’s recognized that what constitutes a healthy diet for diabetics is not so different from a healthy diet for anyone else.
That means a balanced range of nutrients that promote healthy levels of glucose (sugar) and fat in the blood (1).
People with Type 1 diabetes are unfortunately, however, more prone to developing coeliac disease. This makes the body sensitive to gluten, which inflames the gut and makes it difficult to absorb food.
There’s a standard blood test to determine whether someone has coeliac disease. Those who do will also need to cut out gluten from their diet.
1. One lump or – none?
You might assume that as long as you lose the sugar from your cup of Joe, it will be fine for diabetics. Unfortunately, things aren’t that simple.
If you add syrup, that will raise glucose levels. And many coffee creamers also contain sugar. The amount can vary widely between brands.
That doesn’t mean if you’re diabetic you have to go without coffee creamer altogether.
It does, though, mean that it’s important to read the label and keep track of how much you’re drinking.
2. Natural or man-made?
There are plenty of natural coffee creamers out there – milk, cream or half-and-half are the most obvious. But keep an eye on the fat content if that’s what you choose to use.
Low-fat alternatives include soy milk, which has no cholesterol and only half a gram of saturated fat per cup.
But watch out for added sugar here too. Some leading brands contain as much as seven percent sugar. So buy unsweetened versions to minimize the impact on blood glucose levels.
Other options include milk made from nuts. Coconuts and almonds are often used for their thicker consistency and sweet flavor.
3. Liquid or powder?
Artificial coffee creamers are available in either liquid or powdered form. They can have many advantages, not least that they often have a far longer life than natural products.
Powdered options that don’t contain additives are, of course, healthier than ones that do. The downside, though, it that they will have a tendency to “clump”.
You can deal with that by mixing the powder vigorously with hot water before adding the mixture to your coffee. But if you want a quicker process, liquid options may suit you better.
And whatever you choose, beware of those sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association says that a typical two-tablespoon serving of liquid coffee creamer will contain about 10 grams of sugar.
What to look for on the label
So if it’s important to check the labels of your coffee creamer, what should you be looking for? Well, sugar certainly. But there are other ingredients that can increase your sugar levels too.
One fairly common additive to watch out for is cornstarch. Some diabetics have found their glucose levels spiked after drinking coffee creamer containing cornstarch.
If all this is starting to sound a bit complicated, don’t worry. We’re here to help! Read on for our review of five of the best coffee creamers for diabetics.
The Best coffee creamer for diabetics currently on the market - 2020 reviews
1. Nut Pods Dairy Free Creamer (Our Top Recommended)
Made with almonds and coconut cream, Nut Pods is a natural alternative to dairy-based products. Suitable for vegans and anyone who’s lactose intolerant, it’s also great for diabetics. That’s because it contains absolutely no sugar or sweetener.
If that wasn’t enough, it’s also Kosher, gluten-free and paleo-friendly. And for anyone who’s watching their weight, it’s a great option. In short, this is pretty much a sin-free zone.
If you like flavored coffee, there are vanilla or hazelnut options; but for a classic Americano, stick to the original.
You use it in exactly the same way as you would milk. And it can even be substituted as a healthier alternative in recipes like quiche, mashed potato or chocolate lava cake.
Unlike cow’s milk, though, you don’t have to keep this creamer refrigerated until you’ve opened the carton. So if your fridge isn’t the biggest, it can make storage a lot easier. Just give it a good shake before use and it’s ready to go.
And if you want a sweeter taste, just add our own sweetener. Stevia is a good option, but there are plenty of others out there too. Just make sure you don’t undermine your healthy choice of creamer by adding sugar or flavored syrup!
2. Walden Farms Sugar Free Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer
Walden Farms produce a whole range of coffee creamers, but this is the one I like best. It’s also completely sugar-free, so diabetics can enjoy it without worrying about their glucose levels.
As with other coffee creamers, the possibilities for using this don’t stop at your morning latte. Try it in iced coffee or with oatmeal or mixed fruit. And if you fancy something a bit different, Walden Farms offer a range of sugar-free options including vanilla, mocha, hazelnut, and chocolate. Yum!
One thing to bear in mind is that this isn’t the thickest coffee creamer out there. Hey, with no calories sometimes you have to make compromises!
A friend of mine who buys this regularly deals with the issue by mixing it with a full-fat creamer. She gets a thicker texture, but pays the price with a higher fat content.
This is another creamer that doesn’t have to be stored in the fridge before opening. Once you’ve broken the seal on the carton, though, it’s best kept chilled.
3. Laird Superfood Unsweetened Original Coffee Creamer
Laird’s Superfood Creamer uses an innovative blend of ingredients, perfect for a sugar-free diet. It combines coconut with coconut milk powder and its trademarked specialty “Aquamin”. This is the name Laird’s have given to calcified red sea algae, apparently rich in minerals.
If you’re worried about a fishy taste to your coffee, don’t be. This is a lightly flavored creamer that tastes similar to cream.
As well as being fine for diabetics, it can be enjoyed by vegans or anyone following a gluten-free diet. It’s in powder form, and as a natural product, one disadvantage is that it may clump together in the bag. To deal with this, just give the pack a massage before you dig in your spoon.
Two teaspoons are about right for one cup of coffee. And if you enjoy a cappuccino or a latte, you’re in luck. Add hot water and use a hand mixer to create foam. The same process will also deal with any concerns about getting lumps of creamer in your coffee.
4. Califia Farms Almond Milk Coffee Creamer with Coconut
Califia Farms make a whole range of non-dairy coffee creamers, and this unsweetened version is a good option for diabetics.
Made from almond milk, there’s also no risk of getting lumps in your coffee, as with some powdered creamers.
The consistency is nice and thick, giving a luxurious mouthfeel. There’s a hint of coconut and almond flavor, but nothing that’s going to overwhelm your coffee.
And as well as adding a creamy texture to your beverage, you can use it in smoothies, cakes or scones.
One thing to note, though, is that Califia Farms have added salt to the recipe. Who knows why that was considered necessary, but bear it in mind if you’re a heavy coffee drinker.
5. Unicreamer Vegan Non-Dairy Coffee Creamer
Another unsweetened, non-dairy creamer, Unicreamer blends coconut oil with pea protein. If you’re thinking that sounds a little green for your coffee, never fear. Unicreamer comes in two flavors, mocha and hazelnut, and there’s not a hint of vegetable about either of them.
The addition of plant protein is designed to fill you up and maintain your energy levels.
The idea is that your morning cuppa can keep you going until lunchtime. And diabetics will be reassured to know that there’s not a trace of sugar here.
This is a powder-based creamer, and it comes in individual packets. Depending on personal taste, each one holds enough for a couple of cups of coffee. You can also add it to ice-cream, cereal or yogurt.
Unicreamer is standing fully behind their product too. If you try it and aren’t satisfied, you’re guaranteed a replacement or your money back. It’s a reassuring promise if you’re not sure whether pea protein is really for you.
Ready to choose?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of the best coffee creamers for diabetics.
There are lots of sugar-free options out there, using everything from coconut milk to sea algae.
So if you have diabetes or just want to eat more healthily, there’s no need to give up white coffee.