There are several different brands available at local grocery stores that offer sugar-free or lactose-free coffee creamer.
Do you love to drink coffee? We do, but mostly alternatives.
Do you worry about the health implications of drinking too much sugar?
If you are lactose intolerant, your best bet is to look for brands that do not contain milk.
Sure, we all call it coffee creamer. But seriously, what is it? Milk? Cream? Half-and-half? Is it even a dairy product? If there's a label on it, it might say "non-dairy coffee creamer," "dairy-free coffee creamer" or just the always-worrisome generic name, "creamer."
Those who don't have milk allergies aren't lactose-intolerant, aren't vegan, and aren't particularly health-conscious won't give it a second thought.
For others, though, the difference between dairy, dairy-free, and non-dairy is important.
Let's sort out the confusing names, and then check out the best dairy-free coffee creamer options. "Dairy" and "non-dairy" would seem to be an easy distinction to make. It's not. And when you introduce "dairy-free" into the equation, it's even more difficult to figure out exactly what you're eating or drinking.
Dairy products are basically what you think they are. They're produced from a mammal's milk, and that doesn't just mean cows.
Goat's milk, sheep's milk, and human milk are all dairy. Lactose is the "milk sugar" that's naturally contained in dairy products. When someone's body can't process lactose properly, doctors describe them as lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerance is more common than you might think.
Those who are lactose-intolerant suffer often-severe reactions in their gastrointestinal tracts when they drink "normal" milk or eat dairy products because their intestines can't break the lactose molecules into simple sugars that the body can use.
Most can avoid the problems by substituting lactose-free products, which have had the lactose removed before being sold. Those products are known as lactose-free but they're still dairy products since they're made from milk.
In short, lactose-free coffee creamer isn't dairy-free.
Common sense would tell you that dairy-free means that a product contains no dairy ingredients. Dairy-free milk, for example, is usually plant-based. Soy milk, oat milk, and any type of nut milk like cashew milk, coconut milk, and almond milk, are all dairy-free products. So are all of the creamers made from them.
There's a slight problem, though. The government doesn't have a legal definition for the term "dairy-free," so some smaller companies call their products "dairy-free" even if they're not. It's always important to read the labels to make sure you know what you are buying.
Sugar free lactose free coffee creamer
We've talked about the lactose, or milk sugar, that causes big problems for those who are lactose-intolerant. But milk also contains what are called "milk proteins," casein, and whey. The process of producing lactose-free milk doesn't do anything to the proteins. they can be removed, but typically they are not.
Casein and whey are believed to provide substantial health benefits, but they can cause major health issues for some people.
A milk allergy is usually an allergy to casein, and it can manifest in hives, rashes, congestion, bloody stools, and occasionally, anaphylactic shock.
Additionally, vegans do not eat animal products or byproducts, and milk proteins fall into that category. Both groups need to know if there's whey in their dairy.
Unfortunately, the government doesn't help. Even though the FDA doesn't legally define dairy-free, it does define "non-dairy" – and for some reason, non-dairy products are allowed to contain casein, whey, or their derivatives.
Many products, including non-dairy creamers, contain ingredients like "caseinate milk derivatives" which are forms of casein.
Bottom line, "non-dairy" isn't good enough for vegans or those with milk allergies. For them, a product must be "dairy-free."
You now know that anything labeled "dairy-free" contains no dairy – so by definition, there's no cream in dairy-free creamers. Instead, the term is used to describe the purpose of creamers, instead of their content.
"Creamer" is a physical substitute for the cream (or milk) most of us grew up putting into our coffee. It's designed to mimic the creaminess, texture, and flavor of cream while providing the same primary benefits: lowering the acidity of coffee while cooling it down a little.
Some manufacturers use the more accurate term "coffee whiteners" for creamers, but most people understand that there's no cream in the little container or big jar of coffee creamer.
You might think about adding just a splash of raw, unsweetened plant milk to your morning coffee, but that can lead to disappointment.
Alternative kinds of milk don't mix well with coffee, because they separate almost immediately. They also don't have the same consistency – that's why manufacturers add thickening agents to their dairy-free coffee creamers.
Most people look for healthy choices. Dairy-free creamer with a plant or nut milk base. The best way is to check the ingredient list.
The amounts of calories, fat, and carbs per serving are important, of course, but also make sure that oil and sugar aren't the first ingredients listed, they're listed in order by the amounts used and that the creamer doesn't contain trans-fats.
Coffee has become a staple of our society, so much so that some people need to drink it for their morning pick-me-up. But coffee can be rather bitter and difficult to enjoy without sugar and creamer.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of options available in both sugar and lactose-free creamers made specifically for coffee drinkers with dietary concerns.
This is because coffee drinkers are not the only people who enjoy drinking their morning cup of joe with something sweet and dairy-based to make it more palatable.
A lactose-free coffee creamer provide an excellent way to increase the flavor of your coffee by offering you a sweeter, creamy option that also reduces the acidity associated with drinking straight black.