Avoid the fancy coffee trap

These holiday favorites can be the downfall to your healthy eating.

As the leaves turn and autumn changes to winter, the Pumpkin Spice Latte craze fades into the talk of Peppermint Mocha Lattes. Unfortunately, these sweet and frothy seasonal favorites are loaded with calories. The holiday classic, Peppermint Mocha made with espresso, steamed milk, sweet mocha sauce, peppermint syrup and topped off with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls has 440 calories and 54g of sugar in a Grande (16 oz.)!

According to the American Heart Association, people consume more sugar than they realize. It’s important to be mindful of how much sugar we consume because our bodies do not require sugar to function properly. Sugars contribute zero nutrients but instead add many calories that can lead to extra pounds or even obesity. Sugar also impacts our heart health.

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, the 15g of fat in one fancy drink/coffee is 23 percent of your daily value and saturated fat is 50 percent of daily intake! Like most of these coffee creations they potentially contain more fat and sugar than sweet treats you can actually eat—and many rack up more calories than a small meal. It is important to be mindful of our daily caloric intake to maintain a healthy life style.

Instead of ordering a macchiato and cappuccinos on a daily basis, order straight tea or coffee— both are practically calorie-free as well as having plenty of other health benefits. Regular coffee and tea can even raise your metabolism. Cinnamon can also be swapped in for sugar and cream in coffee to save 70 calories— not to mention, cinnamon actually has some health benefits of its own.

If you just can’t resist the foamy allure? the Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides the following advice:

  • Request that your drink be made with fat-free or low-fat milk instead of whole milk
  • Order the smallest size available.
  • Forgo the extra flavoring – the flavor syrups used in coffee shops, like vanilla or hazelnut, are sugar-sweetened and will add calories to your drink.
  • Skip the Whip. The whipped cream on top of coffee drinks adds calories and fat.

Michigan State University Extension recommends becoming aware of your daily consumption and provides resources and educational opportunities to assist. Find out the calorie count of your favorite beverage by searching the commercial makers’ website

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m going to skip the fancy seasonal coffee drinks this season and eat a cookie with my black coffee instead! 

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