Let’s talk coffee. I drink one cup of coffee in the morning, every morning, and if I am out and about, I like to grab a coffee from Starbucks or local coffee shop. And let’s be honest, I am a mom of a toddler so, need I say more. I also have some of my best memories drinking a morning cup of joe with some of my former coworkers/friends. But let’s talk about how the fun, specialty Starbucks drinks can be loaded with sugar and fat! If you are trying to be healthy or have wellness goals you are trying to meet, these drinks can stand in your way of making real progress. Let’s just break down a couple of the most popular drinks on the menu…
White Chocolate Mocha- Grande w/whole milk and whipped cream
Vanilla Latte- Grande w/whole milk and whipped cream
Caramel Macchiato-Grande w/whole milk
A couple of red flags stick out when I look at these numbers…
#1- there is no dietary fiber, so absolutely no health benefits.
#2- Holy Sh*t, that is a lot of sugar! Just to put a visual out there, 55 grams of sugar equivalates to about 12.6 teaspoons of sugar. Do you know that a Snickers bar has less sugar than all three of these drinks, coming in at 29grams of sugar?! And it has less calories, 271! These are basically like extra-large candy bars!
The World Health Organization guidelines recommends keeping sugar consumption below 10% of total calories and suggests keeping it below 5% for further health benefits. So, based off a 2000 calorie diet 25grams of sugar is at 5%, 50grams is at 10%, which would be the recommended max amount of daily sugar.
#3- The total fat accumulates to about 1/2 to 1/3 of your daily suggested intake of fat based off a 2000 calorie diet. The American Heart Association suggests that healthy adults limit their dietary fat to no more than 20-35% of total daily calories.
#4- There is some protein that comes from the milk, but the other macros are so saturated that it is definitely not considered a healthy protein drink.
After that little break down, you are probably wondering what you can even order. There are plenty of yummy alternative options that will keep you under the recommended guidelines and even not hinder your goals while ordering out.
- Check out the menu before you go if you can. This will enlighten you on what is really in the drinks.
- Ask the Barista how to make the drink you want in a lighter version.
- Ask for an alternative to milk. Milk has a good bit more sugars and carbs than the alternatives.
- Ask for no cane syrup be added to your drink. Instead use an alternative sweetener.
- Use sugar free flavorings.
- If you aren’t into any of that, try out a hot or iced tea instead. Most coffee shops have a variety of different teas.
- Or bring your own additions.
Drinks I order…
Iced Green Tea
- NO CANE SYRUP
- With 2 Splenda or Stevia
Matcha Green Tea Frappuccino
- NO CANE SYRUP
- With Almond milk
Blonde (insert your preferred roast) Roast coffee
- 1 pump sugar free flavoring
- 2 Splenda or Stevia
Drinks I make at home…
Folgers w/ Sugar free hazelnut or chocolate creamer w/alternative sweetener
- I usually get these at any grocery store
Folgers w/ Ripple (non dairy) half and half w/alternative sweetener
- This is a great alternative to anyone with dairy sensitivities or allergies. Ripple brand milk and half and half are derived from pea protein.
Folgers w/MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil and alternative sweetener
- MCT’s are fats that are digested easily and more easily absorbed and processed by the liver.
- MCT’s enable a healthy gut, metabolism, balance hormones, and give an energy boost.
Teas (of any kind) can have many health benefits.
Just like food, you should be aware in the drinks you order. They usually contain a lot more sugar than we imagine and can ruin any fitness goals if drank on a consistent basis. With these tips you will still be able to enjoy an outing to your local coffeeshop.