It's common knowledge that drinking coffee has several benefits. For instance, coffee contains some antioxidants and has been proven effective in preventing diabetes and weight gain. However, these benefits will mean nothing if you keep adding several spoons of sugar to your cup of coffee.
To keep enjoying the health benefits of coffee while still maintaining a sweet taste, coffee sweeteners have become an effective option for adults in their cup of Joe. After all, it cuts out all that refined sugar. Finding a healthy alternative to traditional sugar and artificial sweeteners gives your coffee much higher nutritional value.
Over time, refined sugar has been shown to cause weight gain and cardiovascular problems and has also been linked with type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, using natural options like coffee sweetener eliminates some of those risks. In this article, we'll share some of the best healthy coffee sweeteners on the market.
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol from the carbohydrates found in plants. Like some other sweeteners, it has to be altered chemically before it can be used. Similar in texture to table sugar but with a slightly finer texture, Erythritol is low in carbohydrates and has no calories. Now Food Erythritol is a perfect choice for diabetic patients as it doesn't change glucose levels. It's derived from non-GMO corn and is about 70% as sweet as sugar. One of the things customers love is its sweet taste and how much of a perfect sugar substitute it is when preparing coffee. Asides from that, it also has a fair price.
- Zero calories
- 70% as sweet as sugar
- Naturally occurring sugar alcohol
- May have a cooling effect
Maple syrup has been used for a while now as a natural coffee sweetener, and its local history goes back to when Native Americans used it before Europeans first entered the East Coast. If you're looking for an extra boost of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, NOW Foods Organic Maple Syrup is a great option. Although it's not exactly a low-calorie sweetener, it has no artificial colors or flavors. Instead, it has a richer, deeper, and more robust natural flavor that is perfect for your early morning cup of coffee. It's no wonder why customers say it's a "yummy and healthy" syrup for anything.
- Non-GMO project verified
- USDA certified organic
- Paleo friendly
This is also another excellent coffee sweetener. With roots from Southern China, where it has served medicinal purposes for years, Monk Fruit Extract has zero calories, 11% organic cane alcohol, and is about 200 times sweeter than normal sugar. It has a delightful and sweet taste with almost no aftertaste. The best part is it's Nut Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Egg Free. Asides from its relatively high price, Monk Fruit Extract is an excellent addition if you're looking for a sweetener without artificial sugar.
- Delightfully sweet taste
- Some find the taste too sweet
Xylitol is a type of sugar alcohol with sweetness like sugar. However, it has some benefits in dental health — it reduces the risk of tooth decay and cavities. Research has also shown that it can help improve bone density and prevent osteoporosis. It helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay. Zveet Birch Xylitol Sweetener is a great choice to consider. Perfect for coffee drinks, this sweetener has no aftertaste and has about 40% fewer calories than sugar.
- Natural sweetener
- Low calorie
- Dental health benefits
- Digestive issues
- Laxative effect
This sweetener has a low-glycemic index like honey and is from the blue Agave plant. While it's a perfect option for those watching their blood sugar, it should be taken in moderation because it contains a significant amount of fructose. If it sounds like a good choice, Agave In The Raw Organic Sweetener should be on your list. It's harvested and heated at a low temperature to bring out its rich and pure flavor. It's USDA organic, non-GMO verified, and BPA-free. The mild caramel taste of this sweeter can help conceal the bitterness in your cup of Joe, especially in espresso. Aside from coffee, this sweetener has numerous use cases like waffles, oatmeal, or cocktail.
- Certified USDA organic
- Low glycemic value
Molasses is a sweetener that's gotten from the same process as raw sugar. When refining sugar, the sugar beets or cane are mashed into a juice, and the double boil stage creates the sweetener called Molasses. Wholesome Sweetener Organic Blackstrap Molasses has a strong taste that makes it enjoyable. Although the aftertaste can be bitter, it might not be a great choice if you’re looking to hide the flavor of bitter coffee. On the contrary, it is rich in antioxidants and has low sugar content, which makes it perfect for those looking for a healthy way to consume a sweetener.
- USDA organic
Regarded as one of the healthiest natural coffee sweeteners on the market, it has zero calories like most others. It comes from the Stevia plant in South America, and its sweetness has been used for teas and medicine in Brazil and Paraguay for several years — a testament to why it's an excellent option for people with diabetes watching their weight or blood sugar level. Stevia coffee sweetener is about 300 times sweeter than sugar, so you can be assured of a fresher taste without needing a whole packet. You might want to be careful with Stevia, though, as some users say it adds some bitter taste to your coffee, depending on the roast.
- 200 count packets
- Equivalent to 2 tsp of sugar
- Zero calories
- Plant based
- No erythritol
What Makes a Sweetener "Healthy"?
Coffee sweeteners are additives that help improve your coffee drink's taste. They're often used instead of sugar as they’re low in calories and fructose, contain more minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other healthful bioactive molecules, and taste very sweet. Different types include Stevia, Erythritol, Agave, Honey, and Maple syrup.
Coffee sweeteners have several nutritional values that make them healthy. Xylitol, for instance, contains about 2.4 calories per gram and has been shown to help digestive and dental health. Also, Yacon syrup is highly rich in fructooligosaccharides which helps to feed the good bacteria in the intestine, thereby preventing constipation and promoting weight loss.
Benefits of Healthy Coffee Sweeteners
Most times, when you hear the word 'sweetener,' you automatically think about sugar. While both terms are certainly related, they're not exactly the same. Sugar is often found in sweet items, and while it does excite our taste buds, it's not the same for our health. Hence the need for healthy sweeteners.
Coffee sweeteners are a more conservative way to enjoy that sugar taste without risking several health issues like inflammation, high blood pressure, inadequate weight gain, fatty liver disease, and diabetes. They also give your cup of a Joe an extra taste that makes it even more enjoyable. Since they contain low calories, they also lead to weight loss and improve overall health.
GI, or glycemic index, ranks foods based on how much they increase blood sugar. Choosing a natural sweetener like Xylitol with a low glycemic index means it'll have little or no effect on your blood glucose levels.
Potential Drawbacks and Side Effects
As with most things, using too much healthy coffee sweetener has its downside. For starters, sugar alcohol sweeteners like Xylitol are associated with digestion-related issues, except Erythritol. Some natural coffee sweeteners also contain Erythritol, which recent studies have shown could potentially raise the risk of heart-related problems.
Coffee sweeteners like Maple syrup and Agave Nectar contain high amounts of fructose, which might worsen symptoms for people on a low-FODMAP diet.
While these are some of the potential drawbacks of coffee sweeteners, it's not to say they don't have their benefits, as we've already mentioned. However, it's best to consume them in moderation.
Natural coffee sweeteners are your best pick if you're looking for a way to substitute your artificial sugar intake. They contain low calories, which can help in weight loss, and don't raise glucose levels in the blood, which can cause several other health issues. Need help determining which sweetener to go for? Our list will help you make a choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I drink coffee with invisalign?
No, you cannot drink coffee with Invisalign. It's recommended to remove your Invisalign aligners before consuming any beverage, including coffee. Coffee can stain the aligners and affect their transparency. Additionally, the heat from hot beverages can potentially warp the aligners, causing them to lose their proper fit.