If regular powdered creamers are loaded with fat, then it stands to reason the “fat free” variety should be a big improvement. After all, on the Coffee-mate Fat Free label, it says there are 0 grams of both saturated and trans fats, so you figure you can consume all you want and there will be zero fat.
Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.
It’s like this, if a food has less than 0.5 grams of fat (trans, sat, or total), the numbers can be rounded to ZERO on the label. So all a smart food manufacturer has to do is make the serving size small enough that it contains less than 0.5 grams of fat per serving and slap 0 grams on the label. Then you think you’re getting NO fat, when in reality you are.
The serving size of a level teaspoon is unrealistically tiny. People are more likely to put two tablespoons of creamer in their coffee, which equals 6 teaspoons.
With Coffee-mate Fat Free, a flat teaspoon has 0.27 grams of fat. Multiply that to a more realistic two tablespoons (6 teaspoons), and you have 1.6 grams of fat.
Drink 3 cups of coffee a day, and there’s 5 grams of saturated fat. That’s better than the regular variety, but it’s not truly fat-free and you need to be aware of that.
Generic or office-supply company brands of powders of any kind are usually even worse. Coffee-mate powders have little or no trans fat, the really evil stuff, because they’re made with partially hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oils.
The other brands mentioned are usually made with partially hydrogenated soybean or canola oil, which means about a gram or so of trans fat in every tablespoon, though the label says there are 0 grams in a teaspoon.
Bottom line… powdered creamer is definitely not a health food, but if you’ve just got to have it in your coffee, be aware of what you’re using. Although it isn’t totally fat free as the label indicates, Coffee-mate Fat Free is probably the best of the bunch.