Coffee and teas are among the most consumed beverages in the United States. Many people prefer add-ins in their coffee such as sugar, syrups and cream. The variety of coffee drinks offered is huge, ranging from iced caramel macchiato to eggnog latte and Frappuccino. However, these fancy coffee drinks and their add-ins are often energy and fat dense, plus have a low nutritional value. They can range anywhere from 130 to 460 calories per 12-ounce serving.
Studies showed, coffee with add-ins consumed on a regular basis, increased daily energy intake, especially from sugar and fat. Most people are not aware or take into consideration how many calories in their drink can contribute to their daily energy intake. Over the long run, this can contribute to weight gain and health consequences.
You can check your coffee shop’s website or ask for the nutrition information in store to find out what’s in your favorite drink. Look at the ingredients list for added sweeteners such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, honey, syrup, corn syrup, sucrose and dextrose.
Here are some tips to lower the sugar and fat content of your coffee:
- Have your drink prepared with fat-free or low-fat milk instead of whole milk.
- Order a smaller size.
- Skip syrups such as vanilla or hazelnut, sweetened with sugar, to avoid adding additional calories to your drink.
- Add some extra flavoring with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg to your coffee instead of flavored syrups.
- Leave the whip cream off your drink to decrease calories and fat.
- Keep it simple, order a plain cup of coffee and add some fat-free milk or drink it black.
There is no need to skip your morning coffee, instead explore new options to enjoy your cup of java.
Contributed by Kristine James, Dietetics Student
An, R. and Y. Shi. “Consumption Of Coffee And Tea With Add-Ins In Relation To Daily Energy, Sugar, And Fat Intake In US Adults, 2001–2012”. Public Health, vol 146, 2016, pp. 1-3. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2016.12.032.
“Rethink Your Drink | Healthy Weight | CDC”. Cdc.Gov, 2015, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/healthy_eating/drinks.html#modalIdString_CDCTable_1.