International Delight zero sugar creamer has become a popular coffee creamer option for those looking to reduce sugar and calories in their daily coffee routine. But is it really a healthy choice? Here is an in-depth look at the ingredients, nutrition facts, and health effects of International Delight zero sugar creamer.
What is in International Delight zero sugar creamer?
The main ingredients in International Delight zero sugar creamer include:
- Vegetable oil (canola, palm and/or palm kernel oil)
- Natural flavors
- Sodium caseinate (milk derivative)
- Mono and diglycerides
- Dipotassium phosphate
- Sucralose (artificial sweetener)
- Acesulfame potassium (artificial sweetener)
It does not contain any sugar, hence the “zero sugar” name. Sugar is replaced with sucralose and acesulfame potassium artificial sweeteners. The vegetable oils, sodium caseinate, and mono/diglycerides make up the creamy texture.
Here are the nutrition facts for a 1 tablespoon (15ml) serving of International Delight zero sugar French vanilla creamer:
As you can see, International Delight zero sugar creamer is low in calories, fat, carbs, sugar, and protein since its main ingredients are water and oil. The small amount of sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat come from the sodium caseinate milk ingredient.
Pros of International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer
There are some potential advantages to using International Delight zero sugar creamer:
- Zero sugar and low calorie – 25 calories per tablespoon is low compared to regular creamers
- Contains no carbohydrates or sugar – suitable for low carb and keto diets
- Adds creaminess and flavor to coffee without sugar
- Wide variety of flavors available – French vanilla, hazelnut, cinnamon, etc.
- Helps reduce daily sugar and calorie intake
- Non-dairy and lactose-free – suitable for vegans and lactose intolerant
- Convenient liquid format – easy to pour and mix into coffee
For people looking to cut back on sugar or follow a low carb diet, International Delight zero sugar creamer can be an appealing option over regular creamers that contain lots of added sugar. The ability to still get creamy flavored coffee without the guilt of added sugars makes it popular with many dieters.
Cons of International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer
However, there are some downsides to consider as well with International Delight zero sugar creamer:
- Contains artificial sweeteners – sucralose and acesulfame potassium
- Highly processed and not a natural product
- Main ingredients are water and vegetable oils
- Contains preservatives and stabilizers – carrageenan, mono and diglycerides
- Higher saturated fat than other creamers – 2g per serving
- Not organic or GMO-free
- Flavorings and sweeteners may cause digestive issues for some
- Packaged in plastic container – not environmentally friendly
- More expensive than regular creamers
While the zero sugar label may sound appealing, International Delight achieves this through artificial sweeteners, highly processed ingredients, and additives. For some, the artificial sweetener aftertaste can be off-putting. The lack of nutrients beyond fat is another downside compared to milk or nut-based creamers.
Are the Ingredients Safe?
Let’s take a closer look at some of the main ingredients and additives in International Delight zero sugar creamer:
The vegetable oil blend used is highly processed and often includes inflammatory oils like palm oil or palm kernel oil. While these oils are shelf-stable and cheap to produce, they are high in saturated fat and lack nutrients compared to healthier oils like olive oil.
Sucralose and acesulfame potassium are FDA-approved artificial sweeteners, but there are concerns about potential cancer risks and other health effects from large doses of artificial sweeteners.
Carrageenan is a thickening agent extracted from seaweed. It has been linked to intestinal inflammation and digestive issues in some individuals.
Mono and Diglycerides
These chemical emulsifiers give creamer a smooth texture but can also interfere with gut bacteria and cause digestion problems.
A milk protein processed with sodium hydroxide. It provides a creamy dairy-like taste but is highly processed compared to fresh dairy.
An inorganic phosphate additive used to stabilize the product. While generally recognized as safe by the FDA, high doses can potentially cause negative health effects.
Health Effects of International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer
Blood Sugar and Diabetes
Despite having no sugar, artificial sweeteners can still negatively impact blood sugar regulation and are linked to increased diabetes risk.
While lower in calories than regular creamers, International Delight is not proven to contribute to weight loss and can even cause weight gain due to artificial sweeteners.
Processed emulsifiers and thickeners like carrageenan and mono/diglycerides found in International Delight may contribute to gut inflammation and alter gut bacteria.
High amounts of inflammatory palm oil, along with saturated fats, can negatively impact cholesterol and heart health.
Controversial artificial sweeteners combined with carrageenan may potentially contribute to increased cancer risk when consumed regularly.
Lacks beneficial nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants compared to milk, nut milks, or other creamers made from whole foods.
Alternatives to International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer
For those concerned about the artificial and highly processed nature of International Delight zero sugar creamer, here are some healthier natural alternatives to consider:
Heavy Cream or Half and Half
Small amounts of these real dairy products provide richness and creamy texture with minimal carbs.
Full Fat Coconut Milk
The creamy part of canned coconut milk can be used as a dairy-free creamer substitute.
Unsweetened Nut Milks
Such as almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk – look for unsweetened versions to avoid added sugar.
Ghee or Butter
Small amounts of grass-fed ghee or butter can provide richness with the nutty flavor of real dairy fat.
DIY creamers made from coconut milk, nuts, seeds, vanilla extract, cinnamon, etc. let you control the ingredients.
Is International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer Keto-Friendly?
International Delight zero sugar creamer is often marketed as a keto-friendly coffee creamer option. Since it contains zero sugar and minimal carbohydrates, it can technically fit into a ketogenic low carb, high fat diet.
However, there are better options tailored for the keto diet, considering the highly processed nature of International Delight and use of inflammatory palm oils. Higher quality keto creamers include:
- Full fat coconut milk or coconut cream
- Grass-fed butter or ghee
- Heavy whipping cream
- MCT oil
- Unsweetened nut milks like almond or cashew milk
These non-dairy and dairy keto creamers provide creamy fat from natural sources without all the additives.
Is International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer Paleo-Friendly?
The paleo diet avoids all dairy, grains, legumes, artificial sweeteners and processed foods. Therefore, International Delight zero sugar creamer is not paleo-friendly and would be prohibited on the paleo diet.
Some paleo-approved creamer options include:
- Full fat coconut milk or coconut cream
- Nut milks made from soaked and blended nuts/seeds
- Homemade creamers from coconut, nuts, seeds
- Tallow or lard from grass-fed animals
Modifying coffee with healthy fats from whole food sources helps makes it paleo diet approved.
Is International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer Vegetarian/Vegan?
International Delight zero sugar creamer is lactose-free and dairy-free, making it suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. It does not contain any animal products. The use of vegetable oils gives it a creamy vegan texture.
However, some vegetarians and vegans prefer to avoid highly processed foods and artificial ingredients. There are more whole food, plant-based creamer options for non-dairy diets, including:
- Unsweetened almond, oat, soy, cashew, coconut milk
- Full fat coconut milk or coconut creamer
- Homemade nut or seed milk creamers
Is International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer Gluten-Free?
Yes, International Delight zero sugar creamer is certified gluten-free. It does not contain any ingredients derived from gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, or rye.
This makes it a gluten-free friendly creamer choice for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. People following a gluten-free diet for medical reasons can feel safe using International Delight zero sugar creamer.
Does International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer Have Dairy?
International Delight zero sugar creamer is dairy-free and does not contain lactose, milk, or cream. However, it does contain sodium caseinate, which is a milk protein derived from dairy.
So while lactose intolerant individuals can safely consume it, those with a true dairy allergy could potentially react to the sodium caseinate. In general, it’s not considered a traditional “dairy” creamer.
Is International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer Non-GMO?
No, International Delight zero sugar creamer is not certified non-GMO and likely contains ingredients derived from GMO crops, such as corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets. The carrageenan may also be from GMO seaweed sources.
Those wishing to avoid GMOs will want to choose organic creamers certified non-GMO. Or make your own creamer from certified organic ingredients.
Is International Delight Zero Sugar Creamer Organic?
International Delight zero sugar creamer is not certified organic. It contains many artificial ingredients and GMO-derived oils that would prohibit it from being USDA certified organic.
International Delight zero sugar creamer eliminates sugar and carbs, but achieves this through artificial sweeteners and low-quality processed oils. While fine in moderation, daily use can negatively impact blood sugar, digestion, and other aspects of health.
Organic, non-GMO, and less processed creamers made from whole foods like coconut, nuts, seeds, and dairy provide healthier alternatives without artificial additives. But ultimately, International Delight zero sugar creamer can be an occasional indulgence for those seeking a sweet calorie-free creamer as a treat.