Is Cream and Sugar in Coffee Really That Bad? Exploring the Pros and Cons

by iupilon

The love affair between coffee and cream and sugar is a long-standing one. The addition of cream and sugar to coffee enhances the taste, reducing bitterness and improving texture. However, daily consumption of coffee with cream and sugar can lead to several side effects like sugar spikes, increase in cholesterol, insomnia, and obesity. The FDA recommends limiting caffeine consumption to 400 mg daily, but the calorie count increases to 250 or more with the addition of cream and sugar. Although the taste of coffee with cream and sugar is irresistible, there are healthier alternatives like skimmed milk, natural sweeteners, spices, espresso, and decaf coffee. These alternatives provide the energy boost of coffee without the added calories and health risks.

Discovering the Good and Bad of Cream and Sugar in Coffee

Occasionally, consuming coffee with cream and sugar is alright. Only when one drinks it daily and multiple times throughout the day do the side effects appear. Before going into the details of these side effects, it is time to look at the pros and cons of cream and sugar in coffee.

Pros & Cons Of Cream And Sugar In Coffee
  • Great Taste
    The main advantage, of course, is taste. Drink coffee without cream and sugar, and one will realize that cream and sugar make the coffee better. The bitterness of coffee reduces drastically, and the texture improves.
  • More Fulfilling
    Coffee with cream and sugar is also more fulfilling. Sure enough, an espresso provides energy, but coffee with cream and sugar satisfies the appetite to a certain extent. Cream and sugar come in handy if one wants to add calories to the diet.
  • Too Heavy
    A Starbucks espresso consists of roughly 10 calories. Despite being low in calories, it offers all the advantages of caffeine consumption.
    The calorie count increases to 50 with the addition of cream, sugar, and milk. 50 calories are the count for the standard serving size. As the serving size increases, the calorie count continues to climb.
    Thus, if one plans to drink multiple such coffees throughout the day, it will suppress the appetite. Consequently, an improper meal schedule will also disrupt the nutrition intake.
  • Increases Risk Of Diabetes And Obesity
    With consistent consumption of such heavy coffee, one is likely to become obese. Obesity impacts the digestive system and blood pressure levels and also increases the risk of diabetes. An innocent habit of drinking a couple of coffees daily can lead to all these diseases.

Breaking Down the Risks of Consuming Cream and Sugar in Coffee Daily

The FDA states that caffeine consumption should be limited to 400 mg daily. Drinking coffee with sugar and cream translates into 5 cups of coffee per day. That might help one stay below the caffeine limit, but it still translates to about 250 calories or higher. That is why if someone always drinks their coffee with cream and sugar, the cup limit is even lower.

Is there any risk in drinking coffee with cream and sugar every day?

Yes, there are a few risks when drinking coffee with cream and sugar every day, like:

There are a few alternatives (discussed below) to drinking coffee with cream and sugar daily.

Reducing the Risk: Healthy Alternatives to Your Daily Cup of Coffee with Cream and Sugar

  • Skimmed Milk
    Most cafes offer the alternative of skimmed milk or non-dairy milk in place of high-fat milk. Daily coffee consumption should include such milk alternatives to keep the fat content low and to reduce some adverse effects of drinking coffee with cream and sugar.
  • Use Natural Sweeteners
    In place of sugar, one can go with honey or stevia. These will limit sugar consumption and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Alternatives To Drinking Coffee With Cream And Sugar

Experiencing the same taste of coffee with cream and sugar through alternatives is impossible. However, if one is willing to sacrifice taste, there are a few worthy alternatives.

  • Use Spices
    To break the monotony of coffee, one can go with spices like nutmeg and cinnamon to add additional flavor. It adds a new dimension to the drink, making it tastier. Not to mention the numerous benefits of spices.
  • Stick To Espresso
    Instead of drinking coffee with cream and sugar, one can stick to espresso. That will provide energy while keeping the caffeine content and calories on the lower side.
  • Decaf Coffee
    Decaf coffee is another worthy alternative. The caffeine content is lower, and one can still add milk and sugar in limited amounts.

The Dilemma of Adding Cream and Sugar to Your Coffee: Is it Harmful?

  • Is it bad to put cream and sugar in coffee?
    Adding cream and sugar to coffee regularly is undoubtedly harmful. Occasional consumption does not cause any harm.
  • Does coffee with cream and sugar make you gain weight?
    Yes, drinking coffee with cream and sugar regularly increases one’s weight. The calorie content in such coffee is high. Besides, such coffee is addictive, which means one will drink multiple cups of it throughout the day, leading to higher consumption of fat and, therefore, higher cholesterol.
  • What is the healthiest cream to put in coffee?
    In place of dairy cream, one can go with options like:

    • Nutpods almond + coconut creamer
    • Plant-based creamer
    • Oat creamer
    • Almond milk creamer 

    Almost all of these have lower calories than dairy cream.

  • What can I put in coffee instead of cream?
    One can replace cream in coffee with:

    • Evaporated milk
       Evaporated milk has little to no water content. Adding it to coffee makes it creamier. Also, the limited water content increases its shelf life.
    • Half and half
      Half and half consist of limited cream along with whole milk. It does not consist of any sugar. This is an excellent option if one wants that creamy coffee texture without sugar.
    • Soy milk
      Soy milk is a non-dairy option that adds a silky texture to the coffee. It comes in different flavors, which further enhances the taste.
    • Coconut cream
      Coconut cream has a thick texture as compared to coconut milk. The addition of fruity flavor to the coffee further makes it tasty.
    • Coconut oil
      Coconut oil consists of healthy fats. Adding it to coffee makes it more nutritious and creamier.

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