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Don’t Add Sugar To Your Coffee – Here’s What To Do Instead!

How many of us eat a healthy diet but still run by a coffee shop to pick up a latte on the way to work or reward ourselves with a mocha in the afternoon? Of course we know these coffee drinks contain sugar – but do we really think about how much and how that sugar is affecting our bodies? We might think twice about all the sugar in a donut or a candy bar, but what about what’s in your coffee?

As reported by CNN recently:

“A drink you buy at Starbucks could contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar per serving, according to a new report by British campaign group Action on Sugar. That’s three times the amount of sugar in one can of Coke, and more than three times the maximum adult daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association…. When you are consuming sugar in hot drinks, it’s easy to drink a large volume of liquid in a short time, and any sugar it contains is very rapidly absorbed into the body. It would, for example, be much harder to consume the same amount of sugar if it was in the form of rice. It’s one of the particular problems with sugary hot drinks… “you have a spike in sugar levels in the blood — and as everyone knows, what goes up must come down. The pancreas releases lots of insulin in response. A very high rise and rapid fall of sugar in the bloodstream may be bad for health – it may put you at risk… of laying down of fat under the skin and, more worryingly, in the guts, liver and pancreas.” – Sugar overload: What your hot drink is doing to your body”, CNN

Just think about this next time you have an urge to go on a coffee run: One Starbucks Drink Can = Three Cans of Coke. 

I’ve really turned my attention to sugar in the diet lately, and if you subscribe to my email newsletter you’ve been receiving all of my updates on the latest information that I’m uncovering. You’re also sending me stories about your personal struggles with sugar and as you’re paying closer attention to how much sugar is hidden in everyday foods, many of you have been astounded. 

I knew that this was a real issue for so many of us, including myself. That’s why I created an innovative new program – The Food Babe 7-Day Sugar Detox Program – which will help us all tame our sugar cravings and will show us how to have a healthier relationship with all of the sugar that is in our lives (you can find all the details about this program here).

I wanted to give you a little preview of the type of information that is included in the 7-Day Sugar Detox Program which also addresses a question that I’ve gotten a lot: What is the best way to sweeten coffee without refined sugar?

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Next time you reach for the sugar bowl, try stirring one of these in your coffee instead:

I’ve tried all these substitutes and they work – I haven’t had to put sugar in my coffee since!

  • Cinnamon – Adding cinnamon to your coffee adds a hint of sweetness and also provides the immune system with a boost, which we can all use in the morning! I just sprinkle a little bit on top, but some people stir it into the grounds before brewing or stick in a cinnamon stick. If you would like to vary the flavor you can also try nutmeg or cardamom. 
  • Nut Milk, Coconut Milk, Coconut Cream or Organic Cream – This is a great way to add an instant full bodied feel to your coffee. Coconut is naturally sweet and will sweeten your coffee without refined sugar. What I like to do is add my homemade coconut milk to a milk frother before adding it to my coffee (and then topping it with cinnamon). The frother really helps to add creaminess – you’ll never miss the dairy creamers! For extra flavor, you can add a bit of vanilla extract to the coconut or nut milk to create your own homemade vanilla dairy-free creamer.  
  • Unsweetened Cocoa or Cocao Powder – The chocolate mixed with the coffee enhances the subtle notes in the beans that you may not have noticed before. Cacao has also been shown to provide important antioxidants which can increase the overall quality of your morning coffee. A small amount can be stirred into the coffee itself or into the grounds before brewing. 
  • Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract – It’s naturally sweet on its own and is an amazing way to wean yourself off of using added sugar or sweeteners. Just stir in a couple drops. 
  • Grass-fed butter + Coconut oil – While adding butter to your coffee may sound odd to you, the effect of adding a healthy fat such as coconut oil to your coffee is that it creates a fullness and helps with energy levels. Grass-fed butter and coconut oil will add natural creaminess especially when you blend it into your coffee with a hand blender (don’t just stir it in), and make sure to use organic unsalted grass-fed butter – here are my picks. A tablespoon of coconut oil by itself is also used to fight off cravings, especially for sugar.
  • Sea Salt – Seems counter intuitive, but did you know that adding a pinch of sea salt to a pot of coffee can help to enhance the natural sweetness? It’s been shown that salt reduces bitterness, so your coffee will seem sweeter without any sugar. Just be sure to only add a little pinch (either to the grounds before brewing or to the entire pot) and don’t go overboard or your coffee will taste salty! I like to use this along with one of the other options above. 

Have you tried any of these in your coffee?

If you are used to the hyper-sweetened drinks from coffee shops these might take a little bit of time to get used to, but I know from personal experience that when you start implementing these healthier substitutes your body will start to crave them – and the cravings for sugar become less and less. 

Pretty much everyone can agree that processed food and sugar are diet killers, and do nothing good for the body, yet sugar seems to control our lives and many of us struggle with uncontrollable cravings and mood swings that make it seem impossible to stop.

But it is very possible! Many people have done it and have seen their health soar (and the pounds melt off) as a result! My entire team recently completed the Food Babe 7-Day Sugar Detox Program and all felt amazing positive effects. I want to help you feel your best too, and invite you to join us! 

Sugar Detox Program_Questions

Here’s what you get instantly when you join:

  • Intro Guide – I’ll show you how to avoid hidden sugar traps and move forward to a healthy relationship with your body and food cravings. You’ll learn the facts about what sugar does to the body and why this detox is so life-changing.
  • 7-Day Sugar Detox Plan – This will break down exactly how you are going to be eating, where to find strategies to reduce your sugar cravings, and where to spot all the hidden sugars that might be lurking in your pantry and life!
  • 7-Day Sugar Detox Recipe Guides – Two sets of Sugar Detox recipes for 7 days. Whether you are a vegan, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian or a meat eater, I’ve got you covered. Delicious real-food breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes that are free of grains and refined sugar, along with shopping lists.
  • After Detox Guide – Everything you’ll need to know to carefully adjust your body back to a regular diet and the learn the best way to still enjoy sweets without the sugar highs and lows.
  • Weekly Food Journal – The ultimate tool to hold yourself accountable and keep yourself on track.
  • Exclusive Instructional Videos – I personally walk you through the program,  give you advice for when nighttime sugar cravings hit, and provide info on healthier sugar swaps to make your detox a piece of cake!
  • Private Sugar Detox Forum – Interact with other people on the 7 Day Detox plan just like you. This is a place where we can support and cheer each other on! I’ve found that having a community to back you up and help hold you accountable is so valuable to achieving success. I also love that this will be a place where we can privately share our experiences without judgement – since a lot of us are all facing the same type of struggles!

Join us here now! Let’s detox from sugar together.

Hope to see you there.




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38 responses to “Don’t Add Sugar To Your Coffee – Here’s What To Do Instead!

  1. Store bought almond milk is processed food full of bad additives. I’d rather have milk.

      1. Do you have a recommendation for a good blender for making your own almond milk and for juicing veggies? Thank you

  2. Hi Vani,
    What can you recommend for a person who doesn’t have the money to follow your recommended healthy eating advice? I see almond milk in the stores but when I read that it’s bad or full of additives then I get discouraged from buying it. As with a lot of other foods. What’s a girl on a budget to do? Is there an alternate option for those of us who don’t have the means of making “our own” heathy options of foods and drink? I want to do this sugar detox that you are heading up however, I’m afraid that it will be too expensive to follow though. Please advise…
    Kind regards,

    1. Jane – all the foods on the program are simple foods – nothing is outrageous and most can be found at any market. Making your own almond milk for example is one of the cheapest things you can do and avoid all the additives! You just need a cup of raw almonds 🙂 Also – if almond milk isn’t right for you, you can choose other things too – we provide a lot of flexibility and options. Here’s a blog post that might help!

      1. I’ve been loving homemade cashew milk lately. For me, the flavor is better than almond—and, big bonus, you don’t have to strain it if your blender is at least fairly good.

      2. Its easy to get the almonds or coconut, now my problem is coming up with a big chunk of money to buy a good blender or processor. I’ve never had a credit card in my life because I have NO credit, not bad, and sadly can’t make payments on one. I’d love a solution for this!

  3. I like your suggestions to sweeten coffee. What is your opinion of using xylitol or stevia to sweeten coffee?

  4. A healthier creamer is what I’ve been searching for. What do you think of Nutpods?

    1. Robert, try this recipe. I swear it’s the creamiest, most delicious non-dairy cream you’ll every have. Equipment needed: high-speed blender. A regular blender works too but the end result is a little chunky.
      – 1 c. raw cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained (best: organic nuts)
      – 2 c. filtered water
      – 1 14 oz. can Trader Joe’s coconut cream (TJ’s brand is solid cream down to the bottom of the can + no BPA lining)

      Combine all ingredients in your blender and whiz on high for about 45 seconds. Store in a bottle with airtight cap for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

  5. Is there an in between sugar substitute? All of those mentioned in this article do not sweeten the way sugar does and for a person like myself will not work.

  6. Honestly, when I first watched your live sugar detox video last night on Facebook, I was so mad because I thought I wouldn’t have time or money to make my own coconut milk. Now, after watching this video…I am motivated!! Thanks Vani! I love being a part of the FoodBabe Army!

  7. What about Truvia? I remember hearing from you and Doctor Oz that it’s the most reccomended alternative brand of sugar for coffee, plus it’s non addictive.

      1. Thanks so much Pam. Now I know which type of Stevia is safe and what is not. I usually buy the Great Value version from Walmart or the Stevia Blend from Kroger, but I saw none of those listed. I guess those are safe, right?

  8. Just learned about Food Babe, thank you for what you do to help keep the people Eating Clean healthy foods and I’ m going to say from God’s garden. Blessings to all

  9. Hi Vani! I am amazed that u are beginning to talk about this at the time I was looking for a way to end my sugar addiction. I had started following u a couple years ago and lost about 70 lbs, just from changing my diet. After a traumatic event in my life and quitting cigarettes, I started eating junk again. I had never given up sugar, but thought it was OK if it was organic. I still binged. Then I started eating ice cream and then I started eating candy. I messed up my dental work, and have gained about 45 lbs back. I actually avoided reading labels because I didn’t want to face the fact that I was eating chemicals and gmos again. I was using a ton of sugar in my tea. I bought a 10 lbs bag of organic sugar every month and I used to run out. Then add the candy and ice cream… Omg. I didn’t write it down when you said to start keeping track, but I did start getting honest with myself. No wonder I have all of this chronic pain in my body! I’m ready to start using a cane. The final blow was when I was was taking a nap with my 5 yr old, and my 12 year old ate a whole bag of kit Kat’s and a bag of recees by herself while I was sleeping! This is insane. And I’m done. I am going to do this. I emailed you to see if I would be able to make payments for the detox. I didn’t get an answer. I live on disability and that’s a big chunk for me. If you can’t, that’s fine. U got me motivated and I will be seeking out solutions no matter where I go. I got 3 great things out of your video yesterday. 1) I need to set some personal rules. Rule number one is nothing is coming in my house. 2)that I will be able to taste and appreciate the real flavors of natural food when I no longer eat sugar. 3) your frothed coconut milk and cinnamon idea for coffee! I don’t have a brother, so I started looking online for an alternative. I found a cool one I wanted to share with you. A tea ball with a handle, which I happen to have! I am so going to do this! Thanks for getting me started Vani! BTW, my daughter is on board and we are going to do it together! I am so excited!

  10. I have a sweet tooth. I stopped the suger by using coconut oil, cinnamon and organic creamer. I love it!

  11. Steaming coconut milk with a bit of grassfed butter makes a nice latte!! Do you have any insights on coconut sugar?

  12. Hi, I drink coffee on and off, but when I have it I love to whip one expresso up with a spoon of coconut oil and little spoon of cacao nibs – it’s like chocolate cappuccino! Love it! I’ll try to add the butter next time!
    Foodbabe thank you for all you do!

  13. Vitamix blenders are great! And, they will let you make payments, no credit needed.

  14. Long time reader but the first time commented. Thanks for your website. Have found it to be very informational and educational. I dropped sugar (mostly out of my diet) about a year ago and have been doing the vanilla extract thing myself – leftover from all my previous Starbucks addictions. I think the Vanilla fools me in to thinking my morning coffee is sweeter than it is.

  15. I actually add sugar to coffee and I am not intending to do otherwise. The no-sugar tip does not apply to everyone. For people with low blood pressure adding sugar to coffee can do wonders. Let’s not forget that every single item we call a “poison” in a tiny amount can be actually health promoting. The key is the amount. That includes coffee, sugar, water, and salt. Here is why I drink my espresso and avoid any ill-health surprises.

  16. Totally agree, I personally love to add cinnamon to my coffee and the smell and taste help calm me. I feel like not adding sugar to my coffee is making me feel less tired throughout the day.

  17. I Mae my own coconut coffee creamer from Dr.Axe’s website, then add a tsp of coconut oil. Yummy!

  18. Vani, I couldn’t agree more. I applaud you for what you’re doing to get people off of sugar.

    As far as coffee goes, I have a suggestion on how to pass up sugar. Most people expect coffee to taste bitter and burnt. That’s why they add sugar, cream, milk, whip cream, chocolate, caramel, sprinkles, etc.

    Coffee was never intended to taste bitter and burnt. Thanks to Charbucks, Maxwell House, and the other industrial coffee companies, most of us have never experienced really good smooth coffee. It’s really not to hard. Just search the internet for “Smooth Coffee”, “Smoothest Coffee”, or “Smooth Coffee Beans”. There are options there that will taste so good, that you wont’ want to add sugar.

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