Have you seen the new Coffee Mate 2 Go packages? They look like they should be the greatest thing since sliced bread.
They’re convenient, relatively inexpensive, and can doctor up coffee anywhere you happen to be.
All of which is great – until you actually take a look at what you’re drinking. Once you do that, there’s no amount of convenience that will make putting any kind of Coffee Mate in your morning caffeine worth it.
Taking a closer look at Coffee Mate Creamer
For convenience sake, and so we’re all on the same page, let’s focus on Coffee Mate’s main product – Coffee Mate Original Liquid.
Its ingredients list includes the following questionable items:
- Corn Syrup Solids
- Vegetable oil (high oleic soybean and/or partially hydrogenated soybean and/or partially hydrogenated cottonseed)
- Sodium caseinate (a milk derivative)
- Dipotassium phosphate
- Artificial flavor
They put WHAT in my creamer?!?
None of them sound very appetizing to begin with, but let’s take a closer look.
1. Corn Syrup Solids:
Corn syrup solids are the second ingredient on the list, coming in only after water. That means the only thing there is more of in Coffee Mate Original is water.
Don’t let the name throw you, corn syrup solids—just like their kissing cousin high fructose corn syrup—are a sugar made from corn starch. Like all other sugars they contribute to inflammation in your body.
Corn syrup solids aren’t a naturally occurring sugar like you’d find in milk, either. They’re an overly processed, highly refined corn-based sugar. And like HFCS, this sugar has to be converted into something useful for your body before it can be used… unlike lactose or glucose, which your body can readily use for energy.
Plus, don’t forget, corn—as we’ve explained before—is one of the biggest genetically modified crops grown here in the USA. So chances are good that the corn syrup solids used in Coffee Mate are GMO as well.
Can’t say Coffee Mate is off to a great start.
2. Vegetable oil:
Yes, if you’re a Coffee Mate Original user you’re drinking vegetable oil in your coffee. And no, that’s not okay.
First, it’s just gross. But that’s not the only issue. The vegetable oil used in Coffee Mate Original contains soybeans. Soybeans are potential hormone disruptors, they may block your body from absorbing some important minerals and they could have ill effects on your thyroid. Plus, like corn, the majority of soybeans grown in the USA are GMO.
But we’re still not done with the bad news about vegetable oil. Look back at that list. See where it says “partially hydrogenated soybean and/or partially hydrogenated cottonseed”? That translates to trans fats.
As for the 0g of trans fats on the nutrition label, the FDA allows food manufactures to “hide” up to .5 grams of trans fats per serving in their products and round down to 0% on the label. That means that four cups of coffee over the course of the day could have you drinking as much as 2 grams of dangerous trans fats!
3. Sodium caseinate:
Many folks have a negative reaction to the food additive monosodium glutamate, or MSG. If you’re one of them when you eat MSG you may experience headaches, flushing, sweating, heart palpitations, and more.
So what’s this got to do with sodium casseinate? It turns out this ingredient contains MSG. Of course you can’t tell that by looking at the label. But if your sensitive to MSG, and typically avoid this so-called “flavor enhancer,” you’re probably going to want to give Coffee Mate Original a wide berth too.
4. Dipotassium phosphate:
What makes dipostassium phosphate so sneaky is that the name makes it look like it should be some version of potassium. And since we know potassium is generally good for us, it doesn’t raise any alarm bells. And phosphates occur naturally in foods, too, so still, no problem.
The problem is, while naturally occurring potassium and phosphates are good for you, they aren’t the same as what you’ll find in the food additive. And while we still need more research to be done to give us a clearer picture of how our body reacts to this ingredient, there’s already some disturbing studies that hint at potential links between added phosphate salts and heart and kidney problems.
5. Artificial flavors:
Whenever you see this on an ingredients list, put the product back on the shelf and back away. No matter how “healthy” a product claims to be, if it includes artificial flavors, it’s not.
Artificial flavors originate from an inedible source! Think petroleum, wood pulp, or in the case of an artificial vanilla flavoring, cow manure. In other words, no matter what it tastes like, artificial flavors aren’t anything you want to be eating.
Carrageenan is a thickener which is made from a kind of seaweed. But despite its natural roots, this food additive has been shown to cause systemic inflammation in animal and human cell studies. In fact, it causes inflammation so reliably that carrageenan has been used to create inflammation in studies testing anti-inflammatories.
Systemic inflammation, unlike acute inflammation that you’d see when you sprain your ankle for example, is the kind of inflammation that’s associated with all kinds of chronic illnesses including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.
But you know what’s NOT found on the label of Coffee Mate? Milk or cream. You’ve got oils, chemicals, and even in some cases milk derivatives, but no actual milk or cream in a so-called “creamer.”
Black coffee alone is delicious and even has health benefits. Why ruin it with an artificial concoction that bears no resemblance to real dairy? If you like a lighter coffee try a splash of real half-and-half instead.