If you start your morning with a cup of coffee, beware of non-dairy coffee creamers – especially the powdered, flavored varieties. These imposters contain no nutritional value, and are filled with toxic additives. They often – ironically – contain dairy by-products and are frequently filled with processed chemicals, hydrogenated oils and artificial flavorings, consequently transforming your daily wake-up drink into a potential heart attack in a mug.
In some countries, non-dairy creamer is not allowed to be called a ‘creamer’ at all. Instead, it is labeled as a ‘whitener,’ as it contains no real cream. In the 1950s, when powdered coffee creamers appeared on the market, they actually were made from dehydrated cream and sugar.
Today’s products, however, contain cheaper and more easily-dissolved alternatives, including chemical sweeteners, processed oils and stabilizers, with no real cream to be found. Instead, the creamy texture and flavor is provided by processed vegetable oils.
While powdered coffee creamers are labeled as ‘non-dairy,’ if you have milk allergy or are vegan, be sure to steer clear. These products are free of lactose, but still often contain casein, a dairy-derived product that may trigger a reaction in those sensitive to milk.
Non-dairy creamers may also contain sodium caseinate, a chemically-altered and extruded form of casein, which in its final form is not even considered a dairy product by the FDA due to the sheer amount of chemicals used.
Powdered non-dairy coffee creamers frequently contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, or, as they are more commonly known, trans fats. Some brands contain up to one gram per tablespoon. Hydrogenated oils are created by adding chemicals agents, sometimes metals such as platinum and nickel, to pressurized and already-processed oils to further alter their molecular structure.
There is no safe level of trans fats; they have been strongly linked to heart disease and other illnesses in multiple studies. Health professionals from all practices and philosophies generally agree on trans fats: it’s best to stay far, far away.
Instead of sugar, many non-dairy creamers contain corn syrup or corn syrup solids. Corn syrup solids are produced when corn starch is bathed in hydrochloric acid. For those unfamiliar, hydrochloric acid is an industrial chemical solution with highly corrosive properties that is also used in the manufacturing of plastics. Additionally, the corn itself is often derived from GMO varieties, adding all of the risk factors associated with GMO’s to the toxic brew.
If these facts aren’t already scary enough, these imposter creamers often use sodium aluminosilicate as an anti-caking agent. The aluminum in this chemical compound has been linked to cell damage, bone disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and organ damage.
Furthermore, the popular television show Mythbusters recently proved that sodium aluminosilicate is flammable when dispersed. Since when are metals and flammables acceptable in our beverages?
So, in the face of toxic creamers, what’s a coffee lover to do besides drinking it black? The answer is simple: opt for natural cream or half and half, organic if possible. More and more studies are being revealed dispelling the hype linking saturated fats to heart disease.
In fact, many studies are showing that these natural fats are absolutely essential to the body’s well-being, and may LOWER your risk of heart troubles. There is even research linking more saturated fats with LESS belly fat! With the high levels of toxicity found in the processed, powdered, ‘non-dairy’ alternatives, natural, delicious cream is surely the way to go.
-The Alternative Daily