Do you want sugar or trans fat with your coffee?


Have you tried coffee creamer with your coffee?

A reader sent me a couple of pictures from an Air Europa flight. The only thing they offered with coffee was a package of powder, like the one above. Guess what’s inside? 



The creamer is mostly sugar. The next ingredient is “partially hydrogenated vegetable fat”. Translation: TRANS FAT.

As a bonus the airline offers a number of additives, such as stabilizer, coloring agents, anti-caking agent and emulsifiers.

The reader complained about the poisoning attempt and asked to at least get a small package of milk instead. The answer? The powder was all they had and “even people in business class got this”. How comforting!

A question

Do you drink coffee from a coffee vending machine at work? Do you choose “milk”? Do you think there’s real milk in your machine?

There isn’t. Real milk would turn bad within an hour. Instead there’s something that keeps forever, probably the same poison as on Air Europe.


More examples of similar poisoning attemps


Top comments

  1. Mark John
    The irony - they warn you about the (no doubt) tiny amount of lactose in the creamer but feel it's OK to poison you with trans fats. No farting please but dying is fine.

    It's just "plane" madness!

    Replies: #37, #44
    Read more →
  2. Boundless
    > I've actually seen people voluntarily choose fake creamer
    > powder when regular 1/2 & 1/2 is sitting next to it! What is
    > wrong with these people?

    Ancelkeysitis, an acute form of lipophobia, although often curable, being entirely psychosomatic.

    I'm told that my late father-in-law referred to artificial creamers as "creamate". Seems a fitting name for the majority of them.

    Read more →

All comments

  1. robert
    I've tried artificial coffee-creamer once in my life. It was more than 10 years ago. I wasn't too fuzzy about food at that time.

    Nevertheless my taste-buds made themselves heard in an unmistakable way and the unanimous decision was made never to taste something like that again. Ever.

    I can't tell you what it was, but it just didn't taste right.

  2. Mark John
    The irony - they warn you about the (no doubt) tiny amount of lactose in the creamer but feel it's OK to poison you with trans fats. No farting please but dying is fine.

    It's just "plane" madness!

    Replies: #37, #44
  3. Rita
    Several times now, I've actually seen people voluntarily choose fake creamer powder when regular 1/2 & 1/2 is sitting next to it! What is wrong with these people?
    Reply: #5
  4. Lori Miller
    When I figured out that cream doesn't agree with me, I learned to take my coffee black.
  5. Boundless
    > I've actually seen people voluntarily choose fake creamer
    > powder when regular 1/2 & 1/2 is sitting next to it! What is
    > wrong with these people?

    Ancelkeysitis, an acute form of lipophobia, although often curable, being entirely psychosomatic.

    I'm told that my late father-in-law referred to artificial creamers as "creamate". Seems a fitting name for the majority of them.

  6. Eric Anderson
    I ask for REAL butter (Needs to be in original package) and have butter with coffee
    Sometimes real cream and or half and half is available

    Anchor brand seems to be common on International flights

    Hard boiled eggs

    I do not trust Airlines food
    Like taco bell they sometimes add sugar to meat

    Reply: #8
  7. Marcy
    When all I am offered is that nasty fake powdered coffee whitener, I ask for a separate glass of whole milk. I isn't as lovely as beautiful full cream, but it is better than the alternative mix of chemical toxins.
  8. Boundless
    > I do not trust Airlines food

    "Airline food" is probably a contradiction in terms.

    In addition to the usual compromises of over-processed pre-prepared fast foods, airlines place a high value on something we almost never factor into terrestrial food shopping: weight.

    Supposedly, the airlines are keenly interested in the new powdered alcohol for this reason. In that case, they need to do the math, as the predominant weight in most adult beverages is the water. Boarding the booze as a binary is apt to save no weight at all.

    As if we needed another reason not to fly ...

    A plane trip does make a great opportunity to indulge in intermittent fasting.

  9. Emma
    I thought that in EU, it wasn't allowed anymore to use the word "cream" in the coffee product if it doesn't contain any cream. (That's when the name "whitening" comes to play) But I guess I was wrong. Anyway, it's misleading the consumer to think that the main ingredient of this product would be cream, or at lest dairy.
  10. Juliet
    I feel so foolish because for years I used "creamer" in my coffee, thinking it was a safer choice than real cream or half and half. I never questioned from what ingredients the creamer was made. And at the same time, I had totally bought into the low-fat, vegan diet. I guess i thought a traditional low calorie diet would be effective. Sure I'd lose some weight, but I would lose muscle along with the fat and then a few months later, I would gain back the weight, but most of what I gained back was body fat. But I blindly repeated this process, over and over again -- going on low fat low diets, even though these diets were not so discerning on content -- as long as the calories - and fat calories - were low. No wonder nothing worked for me. I'm now trying to undo the damage that I did to myself! Well better late than never, as the saying goes. I've been about 3.5 months into LCHF. And seeing steady improvement -- although it is slow change, since i am very close to goal weight. The only problem with my using cream in coffee is that the calories are higher so that leaves fewer calories to be spent on other foods throughout the day. On the other hand, i am eating enough protein and don't want toexceed the protein or carbs, so i would be eating fat any way. But a real bonus is that the extra fat percentage that I am now gaining fom LCHF has radically improved my skin, and this was totally unexpected!
  11. Juliet
    I guess I should learn to drink my coffee black or eliminate coffee drinking altogether and spend more calories on healthier fats like coconut oil but I do enjoy the heavy cream in coffee, and I have so few vices left! Still, if this vice (using lots and lots of cream in coffee) is keeping me from attaining my body composition goals, it will need to be changed, I admit, but it won't be easy. I have already changed everything else --so this is my last crutch, but the cream did help me to give up all of the other bad dietary practices, so it was temporarily useful. So now I have only one thing to change - most of the hard work has ALREADY been done!

    Has anyone else had this problem? How did you get over it? Any advice or encouragement for me.

    Reply: #12
  12. robert
    Why are you so obsessive about not having cream in your coffee? And if you think the cream doesn't do you any good try butter. Relax and enjoy real food. Use your intellect and knowledge when you shop for food and then just let your body do its thing. If the choice of available foods is safe, just eat what the gut wants. You may end up drinking a cup of cream on one day, but why not?
  13. Murray
    Juliet, so glad to hear your skin is improving. I noticed that as well after going LCHF.

    I would not worry about the extra calories in cream, especially only about 3.5 months Into LCHF. It is good quality fat if you get good quality cream. (I assume you mean heavy cream--35% milk fat.) One local commercial dairy cream has nine ingredients! Cream should have one ingredient--cream. There is some sugar in cream (sweet cream), but not a lot in heavy cream. I have an ounce of 35% cream as dessert some times. I find it makes my stomach feel really nice and it quenches any lingering craving I might have. Generally, though, I prefer a good creme fraiche, which is essentially yoghurt made from heavy cream, so it's cream without the sugar and with probiotics. As my dairy guy Daniel says, everything is better with creme fraiche. I'll eat creme fraiche in place of yoghurt for breakfast. Sadly, I can't get creme fraiche all year from cows on grass. Butter I get lots when the cows are on fast growing grass (lots) and freeze it to last until the nest spring or autumn. The fast growth in autumn is the best, as the milk then has the highest levels of CLA, retinol, vitamin k2, etc.

    As for the calories, I make my wife a "Bulletproof" coffee each weekday morning. I use 28 grams cultured butter (no sugar in it) and 2 tablespoons of caprylic acid (one of the fats in MCT oil or coconut oil), blended into a nice foamy emulsion. That is over 400 calories of fat. I didn't tell her how much fat there was, she just really liked the richness. She gained no weight from the extra 400 calories for breakfast (even though she is not LCHF like me) and later remarked that she is not as hungry as she used to be at lunch and dinner. She has ended up eating a lot less rice and other starch to fill up when she used to be hungry. She also has a lot more mental energy working into the afternoon. No more mid morning blood sugar lows.

  14. Daci
    The cheapest,vile ingredients money can buy! Wow! That's just disturbing and to think we were deceived into thinking this crap was "healthy"!
  15. Galina L.
    I found a way to take a heavy cream with me on long flights - I pour some of it into an empty container from magnesium citrate.
  16. Juliet
    Murray - yes I do mean heavy cream, not half-and-half, added to my morning coffee. It does totally cut out any carb cravings I used to have when I first went LCHF. And it solved the problem of how to "lighten" my morning coffee. Also, it keeps me so satiated that I can go hours without eating - but I am already close to normal, so I am not ultra low body fat, but maybe that is an unrealistic goal. I have been working out at crossfit 3 times per week and done some cardio also like jogging and / or fast walking 1-2x per week, and have built nice muscle tone and improved my body composition -- in fact, others -- friends relatives, crossfit coaches have rmarked to me that they noticed big improvements and commented so, but on the scale, not much difference. And although all visceral fat and intramuscular fat is gone, i still do have some subcutaneous fat (midriff), that i would like to shed, but it doesn't appear to have changed much YET. So that is why I need to not worry about it yet, just stay the course and see what i look like 6 months from now. I know that I am already very close to optimum weight but I would like to be a little leaner. But I do want to stay very low carb and lose body fat -- I think it is just not a fast process. Thus my interest in lowering my daily calorie consumption - that is why I thought giving up using so much cream (i am spending about 600+ calories/day on cream) might help -- so that my body will have to burn its own subcutaneous fat stores -- not just dietary fat.
    Reply: #25
  17. Juliet
    Robert, you are right, cream is not bad, I realize that. But I just want to get leaner, faster. That is a fast process when you are large and need to she'd a lot of fat, but not easy when you are a petite female already very close to your goal weight/body-fat level. You simply can't get away with eating a lot of any kind of calorie, while trying to reach that low level. Once you reach that goal, you can relax a lot, but not until then.
  18. Juliet
    Galina, can you get through airport security with cream in a container? I have never tried it.
    Reply: #19
  19. Galina L.
    Yes, you can. First of all, the container is small, so I don't think it is the illegal amount of fluids. Also, I have never been even questioned probably because the opaque plastic magnesium container doesn't look like it contains fluids.
  20. Kat
    I never drink coffee on airplanes because it's usually not very good with or without cream, but I really like Galina's idea. Airport security won't question you anyway. They don't examine the liquids. In England my liquids were randomly chosen to be tested. Of course the woman chose my most expensive cream to squeeze out a large dollop onto the cotton wool and test for explosives in the "we're totes gonna catch a terrorist this way, we promise" charade. That's the most scrutiny that stuff ever gets.

    I've also taken to baking my own flax bread (ground flax, olive oil and eggs, basically) and hauling it with me in my luggage. In a pinch, a little cheese on flax bread with a bit of watercress on top is a good meal on the go.

    Reply: #45
  21. Galina L.
    It is legal to carry small amounts of liquids through the security check points in airports.
    Coffee on a board is usually bad, and only heavy cream makes it drinkable.
  22. erdoke
    My recent discovery: Mascarpone cream 'cheese' that comes with 45 % fat and 2-4 % carbs. I often find myself eating it with the spoon that was used to add some to the coffee. :o)
    It is also a good source of fun when you check out the official guidance:
    "The good: This food is very low in Sodium.
    The bad: This food is very high in Saturated Fat."
    "Weight loss: half stars"
  23. Galina L.
    I just want to remind everyone that if somebody could drink heavy cream, eat mascarpone cheese with a spoon and loose weight, it may be not your case. After a person lost weight and his/her body is in a fat-reduces state, it is possible to gain weight overeating a LC food. It is especially true for middle-aged females.
  24. erdoke
    It goes without saying that there is no need to force down more food than what feels good. If still worried, counting calories might make some sense in this special case.
  25. murray
    Sounds like you have been shedding fat and gaining muscle, so the weigh scale has not changed much. Why is that such a problem?

    I gave up weighing myself and just do an abs check in the mirror and notch test on the belt. Weight varies too much day to day for me. Subcutaneous fat varies also, but at least I know the difference is fat and not water retention, water loss or muscle change.

    It sounds like your appetite is fairly accurate if you are near ideal weight. LCHF to appetite is not a weight loss diet to take you below ideal weight. For that, I would recommend eating very light dinners and waking up a little hungry. You may have to reduce some cream.

    Or reduce the intense exercise. I did a two-week trip to Italy with my daughter, eating a lot of cheese and low-carb meals and did a lot(!) of walking. I thought I was eating too much and so without really trying, I returned back home at my lightest weight since I was 18.

  26. Galina L.
    I guess many people discovered like me that the maintenance diet should be more strict than the diet which led to a weight loss. During two-three years into LCarbing I could eat LC deserts and snack without any weight regain. Now in order not to regain weight I should not eat snacks, late meals, more than 2 meals a day on a regular basis. Eating mascarpone cheese made my clothes tighter. I am completely satisfied and not hungry on two LC meals and cup of coffee, but if I eat more often even LC food, I will gain fat. I checked my leptine level last summer - it was low, the logical occurrence after loosing weigh now and after a life-long practice of going on diets and pushing myself into too much with exercising in attempts not to regain fat too fast. I am 53, which is also a factor.
    I exercise now because it brings me joy and I never force myself like I did it before, some of my activities are muscle-building, I also do fair amount of walking besides exercising. I would never advice anyone in a fat-reduced state to toss her scale.
    Reply: #28
  27. Marcy
    Galina, I am exactly like you. I lost 70 pounds about 15 years ago with LCHF. I do find that now that I am almost 63 years old, I am like you in that I can't eat more than 2 meals a day, and those are breakfast and lunch--I try to stop eating at noon, I have found that at my age this is the only way to maintain most of the 70 pound weight loss. And like you, I do have to watch my intake of even LCHF food. My history is just like yours, life-long dieter and too much exercise in fear of gaining whatever weight I had lost. In the end, everyone is a bit different and you have to tweak here and there to see what works for you.
    Reply: #29
  28. murray
    "Eating mascarpone cheese made my clothes tighter. "

    See? You didn't need a scale to determine mascarpone cheese is yellow light food for you.

    A weigh scale was indispensable when I had more body fat. The problem with a scale is that it weighs lean body mass, water and fat all together. So one number does not tell a lot once you are in normal range for body fat. With cycling now in season I was doing serious steep hill interval training on the weekend and I expect my leg muscles got stronger ... and heavier. Did I gain body fat on the weekend? The scale is useless for that. However, a look in the mirror and abdominal pinch tell me much more accurately what is happening. My scale purports to measure percent body fat, but even that I found unreliably variable day to day. Abdominal subcutaneous fat also varies day to day, but at least I know the variation is amount of fat. Even the mirror test is variable, as I found abdominal definition increases after a hot shower (I presume the fat becomes more fluid) or the day after a session on the trampoline (which presumably swells the abdominal muscles). (My son and I bounced together last night for 20 minutes. Oh, to be young again. It was fun, but humbling to be so out-bounced. He was like Spider-man compared to me.)

    I used to exercise for the joy of it, but now that I am 55, I don't do any exercise unless it has a purpose or is fun. I walk, run and sprint with the dog every morning, to keep him fit and amused. I train just enough to be able to enjoy activities such as mountain biking, kayaking, skiing and such.

    Reply: #30
  29. Galina L.
    I appreciate a lot the blog of that young woman - - who lost 160 lb and managed to keep it off for ten years.
  30. Galina L.
    Watching scale gives me better awareness and motivates me, it is like reading blogs. State of mind matters for keeping the lost weight off.Scale numbers are not very informative, of course. Lately many people started to tell me that I lost weight, which is not true, but I did gained some muscles. I think the muscle-building happens very slowly especially for ladies after 50. I am indeed getting stronger since I picked a new for me fitness activity - pole fitness- at the end of October. I also do rollerskating, yoga, tai-chi, and zumba.
  31. Marcy
    Galina, thanks for that blog. It does look like something that is of interest to me. I can't wait to read it all, starting right now!
  32. Molly
    Galina, Murray, Marcy - Thankyou for your comments :)

    I am slightly younger than you (41), but it is very true that after a certain age, weight drops much more slowly, and less food is needed for maintenance. I will be reading that blog as well !

    I tell my weight loss primarily by the measuring tape. I measure bust, waist, tummy*, hips , legs and upper arms. I have had *months* where the scale hasn't moved, but in that time I've lost 8cm off my tummy and the same off my hips..

    *Tummy - about an inch below the navel - hips are about three inches below the navel.

  33. Marcy
    Thanks Molly. I have been reading the blog sent from Galina. Some of it is a bit complicated for me, but I have gotten some very useful information. Sad, but true, some of us must curtail calories as well as carbs. I knew it.
  34. Galina L.
    I am glad to be of some help.
  35. sal
    I'm new to the site, can you tell me what bullet proof coffee is, Thanks
    Reply: #36
  36. erdoke
    I hate to do this, but...
  37. Mark
    When it comes to people being allergic to milk it's usually to a protein. Whilst there are plenty of people who are lactose intolerant this is not the same thing as being allergic.
    There are also a great many people who are glucose intolerant, better known as diabetics.
    If warnings are going to be put on "fake milk" then it might make rather more sense to do so about things absent from actual milk.
    In the case of “partially hydrogenated vegetable fat” the actual problem is likely to be more that the resulting fatty acids are completly alien to biology, rather than simply containing trans bonds. Real milk fat contains CLA, even in forms containing trans bonds, is not in the least bit harmful to humans.
    Reply: #38
  38. robert
    This kind of warning would have to be extended to quite a lot of other products. Not because of the milk or cream, but due to all the other stuff that is in there.

    Ice-cream for example. I do have some a couple of times a year - I make an effort to get the real stuff with milk, cream & vanilla. Maybe not the best example for this place, but a lot of people eat a lot of it. So you could say I chose it for the common good.

    It is quite shocking that even the high-priced stuff hardly contains any cream anymore. As usual the list of ingredients is longer than expected and you will find various soy products and the weasel-term "vegetable fat". Now, everybody expects to find sugar in ice-cream, no question about that. But this silent invasion of these nondescript vegetable fats (could be the worst kind) gives me the creeps. This is the same shitty business as with the "fake cheese".

  39. Juliet
    Galina, Marcy, Molly...
    Yes, I am having the same experience that you describe. For post-40 post-50 post-60 yr old women, who are generally smaller boned than the average man, calories cannot be ignored. Sure, men can ignore them, but the average woman cannot if she wants to maintain an ultra lean state. Men just don't understand this. I do Crossfit 3x week and jog and am in very good shape, great posture, no height loss, and fairly strong, good endurance, etc., with great lipid results, etc., but even so, I must very carefully watch my daily calorie intake or I will not lean out. And I am afraid of adding body fat. I don't say "gain weight" because to me scale weight is not very important. I periodically have my body fat analyzed professionally by a company that performs under-water weighing so that I can tell if I am gaining/losing fat or muscle. I have steadily been gaining muscle every month and look so much better but I am not really losing fat. I am 5' 4" and 120 lbs, so I am close to ideal, but it is very hard for me to lean out. If I would give up consuming so much heavy cream in coffee,it might be easier to shed fat? On the other hand, maybe I would just eat the same calories with something else, so it is probably ok. I think I might want to seriously try a little Intermittent Fasting and not change my diet, at all. Maybe fasting 1 day per week would help, but even so, it won't cause rapid fat loss for me.
  40. Juliet
    Ladies, one more thing, yes I have been been doing Crossfit which is like a combination of Boot Camp plus weight training and it does wonders for your body, building dense muscle without making you look masculine, at all. However, building dense muscle will make you weigh more, so you can't really trust the scale that much. Looking in the mirror, taking selfie shots, and/or taking your (umbilical) waist measurement means a whole lot more, as does hydrostatic weighing, which is relatively expensive and not all that convenient -- maybe best done at most 2x per year to monitor your body composition - it costs about $45 per at least initially, with a $10 discount for repeat customers.
  41. Juliet
    Also I have been a runner for years and i think it can help you lean out by consuming extra calories, but you will also lose muscle, if you aren't careful, and will gain the weight back, with more fat, less muscle and you won't look as good. So I think women really need to do several things to remain lean: diet (LCHF), exercise (cardio, HIIT, AND weight training!), adequate sleep, hydration (water) and even so, it is not easy -- but it is worth it.
  42. Marcy
    Juliet, true. I know for a fact as a life-long dieter that men and women are different when it comes to weight loss. I am just a bit shorter than you and for the brief moment in time that I was 120 pounds from extreme LCHF, intermittent fasting and copious amounts of exercise, I was very thin, at least for my bone frame. I did put a great deal of wear and tear on my knee joints and back from all the exercise to maintain that weight and finally had to stop and just do easier walking, Pilates and Yoga. I am about 15 pounds up from my low of 120 and will admit I felt better about 5-10 pounds ago, but I just can't go through all that exercise any more to maintain that. You do remind me so much of me about 10 years ago. Without seeing you I would say you are pretty much an ideal weight as you are. I would be thrilled to be that weight again, keep up the good, hard work.
  43. Juliet
    Marcy, I am "ok" with my weight - not sure how important the number is - but i can tell you that i am way less lean than I was years ago no matter what the scale says - II guess due to being older and maybe being less insulin sensitive and/or leptin sensitive.
    My goal is to improve fitness levels as much as I can by this fall -- giving myself another 4 or 5 months to add more (5) pounds of dense (not large) muscle - and build bone density, hopefully -- and maybe then try to work in some IF to lower body fat after that Improving health indicators for me should come first -- aesthetic issues later. Still, I am typically female and want to look fabulous "yesterday"! LOL
    Some of the very fit women who are about my size weigh a lot more than I do -- but they have a lot of dense ( not large) muscle - so we shouldn't worry too much about scale weight. But I do know that most of them eat some version of LCHF and exercise 3+ hours per day. I will never do that much exercise, so realistically I can't plan to be that lean, but I can improve a little bit.
    It's all relative! A few years ago, I was super fitted low body-fat% but it was extremely difficult to maintain that low a BF% for very long, so I am not trying for that now.
  44. Lara
    That sounds lovely

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