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Should I Skip Coffee Creamer?


Is it safe to use creamer if you have diabetes? Get the facts here.

Serving size: 1 Tbsp (15 g)

Carbs: 1-7 g

Calories: 15-35

Glycemic index: unavailable*

Glycemic loadunavailable*


A splash of coffee creamer isn’t going to make or break your diabetes diet. But if you’re drinking several cups of creamer-enhanced coffee a day, it’s worth thinking about what’s in your cup. 

There are many creamers on the market, in all sorts of flavors from chocolate chip cookie to hazelnut. They’re typically nondairy, can be powdered or liquid, and might boast being sugar or fat free. What they have in common are ingredients: oil and other additives that create a creamy consistency. Some creamers even use partially hydrogenated oils — code for trans fats, the kind that are the worst for your heart health.

But fat-free creamer isn’t virtuous, either. It often has the most carbohydrates because manufacturers super-size the sugar in fat-free products — and the more sugar, the more carbs! While a flavored creamer will definitely have more calories and carbohydrates than an unflavored one, keep in mind that even nondairy soy creamer has 1 gram of carbs and 15 calories per tablespoon. 

Quick tip: Switch to half-and-half. A tablespoon has only 18 calories and 1 g carbs and there’s just one ingredient, cow’s milk.


*Hasn't been analyzed but does contain carbs.


Published on August 5, 2016.


— Compiled by Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Irina Burakova/iStock/ThinkStock
Reviewed by Toby Smithson, MS, RD, LDN, CDE on June 20, 2016.
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