Having a cup of coffee each morning is routine for people all over the world. For some of us, however, a cup of plain, black coffee just doesn’t do the trick. Adding a little coffee creamer can wake up the flavors in your cup and make drinking it a little bit easier.
As with anything else you add to your diet, it’s important to know exactly what’s in the coffee creamers you enjoy. One of the primary ingredients and one many people don’t know about, is vegetable oil. Let’s learn a little bit more about vegetable oil and why it finds its way into your morning cup of joe. The short answer is that vegetable oil helps your creamer stay fresh for longer.
What Is Vegetable Oil?
Vegetable oils are edible oils that are extracted from plants. These oils became a major part of our lives in the earlier part of the 20th century when the process of extracting them became readily available. The oils may be extracted from plants using either an oil mill or a chemical solvent. Then they are refined, purified, and in some cases altered. Some of the most common vegetable oils on the market include corn oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, soybean oil, and coconut oil.
Vegetable oils are also known as trans fats, and are also found in several of the processed foods we consume as part of our diets each day. Mayonnaise, margarine, salad dressings, and even cookies are a few of the foods we enjoy that feature vegetable oil. But don’t forget your favorite coffee creamers.
Why Is There Vegetable Oil in Coffee Creamer?
As a type of trans fat, vegetable oil or hydrogenated oil is used by food manufacturers to keep foods tasting fresher for longer periods. This is why so many of the foods in your fridge, such as mayonnaise, have an extensive expiration date on them. The oils inside help maintain the food so you and your family can enjoy it at your leisure.
When it comes to coffee creamer, this is the same idea. They use vegetable oil to allow for longer use. That’s not the only reason vegetable oil is inside your creamer bottle, however. You’ll also find that these oils help give your coffee creamer, which is usually non-dairy, that creamy look and texture we all expect to see.
Is Vegetable Oil Bad for You?
Most people are under the impression that every form of vegetable oil is bad for you. Studies have shown that certain types of these oils are high in omega-6 which can lead to health concerns we should all be aware of such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and arthritis.
Unfortunately, when it comes to omega-6 and its effects on the human body, scientists still have a lot of research to do. Until they determine if this ingredient is overly bad for our health, it is best to avoid types of vegetable oils that are high in omega-6. Here’s a list of some of the most common:
- Corn oil
- Soybean oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Peanut oil
- Sunflower oil
- Rice bran oil
- Sesame oil
By avoiding these types of vegetable oils, you may be left trying to find a suitable situation for both cooking and enjoying your coffee with cream. Luckily, there are other types of vegetable oil out there that can be considered safer for consumption. You’ll find more food companies and several makers of coffee creamer are now adding these oils, especially coconut oil, to help stay more health-conscious while ensuring your creamer still tastes just as good.
- Coconut oil
- Almond oil
- Olive oil
- Flaxseed oil
While the jury is still out on the health benefits and pitfalls of vegetable oil, one thing is for sure, it is here to stay. As a part of your coffee creamer, it can add the rich texture and creamy look we expect to see when we add a bit to our favorite cup of joe. If you’re concerned with staying more health-conscious, that doesn’t mean you need to avoid creamer completely.
More and more coffee creamer brands are coming out with healthier alternatives to keep your jug of sweetness fresh. Take these into consideration the next time you find yourself curious about the vegetable oil in your coffee and whether it’s good for you.
Featured Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay