Everybody loves a good cup of coffee (or 2… or 3…) to get going in the morning and stay alert throughout the day, and we know that coffee has some great health benefits to contribute to our diets. But do you know how many sneaky calories are lurking in your morning cup of joe?
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A typical cup of black coffee (no milk, no sugar, no nothing!) has very few calories — 1 to 2 calories depending on the type (instant, fresh, espresso, etc.). That’s great news, right?
Of course it is, but very few of us drink our coffee black. It’s easy to go overboard with extras to add more texture and sugar or flavor. If you go by tablespoon, sugar adds 49 calories to your cup. Fat-free milk adds 5 calories, Half-and-half adds 20, and heavy whipping cream adds 52 calories! You can see how quickly someone could arrive at a 300 calorie cup of coffee without even noticing it! Not only could your coffee be holding extra calories, but they’re generally empty calories– you’re not getting a good amount of vitamins or nutrients from the ingredients that add all those extra calories!
Even worse, if you drink popular coffee drinks from fast food or cafe type restaurants, you could be getting AN ENTIRE MEAL’S WORTH of calories in a cup! The ever popular White Mocha Latte (with whole milk, without whipped cream) from starbucks will set you back 429 calories if you order the grande (medium). And the sacred Pumpkin Spice Latte? That’s 350 calories with whole milk and without the whipped cream.
If you’re looking for ways to cut back on calories in your coffee, try the following tips:
- Try replacing at least 1 cup of coffee per day with a green tea. Sweeten with natural sweetener or honey, or go straight green!
- Limit your coffee orders from cafes. It’s easy to go overboard and you don’t always know what other ingredients (flavor syrups, etc.) might be stacking on calories.
- Use low-fat milk and natural sweeteners instead of table sugar and processed dairy creamer powders or liquids.
How do you drink your coffee? Do you think there are any caloric surprises waiting in your cup?
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