As much as we love our high-fat, high-sugar latte coffee fix, one too many coffee drinks that often surpass 400 calories, is not a friend to your waist or overall health. In some cases, these drinks may even pack in an entire day’s worth of fat, calories, and sugar in an extra large cup. These popular beverages pack a wallop of over-the-top artificial ingredients -sugar, whipped cream, and whole milk – and let’s be honest, they also hit your wallet hard too. For example, if sugar-upped coffee is your thing and you pay $4 per drink, five days a week, you will have spent $1,000 in one year.
There is a solution without having to sacrifice your latte or other favorite coffee drink. It’s called creating a healthier beverage minus the extra sugar, fat, and other high-calorie add-ins that are kinder to your waistline and your health. You’ll still be able to savor the taste you love but transformed into a lighter go-to fancy coffee you can feel good about.
The nice thing about coffee is it actually is considered a healthy beverage – as long as sugar and fat content are kept under control. That’s because coffee is naturally rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that may help prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and cognitive disorders.
Here are a few ideas on how to order healthier coffee drinks without sacrificing taste or going overboard on calories, fat, or sugar
- Hold the whipped cream: Just this one add-on will cut about a teaspoon of sugar (or more depending on different coffee shops) saving you anywhere from 70 to 150 calories.
- Only get “just one pump” of flavoring or skip them altogether: Typically, most coffee shops will put in about three pumps of flavoring. Flavorings also add up in extra sweetness but with one pump, you’ll still get the flavor but a lot less sugar and calories.
- Stick to skim milk: Many coffee drinks include various types of milk to add such as soy, almond, coconut, or cow’s milk. The problem is these milk-based beverages each have a different nutrient profile. For instance, coconut and whole milk are loaded with calories and saturated fat. Your best bet is to stick with skim milk which has fewer calories, zero fat, but still full of flavor and calcium.
- Consider ordering hot tea sometimes: Whether black or green tea, you’ll sip up some good-for-you antioxidants and if you like, add in some milk for a richer taste.
- Be mindful of portion size: Obviously, the bigger the cup size your coffee is served in, the more calories, fat, and sugar you’ll be guzzling down. Next time, take it down a notch and think small. You’ll save calories and money by just this one tip.
- Make coffee yourself at home: The only and best way to absolutely be in total control of your coffee cup is to brew it yourself at home. You buy a fancy (and often costly) espresso machine or simply buy a bag of espresso, mix in your favorite coffee flavor and brew it in the comfort of your home. If you like, add a sprinkle of cinnamon or other spice you like and go enjoy your cup of coffee.