I can't go a day without coffee. It's one of the 2 things I am legitimately addicted to (the other being Law & Order SVU reruns). I try to stay away from sweetened coffee and have been drinking it with a TBS or 2 of heavy whipping cream. However, a few days a week I decide I want a little more so I'll either add honey (i usually stir the honey and whatever sticks to the spoon after letting it drip off a bit goes into my Joe) or coconut nectar. When I was at the store the other day I was reminded of my favorite Pre-Paleo creamer "Natural Bliss" by Coffee-Mate (I preferred the Sweet Cream flavor...mmmm.) I decided to peak at the nutritional label, crossing my fingers for a natural sweetener like honey or agave (HA!) The ingredients are as follows: milk, cream, sugar, and natural sweet cream flavor (not sure what THAT would be?) The nutritional facts informed me that 1 TBS has 35 calories, 1 from fat; 1g Sat Fat; 0g Trans fat; 5mg Sodium; 5g total carbs; 5g sugar. Ok, now lets compare that to my raw honey which has 17g carbs and 16g of sugar...my coconut nectar 13g of carbs and 13g of sugar...
So my question is, when I need a sweet cup o'Joe would I be better off going with the creamer or should I stick to honey/nectar? I know the creamer is not organic so the milk and cream is pretty iffy but strictly "nutrition-wise"...what should I do?
(PS-why did my parents have to give me an Easter basket full of nice chocolates that are looking so yummy right now?!)
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I'd avoid the creamer at all costs. You can just stick with the honey/nectar you're using now if you want real sugar/carbs and just use less than a tablespoon to equate the sugar amount in the creamer. The creamer only appears to have less sugar because in a serving size, it accounts for the cream.
Not sure if you're okay with stevia, but I'd check that out. I use it but I'm sure some think it's not paleo enough. But probably more paleo than the "natural sweet cream flavor"
Consider brown rice syrup instead of honey or agave, as recommended by the Perfect Health Diet. Mostly glucose rather than fructose and hence much better metabolically.
If it doesn't hinder your goals and/or progress - then have a little something in your coffee. IMO keep it as natural and as few ingredients as possible:
Coconut milk. Happy cow dairy. Spices. Honey, maple syrup. You could also make something to add in:
2c preferred dairy. If you're not doing dairy then coconut milk
1 vanilla bean
1-2tb sweetener such as maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar
Heat dairy, or coconut milk, in a small saucepan over medium heat until it starts steaming, but is not yet boiling. Remove from heat. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape seeds into dairy/coconut milk and then add the bean.
Cover, and let infuse until mixture is cool. Remove vanilla bean, add sweetener, and stir. Pour into a bottle or jar and refrigerate until ready to use. Can also add cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom.
And just for creeps and giggles - ingredients in CoffeeMate:
Water, sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, sodium castenate, dipotassium phosphate, color added, natural and artificial flavors, sodium stearoyl lactylate, mono and diglycerides, polysorbate 60, carrageenan, beta-carotene color
Only you can decide just how paleo you want to be. Is it paleo? No. Is it primal? Maybe. Mark Sisson (the owner of Primal(tm)) takes sugar in his coffee. Sugar really isn't worse than honey or agave (in fact, agave is way higher in fructose). "Natural Flavor" can hide a number of evilz. It's probably not worse than using half-N-half or cream with carrageenan.
Meh, I wouldn't worry about it. Now that basket of Easter chocolates (usually really crappy quality stuff) needs to disappear - and not down your throat!
It took me a while to kick sweets, I never ate a lot of them but liked sugar in certain things including coffee and soft drinks. But the sweet flavor itself is addictive, even if it has minimal or no calories. Like diet soda technically has no calories but I craved it and "needed" it all the time.
However I hate consuming all of the chemicals so I finally dropped both sugar and sweeteners altogether. I drink primarily water, plus coffee and some wine and booze occasionally.
After a few weeks of this my tastes changed, foods that I never thought of as sweet before started to taste sweet, like cream or cheese. Also foods that are actually sugary like coke, candy, or a sweetened Starbucks coffee beverage are cloyingly, awfully sweet to the point that I can't eat them any more.
Even many red wines taste sweet to me now, and I can't have an anything-and-coke or it tastes like candy.
I guess my point is that the sweets are a habit like anything else and you can break it if you want to, and it will change how you enjoy foods.