What’s in your coffee cup?
I’ve fulfilled my intern duties with a coffee run. Iced Americanos for everyyyyyyybody!
Now that we have the office on an espresso high, let’s get to talking about WHAT WE’RE PUTTING IN OUR COFFEE CUPS.
I tend to assume everyone is as obsessed with coffee as me. Tea drinkers are in denial….I will convert you! ;) just kidding, steep on my herb-loving friends.
Today I’m looking at the fun, fancy and fattening ingredients that invade our coffee cups and sabotage our indulgence.
If coffee is a daily (or, you know, hourly) occurrence, then the sugary and fatty additions will add up quickly. ***If a caramel frappuccino is a twice-a-year treat, then girrrl you get that whip cream!***
The cup of coffee itself, the heavenly-scented and dark-roasted liquid crack, begins with an innocent 5 calories plus metabolism-boosting properties. Drinking your coffee BLACK is probably the “healthiest” way to go. (I recommend sipping through a straw though to save your teeth!)
Let’s be honest though…..black coffee is no fun.
Not when there are 168534 possible combinations of flavors and styles for the caffeinated concoction.
My personal FAVE of the moment: Iced Americano with non-fat or almond milk plus a packet of stevia. Yummmm. This particular combo is fat-free/sugar-free. Primarily espresso, water and ice. The milk will add 10-50 calories depending on how dark you like it.
Whip Cream: topping off hot chocolate or fraps with whip cream adds 120 calories and 13 grams of fat.
**Alternative: ask for extra foam. Frothy and delicious :)
Caramel or Chocolate drizzle: sugar sugar sugar = empty calories. Just skip it.
Flavored Syrups: A grande latte is fun, but a vanilla latte is better…..flavored syrup adds 25 grams of sugar and 140 calories to a grande latte. That more than DOUBLES the sugar and calorie content of the drink.
**Alternative: ask for 2 pumps (a grande usually contains 4 pumps) of a sugar-free vanilla/hazelnut/cinnamon flavor.
….CUE the anti-artifical sweetener frenzy…..
I know, I KNOW. How can I condone “sugar-free” syrup with all of its chemicals and artifical sweeteners? Isn’t it basic Health 101 that “sugar-free” does not mean healthy?! Well, I abandoned 100% clean-eating last month so I am not a strict stickler for absolute commitment to unprocessed ingredients.
I look at it like this: for me personally, a coffee shop latte is a treat. Twice a month, maybe. So like most indulgences, the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is indulging in moderation and making healthy swaps when available. Two pumps of sugar-free syrup will not turn my healthy diet upside down, nor will it cause immediate digestive consequences.
However other alternatives include sweetening your brew with some stevia or a drizzle of honey.
Is soy milk a better choice than skim?
I had to do a little research on this. For lightening my at-home brew, I opt for almond milk because it is creamy and adds very few calories. It’s rarely an option at coffee shops though. Soy is typically available, so how healthy is the non-dairy alternative?
When it comes down to it, skim milk is lower in fat and higher in protein than soy milk. So unless you have an aversion to lactose, soy milk is not superior to skim milk.
Okay your turn. How do you pump up your coffee?
Posted on June 9, 2014, in Coffee, Healthy Habits and tagged caffeine, Calories, coffee, college, diet, espresso, fitness, health, intern, nutrition, starbucks, sugar. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.