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A Healthier Cup of Coffee, A Better Start To Your Day!

Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD

Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Cooper Clinic registered dietitian talks coffee sweeteners on Fox 4 Good Day.

A day doesn’t pass by without my hazelnut K-Cup® coffee. I’m always on the go and need my morning fuel–it’s great to hear I’m reaping benefits from my daily cup of Joe. In my role in Marketing and Communications at Cooper Aerobics I have the opportunity to work with the local media to highlight our experts. Meridan Zerner, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, Registered Dietitian at Cooper Clinic was recently featured on Fox 4 Good Day sharing the wonderful health benefits that coffee offers as well as the best and worst of sweeteners. Meridan explained that the polyphenols in the coffee bean in combination with caffeine provide substantial reduced risk in cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and some forms of dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease.

While coffee can be wonderful, it can also propose a challenge when we begin to “doctor” our cup. The biggest offenders are half and half and flavored creamers. These are filled with saturated fat which is a high contributor to heart disease and inflammation.

To obtain the same thick texture, Meridan suggests opting for fat free half and half, which only has a dash of corn syrup. Be sure to measure what you are pouring, ideally one tablespoon is enough. Sometimes we can get carried away and have more than ¼ cup, which adds up quickly. Another option is a soy creamer; Silk® soy creamer has only 15 calories, zero saturated fats and zero trans fats for one tablespoon.

With a variety of flavored creamers on the market like NESTLÉ® Coffee-Mate®‘s Girl Scouts® Thin Mints® to International Delight®‘s Almond Joy®, these options combine cream and sugar into one pour. Meridan said the most inflammatory ingredient in these products is the partially hydrogenated soybean oil or palm oil. If you are choosing a flavored creamer use it sparingly or look at other alternatives. Consider sugar free or fat free–but which is best? Meridan said fat free is the better option with less calories and none of the partially hydrogenated ingredients.

If you don’t drink your coffee black, what is the optimal cream and sugar option? Meridan said fat free milk which provides calcium, vitamin D and protein. If you need a little more flavor to your coffee, you could try original or flavored Silk® Almondmilk. That plus a packet of sugar or sugar subsitute can be an easier way to track your morning calories.

Enjoy your coffee and don’t forget to always eat breakfast! For more health tips from dietitians at Cooper Clinic, visit our website.

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