Coffee may not be for everyone, but it’s still one of the most popular drinks in the world. Not only is it delicious and energy-boosting, but it provides tons of health benefits like speeding up your metabolism, lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and even helping to slow down the aging process.
Plain black coffee can provide these benefits, but the ingredients you put in your coffee can quickly cancel them out if you’re not careful. For example, drinking coffee with a lot of cream and sugar on a daily basis can lead to complications like weight gain or inflammation.
That’s why we talked with Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD at Balance One Supplements to learn more about healthy ways to drink coffee. Continue reading to learn about the coffee habits she suggests to help prevent inflammation, and for more healthy coffee tips, check out The Best Coffee in the World.
A popular way to drink coffee is with heavy cream, milk, half and half, or ordering a whole milk latte at your favorite coffee shop. While this can taste delicious, it may contribute to an inflammatory response from your body if consumed on a regular basis.
“Dairy can be inflammatory for many people due to varying allergies, intolerances, or autoimmune conditions, so anyone having issues with inflammation may want to consider cutting out the dairy in their coffee for a period of time,” says Best.
It’s easy to order a vanilla or caramel latte at your favorite shop without thinking about the extra sugar. But Best warns that added sugar can quickly lead to inflammation if consumed over a period of time.
“Refined sugar is found in the traditional sugar you use to sweeten your coffee and the added sugar in many coffee flavorings and creamers, and this type of sugar is highly inflammatory,” says Best. “A helpful alternative is natural sweeteners like honey or cinnamon if you’re wanting to cut down on inflammatory ingredients that you ingest regularly.”
Best also warns that if you’re someone who enjoys going out to get your specialty coffee drinks, the serving sizes can be unexpectedly large, which will pack on the extra calories and sugar.
“Signature coffee beverages, hot, cold, or, often contain empty calories and large serving sizes, so if you’re concerned with you may want to check the size of your next custom-ordered coffee,” she says. “Try sizing down for a period to test whether bloating and inflammation go down.”
When you’re choosing a coffee creamer, it’s important to always read the nutrition label. If you’re looking for a non-dairy creamer to help fight inflammation you may be surprised to find that many dairy-free creamers come with a lot of added sugar and other strange ingredients.
So if you’re going plant-based, look for creamers that don’t have added sugar. For some ideas of healthy creamer to try, check out these new options.