Top 10 Natural Sweeteners for Coffee

 

Amy Beney MS RD CDCES
Updated 12/23/2023

Table of contents

  1. Coffee Facts
  2. How much coffee do you drink?
  3. “What do you put in your coffee?”
  4. Why is sugar replacement for coffee important?
  5. What are coffee sweetener alternatives?
  6. Is there a natural sweetener alternative to sugar in coffee?

Transform your daily coffee ritual with a touch of natural sweetness! Discover the top 10 natural sweeteners that add a delightful flavor to your morning brew and bring health benefits to your cup. From the classic to the exotic, explore these alternatives to refined sugar and make your coffee experience a delicious and wholesome indulgence.

 

Coffee Facts

Coffee is one of Americans’ favorite drinks. According to the National Coffee Data Trends (NCDT) report from March 2020, Americans drink more coffee than ever.

  • Coffee consumption has increased by 5% across the nation since 2015.
  • 7 in 10 Americans drink coffee weekly; 62% drink coffee daily.
  • The average American coffee drinker drinks just over 3 cups per day.

When I work with patients, two important coffee questions are

“How much coffee do you drink? “

“What do you put in your coffee?”

How much coffee do you drink?

If Americans drink, on average, 3 cups of coffee per day or 24 ounces, we can unknowingly add extra calories, sugar, and saturated fat in sweeteners and creamers. Various sweeteners can contain sugar, oils, saturated fats, and other additives.

“What do you put in your coffee?”  

The most common response is cream, flavored creamers, and sugar. If a person adds one sugar packet per cup of coffee, that is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar or 16 calories, Many people also add flavored creamer to their coffee. In 1 tbsp of flavored coffee, creamer can contain 17 calories, 1 gram of fat, and 2 grams of carbohydrates. 

Why is sugar replacement for coffee important?

There are many reasons a person would want to replace sugar in their coffee.  Many people are looking for ways to reduce the amount of sugar they eat.  Adding sugar or consuming sugary beverages are easy ways that sugar can creep into our diets.  Some people also feel that sugar is inflammatory in their systems and are looking for alternative sweeteners that do not cause inflammation.  Also, some people are concerned with their blood sugars are looking for ways to mange their blood sugars through diet.

What are coffee sweetener alternatives?

There are many coffee sweetener alternatives, natural sugars, or artificial sugars. The natural sugars include honey, agave, stevia, monk fruit, maple syrup, milk, and coconut sugar. The artificial sugars include sugar alcohols, aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. These artificial sugars are popular alternatives, but many people prefer to eat something other than artificial sugar.   

Here is a list of the top 10 natural sugar alternatives to sugar in coffee.  These items are easily accessible in the grocery store.

Is there a natural sweetener alternative to sugar in coffee?

Yes! Somebody can find a variety of natural sweetener alternatives can be found in your grocery store or local coffee shop. More and more people are looking for a natural sugar replacement for coffee.  

Remember that even if sweeteners are natural, they can still contain calories and carbohydrates. It may surprise you. It is essential to measure amounts to get a fair idea of how much we consume.

Top 10 Coffee Sweetener Alternatives


Honey– Honey is naturally sweet. It also contains small amounts of antioxidants and nutrients such as niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, and zinc. Some research suggests that honey may protect against diabetes, and some types of honey may help improve cholesterol levels. Honey is slightly sweeter than sugar; less may be needed to get the same sweet taste.

Milk – Lactose is natural milk sugar; it can taste sweeter than coffee creamer and be a suitable replacement for sugar.

Milk also has other nutrients such as calcium, protein, vitamin D.

Monk fruit– Another popular sugar replacement for coffee is monk fruit. Monk fruit sweetener, also called monk fruit extract. It is extracted from monk fruit. It has zero calories and is 150-200 times sweeter than sugar. Monkfruit is thought to have antioxidant properties.

Coconut sugar-Coconut sugar is also called coconut palm sugar. It’s a natural sugar made from coconut palm sap, which is the sugary circulating fluid of the coconut plant.

Coconut sugar has the same amount of calories as white sugar. Coconut sugar contains small amounts of minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. It would not be a significant source of these nutrients but a sugar alternative.

Stevia-Stevia leaf extract is a zero-calorie sweetener, 250-300 times sweeter than sugar. It has zero calories. Since sugar is so much sweeter, a smaller amount is needed.

Agave– Agave is a sweetener commercially produced from several species of agave plants.

Like honey, agave does contain

calories and carbohydrates. It is also less sweet than stevia or monk fruit.

Maple syrup– Is made from the sap of sugar maple trees. Maple syrup may provide anti-inflammatory properties and is potentially a better substitute for white sugar. So if you want calorie and carbohydrate-free sweetness, agave, milk, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and honey are not for you.

Collagen: Many collagen powders or liquid collagens can be added to coffee to alter the taste and give your coffee a sweeter flavor. Not only does it provide a sugar alternative in your coffee, but there is research that collagen can help with blood vessel health, joints, bones, skin health, dental health, and some autoimmune issues.

Almond flavoring/Vanilla flavoring: Flavor coffee with ingredients in your baking cabinet can give your coffee the sweetness you crave without the calories or concerns with sugar or sugar alternatives.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is an excellent alternative to any sweetener in your coffee. Someone can add cinnamon into the cup or brew with the beans. Cinnamon will add flavor to your coffee and has proven health benefits. Cinnamon can help support blood sugar control, protect against heart disease, and reduce inflammation.

Is there the best sugar substitute for coffee?

Finding the best sugar substitute for your coffee may take trial and error. It is also a personal preference on how a person enjoys their coffee. Try some of these ideas and see if you find a healthier alternative to sugar in your coffee. As with any sweetener, it is essential to remember a few things:

  1. How much sweetener are you using per cup?
  2. How many cups are you drinking?
  3. As with everything, moderation and balance your coffee drinking with other fluids, especially water.