Coffee: Is Your Morning Cup Making You Fat?
You don’t have to convince me that nothing’s better than a hot cup of java to wake you up and get you moving in the morning. For many of us, we couldn’t imagine a single day without a cup of coffee. The trouble is, some, seemingly innocent coffee-based drink, can add up in fat and calories to equal more than an entire meal. It is crucial to know what to order and what to pass on when selecting your favorite cup of joe.
Coffee, in general, is a great option when cutting back on calories and practicing a healthy lifestyle. It has about 2 calories and the caffeine aids in revving up our calorie-burning metabolisms. However, when steamed milk, extra whip and chocolate syrup are added into the mix, it’s not exactly a healthy option any more. Some of our favorite drink choices can add up to over 500 calories, or the equivalent to a cheeseburger and fries.
For those of us who aren’t too familiar with the difference between a caramel mocha latte and a cappuccino, here’s some background information on some of the most popular drinks:
• Espresso: hot water mixed with slow-roasted, finely ground coffee beans
• Cappuccino: Espresso with some milk and a lot of milk foam, usually with cinnamon or cocoa powder sprinkled on top
• Latte: Espresso with added milk• Mocha: Latte with chocolate and (usually) whipped cream
• Americano: Espresso shot with hot water
• Macchiato: Espresso shot with a small amount of frothed milk
Where we have to watch is the added sugar and milk or cream we use. Every teaspoon of sugar adds 15 calories. An average shot of whipping cream adds over 50 calories and an extra 5 grams of fat to a cup of coffee.
Cappuccinos and lattes both contain milk…lots of milk. Make sure you are choosing skim or soy to keep your calorie count and fat content down. Skim milk contains around 35 calories and 0.1g of fat and soy milk contains 35 calories and 2g of fat. Compare this to adding cream, which contains around 65 calories and 3.9g of fat!Coffee syrups can also get us into trouble. The most common flavors are vanilla, hazelnut, caramel and chocolate. Each pump adds 20 calories to your drink. If you cannot be without a flavor pump, go for the sugar-free syrups which add no calories or fat and are still big on flavor.
Some common calorie counts for coffee-based drinks:• Coffee, black – 2 calories• Cappuccino – 12 oz –80-120 calories depending on milk choice• Latte – 12 oz – 120-200 calories• Mocha – 12 oz – 170-358 caloriesSome common calorie counts for coffee-extras (per tablespoon): Cream – 50 Half-and-half – 20 Whole milk – 9 Fat-free milk – 5Sugar – 50
Didn’t see your favorite drink listed above? Click here for Starbucks Nutrition Information.
The most important thing to remember is to stick with low-fat dairy, and try not to add too much sugar. So next time you’re meeting the ladies for your daily afternoon latte, take my advice, and staying trim will be a whole lot easier!