8 Ways to Make Your Coffee (or Tea) Healthier

On its own coffee is packed with health-giving antioxidants, but it’s rarely the health drink it could be thanks to the ways most people customize it (think: Starbuck’s GMO-laden Pumpkin Latte). The same is true for tea. Here are 7ways to make your coffee or tea a whole lot healthier:

Choose organic coffee or tea. Both crops tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides (sometimes ones that are banned in North America but legal in countries where these crops are grown) so you may be getting more than just coffee or tea when you select anything but organic.

Choose fair trade for a healthy conscience. Coffee is big business. According to the United Nations it is the second most widely traded commodity (after oil). As such its growth and harvesting is subjected to a wide variety of exploitive labor conditions, including child labor in some countries.

Skip the sugar. Or if you must have it, select a sweetener like organic coconut sugar which has fewer grams of sugar (3 grams) than white or brown sugar (4 grams).† It doesn’t sound like a big difference but over time that means you’ll have cut your sugar consumption by 25 percent with almost no effort. Coconut sugar contains natural minerals like chromium that aid sugar metabolism in your body.

Pass on the flavor syrups. Most are made with high fructose corn syrup which has been linked to weight gain and obesity.† They also contain artificial flavors and preservatives like potassium sorbate or sodium benzoate. Potassium sorbate has been shown in human studies to be both genotoxic and mutagenic. That means it damages the genetic material and can cause mutations linked to disease. Sodium benzoate converts to the carcinogen benzene in the body.

Discover the coffee extras that are linked to weight gain…Say sayonara to sugar-free syrups and artificial sweeteners. If you’re thinking that you’re safe because you only use sugar-free syrups and artificial sweeteners, think again.† Not only do these syrups usually contain the above-mentioned preservatives, they also typically contain one of the following synthetic sweeteners:† Splenda, Sweet’n Low, or AminoSweet.† Contrary to what the manufacturer claims, Splenda (sucralose) was shown by Duke University scientists to increase body weight, be absorbed by fat cells, and reduce beneficial intestinal flora by 50 percent (which further contributes to weight gain and inflammatory illnesses).† Sweet’n Low (saccharin) is a coal tar derivative that has been linked to breathing difficulties, headaches, skin eruptions, and diarrhea.† AminoSweet (the new name for the aspartame) has been linked to an enormous list of health conditions, including: brain tumors, depression, headaches and migraines, joint pain, chronic fatigue, and more.

Skip the whip. Adding whipped cream to your coffee adds about 100 calories to each drink.† That’s an extra 36,500 calories a year if you only drink one a day.

Pick milk alternatives over cows milk. If you’re going to add milk to your coffee, it’s best to pick almond, rice, organic soy (other soy is genetically-modified) milk. Cow’s milk is not the health food the dairy bureaus would have us believe it is. Read my articles 11 Reasons to Stop Eating Dairy and Harvard Declares Dairy Not Part of a Healthy Diet.

Forego the coffee whitener. It is made from corn syrup solids (almost always genetically-modified) and trans fats.† The companies are not required to report the trans fats because the serving size is small but it’s a lot of trans fats when you drink this stuff a few times a day, every day.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe
Too Much Coffee? Let’s Check the Research!


Clare O
Clare O25 days ago

I sometimes add a few grains of sugar if the coffee is bitter.

Clare O
Clare O25 days ago

Thanks. If you use milk from cattle grazed outside, like Irish cattle are, you get the benefit of the green grass they eat.

Lynn Rubal
Lynn Rubal2 years ago

I love my coffee!!!!!!!:):):):)

Panchali Yapa
Panchali Y3 years ago

Thank you

Kamia T.
Kamia T3 years ago

Until I get my order of shade coffee, I'm passing on it. Still drinking tea, but am now looking for an old-fashioned tea ball to soak in my cup, and trying to find tea vendors that I like. It was soooo much easier when we didn't have to worry about every single thing we put on or in our bodies, wasn't it?

Siti R.
Siti R3 years ago

love the days when organic didn't factor so much into a food dictionary. over in Asi,a we are pretty lax about organic foodstuffs. most people couldn't afford the high prices but we have survived. it all boils down to over consumption and convenience. other areas of interest ought to be highlighted instead of organic these organic that! seriously folks, more than half the world is starving. please don't waste not just food but yr energy on these topics. no wonder the 1 0r 10% is living it up at our expense. i wonder who hold the reins in FDA..

Dolores M Goytia
Dolores M Goytia3 years ago

Thank you for this informative article on coffee, the sweeteners, etc., but you're talking about ground coffee. It would be a good idea if you included where to find the sweeteners, i.e., coconut, etc., and how much to use. What about instant coffee? Does the same information apply to instant as does with ground coffee? I only drink one cup a day with International Delight, sometimes I don't drink any coffee at all. But at least once a week I go out with my sister and we usually drink two to three cups of coffee with our meal, we have been using Splenda for years and when we don't we use International Delight Gourmet Coffee Creamer. It's made in the US and is labeled as Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, 0g Trans Fat and use one tablespoon.

Robert O.
Bob B3 years ago

I recently did some research and found that coffee made with permanent filters contains bad Cholesterol, but coffee made with paper filters doesn't.

Paper filters have a tighter less porous structure than permanent filters. So paper filters are able to filter out the bad Cholesterol while permanent filters have larger holes that let the bad Cholesterol pass thru.

If you switch to paper filters, it's healthier to use the unbleached type (they are light brown colour).

Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago


Julie C.
Julie C3 years ago

There are more fair trade products available all the time. It always make me feel better to find one.