There’s nothing quite like waking up to a cup of coffee. Even the smell as it brews in the kitchen can get you excited for the day. It’s enough to turn anyone—even me—into a morning person.

We coffee drinkers have quite a bit of science to back up our java habit, too. Studies have found quite a few benefits of drinking coffee.

Coffee Can:

  • Help burn fat
  • Provide important nutrients
  • Boost energy levels, physical performance, and intelligence
  • Protect your liver
  • Help you live longer
  • Help prevent depression, Alzheimer’s, and dementia
  • Possibly lower the risk of Parkinson's, strokes, cancer, and type 2 diabetes

And when it comes to diabetes, the discussion gets quite interesting. There are a number of reasons why diabetics should be mindful of their coffee drinking habits.

In this article, we’ll answer some important questions about diabetes, coffee, and the relationship between the two. We hope this will help you make a healthy and informed choice for your coffee creamer.

Before we dive into the things you need to know, here’s a peak at our top picks.

Our Top 5 Coffee Creamers for Diabetics:​​​​​

Name

Type:

First 3 ingredients:

Other flavors:

Powder creamer

Coconut milk, AquaminTM, extra virgin coconut oil

Turmeric

Liquid creamer

Purified water, coconut cream, almonds

French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Pumpkin Spice

Powder milk

Organic dehydrated coconut milk, organic tapioca maltodextrin, organic acacia fiber

N/A

Liquid milk

Filtered water, macadamia, calcium phosphate

N/A

Powder creamer

Organic coconut milk powder, organic bamboo shoot extract, organic acacia powder

Vanilla

Things to Know About Diabetes

What diabetes comes down to is an inability to effectively convert the sugar in your blood into energy. This commonly results in high blood sugar levels. That’s why diabetics have to keep a close eye on their sugar—or glucose—intake.

Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group term for diseases related to insulin. If you have Type 1 diabetes, it means your body doesn’t produce insulin. Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form, is a condition where your body doesn’t respond properly to insulin and in later stages can stop making enough.

Let’s address a few of the most common questions relating to diabetes.

What Is Insulin?

Best Coffee Creamer for Diabetics

Insulin is the hormone that helps your body convert glucose into energy. Glucose, in this case, refers to the sugar found in sweetened foods and beverages and other simple carbs such as white bread, pasta, and rice. 

Here’s one way to see it, according to WebMD: When you eat, your body turns glucose into energy for your cells to use. Insulin plays the role of bringing that glucose into your cells.

How many people have diabetes?

A CDC report from 2015 found that over 30 million Americans had diabetes—almost a tenth of the population. Another 84 million, or one in four Americans, had prediabetes. In the UK, 4 million people are living with diabetes while an estimated 7 million—more than one in ten—have prediabetes.

How do I know if I have diabetes? 

The numbers above show just how high the likelihood of being prediabetic is. According to the CDC, prediabetes often turns into Type 2 diabetes within five years if left untreated. Unfortunately, many people don’t even realize they have Type 2 diabetes until serious damage has already been done. 

So how can you find out early on if you might be diabetic?

Here are some signs of early diabetes:

  • You feel unusually hungry and tired. If you’re having insulin problems, you won’t be properly converting the food you eat into energy.
  • You pee a lot and often feel thirsty.
  • You have a dry mouth and itchy skin. This could be a side-effect of frequent peeing and loss of fluids.
  • You’ve mysteriously lost weight. Even though your diet and exercise routine hasn’t changed, you’ve still managed shed pounds.
  • You may also experience blurred vision, headaches or nausea.

What damage can diabetes cause?

Diabetes can cause damage to the following organs:

  • Heart, blood vessels, and nerves: Diabetics are twice as likely to suffer from heart disease. The condition can cause damage to blood vessels and nerves and, in extreme cases, necessitate amputations.
  • Eyes: Diabetes can lead to eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts. In America, it is the leading cause of vision loss among adults.
  • Gums and teeth: Being diabetic increases your risk of gum disease.
  • Kidneys: Diabetes accounts for almost half of all new cases of kidney failure in American adults.
  • Digestive system: Diabetes can damage your gastrointestinal tract, the system of organs responsible for digestion. This includes the mouth, stomach, and intestines. 

Can diabetes be cured?

If you have prediabetes, full-on diabetes can be prevented. A cure for type 2 diabetes has yet to be found. However, some people may be able to reverse the condition. There are also ways to control diabetes.

How can you control or reverse diabetes? 

The key to controlling diabetes is losing weight with a low-calorie diet and exercise. The ideal diet for diabetics is heavily plant-based.

Before we get into how to choose the best coffee creamer for diabetics, here are some simple dietary guidelines to control diabetes:

  • Choose complex carbs over simple: The complex carbohydrates found in vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains give you a steadier supply of energy than white bread, pasta, rice, or sugar.
  • Get fiber from plant foods: Again, we’re talking about vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grains. You can also get fiber from whole fruits. Fiber helps you feel fuller and makes losing weight easier. A high-fiber diet also tends to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Limit saturated and trans fats: Because diabetics are already at a higher risk of heart disease, it’s important for them to cut saturated and trans fats. That means limiting milk, cheese, beef, pastries, and fast food.
  • Limit salt: Too much salt also raises the risk of heart disease, so diabetics must be careful of canned, cured, processed, and packaged foods that contain high levels of sodium.

Understanding Coffee And Diabetes

Now that we have a simple but solid understanding of diabetes, it’s time to investigate our coffee drinking habits.

How does coffee affect diabetes?

Recently, this has been a topic of considerable debate.

Some studies indicate that coffee—both regular and decaf—could reduce the risk of becoming diabetic. For example, a Harvard study showed that people who increased their daily consumption of coffee lowered their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 11 percent.

However, if you are already diabetic, the effect of caffeine on insulin could reportedly result in higher or lower blood sugar levels. A small study of overweight men found that one cup of coffee could negatively affect blood sugar control.

That being said, there is more to coffee than caffeine.

Coffee also contains polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. This is another way that coffee could help prevent diseases such as diabetes. You’ll also find magnesium and chromium in your cup of java. These ingredients have been linked to lower rates of type 2 diabetes, as well as improvement in insulin sensitivity.

Whether or not these benefits make up for potential drawbacks is a question that has yet to be conclusively answered. For every study about coffee’s possible downsides, another seems to pop up touting its merits. As many of us have experienced, the effects of coffee seem to differ greatly from person to person. Ultimately, whether or not you should be drinking coffee is between you, your coffee, and your doctor.

What about creamer and sweeteners?

Now it’s time to address what you put in your coffee. If you’re like most java lovers, that probably includes some kind of creamer and sweetener. For obvious reasons, diabetics should avoid adding sugar or syrup to their coffee. If you must have some sweetness in your brew, try stevia or another healthy sugar substitute for diabetics.

Sugar isn’t the only problem. Many creamers contain ingredients diabetics should minimize or avoid, including saturated fats.

Whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes, are concerned that you may be prediabetic, or simply want to adopt a healthier and more plant-based diet, you’ll want to make the right choices when it comes to your coffee consumption.

The Best Coffee Creamers for Diabetics in 2019

It’s clear that the best coffee creamers for diabetics have two key features: they are unsweetened and dairy free. So we’ve scoured the non-dairy coffee-creamer market for the best diabetes-friendly options. Here are our favorite products.

1: Laird Superfood Unsweetened Coffee Creamer

Laird Superfood Coffee Creamer Unsweetened, 8 Ounce (Pack of 1)

Price: from $11.84

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Last Updated : 2019-11-17

Last Updated : 2019-11-17

When shopping for a healthy product, a simple rule of thumb is to look for the shortest list of ingredients. In that area, Laird is a sure winner. This powder creamer contains only three ingredients: coconut milk, calcium from marine algae (or Aquamin), and extra virgin coconut oil.

Virgin coconut oil is a bit of an exception when it comes to saturated fats. It contains MCT oil, which your body processes differently than other saturated fats. Most notably, MCT oil is said to give longer-lasting energy and, according to this study, does not contribute to heart disease.

One teaspoon of Laird’s powder creamer contains 2% of your daily calcium needs, as well as 1g of saturated fat from the coconut oil, and 0g of sugar.

For being completely unsweetened and dairy-free, this creamer has a surprisingly enjoyable taste. There is a hint of coconut—which the nutty ones think is great—but it’s not overpowering.

However, when mixing this powder into a cup of coffee, it doesn’t always dissolve very well. Because this creamer has no additives, such as artificial stabilizers, it is prone to clumping. To solve this problem, try using a milk frother. You can also mix the creamer with a bit of hot water before adding it to your coffee.

  • What we like:
  • Enjoyable taste
  • A hint of coconut, not overpowering
  • All-natural, only three ingredients
  • 100% sugar-free
  • What we don’t like:
  • Can clump
  • Doesn’t dissolve well

At the end of the day, this healthy sugar-free option is our number one coffee creamer for diabetics.

Laird Superfood also offers a Turmeric creamer, which is an interesting flavor to experiment with. Note that the turmeric creamer does contain 1g of organic coconut sugar per teaspoon.

2: Nutpods Original, Unsweetened

nutpods Original, Unsweetened Dairy-Free Creamer, Whole30, Paleo, Keto, Non-GMO and Vegan, for...

Price: $14.95

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Last Updated : 2019-11-17

Last Updated : 2019-11-17

This plant-based liquid creamer uses coconut cream and almond milk in the place of dairy. The unsweetened version contains absolutely no sugar and is also free of saturated and trans fats.

I find the subtle nutty flavor more enjoyable than dairy and the after taste is reasonably smooth. Also, because it’s a liquid creamer, you don’t have to worry about clumping. We also like the small cartons because it won’t go bad if you’re not a heavy creamer user.

Though hundreds of customers have been enjoying Nutpods non-dairy creamer, there has been recent dissatisfaction with the taste and texture. It seems the recipe may have changed and is no longer as rich and creamy as it used to be.

  • What we like:
  • Subtle nutty flavor
  • Fairly smooth aftertaste
  • Conveniently small cartons
  • 100% free of sugar and saturated fat
  • What we don’t like:
  • Not as rich and creamy
  • Sometimes grainy

When it comes to ingredients, however, there’s no doubt that this product is great for diabetics, Beyond that, it’s suitable for anyone following a vegan, gluten-free, paleo, Kosher, or keto diet.

Variety is the spice of life and pumpkin, apparently, is the spice of coffee. Besides the original creamer, Nutpods also offers a Variety Pack with French Vanilla and Hazelnut, and a Pumpkin Spice option which sold out when first released.

3:  Z Natural Foods Organic Coconut Milk Powder

Z Natural Foods Organic Coconut Milk Powder - All Natural Creamer

Price: $14.39

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Last Updated : 2019-11-17

Last Updated : 2019-11-17

Here’s another product with only three ingredients, all of which are organic and derived from nature. Though it’s simply coconut milk powder and not formulated as a creamer, it still works great in coffee.

Personally, I enjoy my coffee with a bit of coconut milk. It’s rich and creamy but doesn’t have that buttery element of dairy milk—which I find gives it quite a pleasant lightness. Of course, you’ll have to experiment to find your own preference.

Because this product is vacuum sealed, you’ll have to deal with some hard clumps when you open the packet. To loosen the clumps, try transferring the powder into a larger bag and breaking them up with your hands. To dissolve the powder into your coffee, mix it into a bit of hot water first. You can also use a milk frother.

  • What we like:
  • Rich and creamy
  • Coconut flavor
  • Three all-natural and organic ingredients
  • What we don’t like:
  • Powder clumps up
  • Contains saturated fat

Again, the saturated fat in this coconut milk powder is not much to worry about as it comes from MCT oil. It’s still a great choice for diabetics.

4: Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk

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Milkadamia Unsweetened Macadamia Milk (32 oz., 2 Count) - Keto, Dairy Free, Vegan, Sugar Free

Price: from $7.29

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Last Updated : 2019-11-17

Last Updated : 2019-11-17

In any group of people, it seems like there’s always someone who doesn’t like the taste of coconut—and our team is no exception. For those who don’t care for coconut—the main ingredient in our top three non-dairy creamers, this milk is for you.

According to Milkadamia, macadamia milk has twice as much calcium as dairy milk. The label tells us that an 8oz serving of this unsweetened milk contains 45% of your daily calcium needs.

Macadamia milk is rich, creamy, and smooth. It has a bit of a naturally sweet flavor, which makes it easier to enjoy a cup of coffee without sugar. Lastly, it has a more consistent texture than coconut or almond milk when added to a hot cup of coffee. On the flip side, it doesn’t seem to froth very well.

  • What we like:
  • Rich, creamy, and smooth
  • Naturally a bit sweet
  • Consistent texture
  • Very high in calcium
  • 100% sugar free
  • What we don’t like:
  • Doesn’t froth well

Milkadamia is an excellent option for diabetics and anyone who wants a healthier milk-alternative. It has no sugar, dairy, soy, GMO’s, or gluten.

5: Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer

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VITAL PROTEINS Collagen Creamer Coconut, 10.2 Ounce

Price: from $24.64

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Last Updated : 2019-11-17

Last Updated : 2019-11-17

Thanks to the keto diet, collagen creamers are becoming quite popular. If you’re looking for a creamer that is sugar and dairy free, Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer is a solid option. 

We think this creamer tastes great. Also, because of the extra fat, it seems to make the energy boost we get from a cup of coffee last longer. On the other hand, the powder doesn’t dissolve very well into our coffee. We would definitely recommend using a frother with this creamer.

Diabetics should keep in mind that this creamer contains quite a bit of saturated fat. They are, however, from healthy MCT oil.

  • What we like:
  • Great taste
  • High in protein
  • Energy boost lasts longer
  • Only three ingredients, all organic
  • What we don’t like:
  • Doesn’t dissolve well
  • High in saturated fat

Healthy fats are the building block of keto: a high-fat, low-carb diet. The main idea of keto is forcing your body to burn fat. For some, this diet can be helpful in controlling diabetes. If you’re considering it, you can read up on the keto diet for diabetes.

Though this collagen creamer is not our top pick, it may be a good option for you.

Vital Proteins also has a Vanilla Creamer.

Our Two Favorite Coffee Creamer Brands in a Nutshell

Laird: Super Surfer, Superfood

Laird Superfood was founded by Laird Hamilton, a renowned big-wave surfer. The story is that it began with a cup of coffee, and we like things that begin with coffee. Their mission is to provide “clean, simple, and thoughtfully formulated superfoods.”

The Nutpods Story

When it comes to brands, we’re particularly fond of nutpods. This company started in 2013 when the CEO—pregnant at the time—decided to put her non-dairy creamer recipe on the market. She raised money on Kickstarter and two years later nutpods made it into its first store. The company focuses on providing its dairy-free coffee creamers directly to consumers through Amazon.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does coffee creamer raise blood sugar levels?

Is non-dairy creamer good for diabetics?

What should (pre)diabetics look out for when drinking coffee?

What should I look for on the coffee creamer label?

Is liquid creamer better than powder?

What can I substitute for coffee creamer?

Our Conclusion

If you are a java sipper with diabetes concerns, here are three simple steps you can take for better health:

  1. Don’t add sugar: Experiment with healthy ways to sweeten your coffee instead

  2. Buy an unsweetened, non-dairy creamer: The best coffee creamer for diabetics is sugar and dairy free, so replace cow’s milk a plant-based alternative.

  3. Go plant-based: By eating healthier, you can prevent, control, or even reverse diabetes—and keep sipping that java with ease.

Recommended Reading

Deborah Woodson
 

Deborah Woodson is sub-editor of A Great Coffee. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia (UGA), with a B.A. in Journalism/Public Relations and a certificate in New Media. She is experienced in creating news articles, blog articles, marketing emails, press releases, and social media content across a variety of platforms.

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