Recently, I met friends for a coffee and some “girl time”. It got
me thinking about the mistakes we make when we order at our favourite coffee
1. Drinking your calories. Many of the 16 oz, flavoured coffee drinks with whip cream contain more than 400 calories. Based on a diet of 2,000 calorie diet, you have just enough consumed enough calories to count as a small meal and you haven’t nourished your body or satisfied your hunger. Opt out of the whip cream to shake some of the calories.
2. Consuming too much sugar. A 16 oz, flavoured latte can contain upwards of 10 tsp of sugar. That is the daily recommended intake of sugar as set by the World Health Organization and talk about a sugar rush and crash! Ask for that drink ½ sweet.
3. Ordering a “Skinny” drink. While you will be avoiding some of the calories associated with sugar and the fat in milk, research has shown that there is still a rise in insulin levels associated with artificial sweeteners, not to mention increased health risks. They may not keep us skinny after all!
4. Increasing your caffeine intake. Health Canada has set the limit for caffeine intake at 400 mg/day and a 16 oz java can be around 175 mg. Caffeine intake affects calcium balance and bone health, blood pressure and is generally recognized as mildly toxic. Ask for that drink decaf or even half caff! Or, order tea which is naturally lower in caffeine.
5. Ordering soy as a milk substitute. Unless it is organic, 95% of soy is genetically modified and avoiding GMO’s is in our best interest.
6. Ordering skim milk. Now you are asking, what is the problem with skim milk, we are supposed to be watching our calories? When you consume sugar without fat there will be a larger swing in blood sugar and insulin levels. More sugar will be converted into fat within the body. When there is some fat consumed with the sugar, it is absorbed more slowly thus lowering blood sugar and insulin reactions.
7. You’ve dented your pocketbook. If you drink a specialty coffee priced at $5/day, 5 days a week, you will be out $100/month or $1200/year. Enough money for an all inclusive trip to Mexico or a new wardrobe.
While it is a great treat to enjoy a flavoured latte now and then, there are alternatives. Black coffee or tea, sweetened and whitened at the counter, a coffee or tea latte made with milk and no flavouring, or a cuppa green tea. For me, the most important part of enjoying a drink at the coffee shop is the company, anyway!