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Ask the Diva: Is Powdered Creamer a Heart-Healthy Choice?

Should coffee drinkers choose powdered non-dairy creamer over adding milk to their morning "cup of Joe"?

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
March 3, 2013

Q. Years ago, when I was put on cholesterol meds, my doctor advised me to use non-dairy powdered creamer. I’ve since managed to reduce my cholesterol by changing my cooking habits and cooking more from scratch. I’m wondering if I could now afford to switch from powdered creamer to whole milk in my coffee. I only drink one or two cups a day.

A. I hope by “years ago” you mean circa 1970. Any doctor who has given that advice within the last 30 years has seriously not been paying attention. Non-dairy creamer is made from hydrogenated vegetable oil (i.e. trans fats) and corn syrup (i.e. sugar). Although saturated fat can increase cholesterol, most nutrition and medical professionals now agree that trans fats and sugar do far more damage. Not only do I give you permission to replace your powdered creamer with whole milk, I insist that you do! The powdered non-dairy creamer is nothing but trouble and the amount of saturated fat in one or two cups of coffee is not enough to worry about.

Coffee Creamer photo from Shutterstock.

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