Now, why has there been an apparent reversal in the way we think about coffee? For starters, everything you consume as part of your diet--coffee included--should be consumed in moderation. Many studies that have been conducted do not take into account the excessive amounts of coffee consumed by young adults ages 18-35. In addition, many of these studies didn't take high risk behaviors into account--like smoking and inactivity--which tend to be common among heavy coffee drinkers.
Like I mentioned before, everything in moderation. There is a such thing as too much of something good. There are some risks associated with coffee, however these typically align with excessive consumption of the beverage. High consumption of unfiltered coffee has been associated with mild elevations in cholesterol levels and some studies found that two or more cups of coffee in a day can increase the risk of heart disease in people with a specific genetic mutation (that slows the breakdown of caffeine in the body).
Conquering the Coffee Shop
Below are some simple tips and tricks for the coffee shop that will keep your diet in check! You can also check out my recipe for a homemade version of the mocha. It’s just as good as the one you bought at Starbucks, but is lower in fat, calories, sugar, and won’t cost you much at all.
White Chocolate Mocha
Be careful with this favorite! A traditional, grande sized white chocolate mocha (made with 2% milk and with the whipped cream) will cost you around $5, 380 calories and has a whopping 13 grams of fat! That is one expensive drink!
Now I’m a fan of this delicious treat, but it doesn’t have to be that scary. Try ordering a tall next time, ask for skim milk, and to hold the whip. Your new drink will contain half the calories and no fat. It will also cost around $3.50. You can satisfy your sweet tooth for just round 200 calories. What a deal.
Blended Frozen Beverages - A Summertime Favorite!
Be careful with these guys, just one grande sized Starbucks Frappicuno can cost you up to 475 calories, 18 grams of fat, and a whopping 72 grams of carbohydrate. That is in one drink. Think about it!
If frozen blended coffee drinks are your thing, no need to fear, there are ways you can order it to make it a little bit lighter. My first tip--order a tall. 12 oz may not look like a lot, but I promise, it’s plenty. It should be just enough to satisfy your frozen coffee craving. Ask your barista to make it “light," or with non-fat milk and no whip. A light, tall Java Chip Frappicuno from Starbucks has only 150 calories and 2.5 grams of fat! If that isn’t the perfect way to satisfy your coffee and chocolate craving, I don’t know what is!
There are so many smart choices at your local coffee shop, you just need to know where to look! Here are some other tips I have for conquering the coffee shop:
- Order your drink with skim milk. It’s fat free, but still has all of the nutritional benefits that 2% milk does. It’s got the protein and the calcium, without the fat or cholesterol.
- Ask your barista if they have almond milk. While almond milk does not contain a significant amount of protein, it is very low in calorie, and adds a really nice almond flavor to your drink! When I order a late with almond milk, I forgo the syrup because the almond flavor is enough.
- Ask for half the amount of syrup. More often than not, coffee drinks are over sweetened. Try asking for half the amount of syrup. You’ll consume half the amount of sugar and won’t even miss it.
- Hold the whip. This one can be tough, but whipped cream without a doubt can be dangerous. If you can’t live without out it, ask for light whip on your drink.
- If you like the flavor of coffee, try a light roast, and drink it black. You get all the caffeine coffee has to offer for under 5 calories!
- Food at the coffee shop can be scary as well. Instead of ordering a pastry, order the oatmeal. Add dried fruit and nuts to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Many shops these days seem to be adding mini pastries to their menus. If a scone or brownie is a must, ask your barista if they have mini portion to help satisfy your craving.
Homemade Ovaltine Mocha
2 T ovaltine
1 6 oz cup coffee (or chilled coffee for an iced mocha)
Combine all ingredients together in one mug / cup and enjoy!
This drink will run you 70 calories. That’s it!
Ovaltine is a great way to add that chocolate flavor you love to your coffee, and it only has 40 calories per serving. It also contains 12 essential vitamins and minerals. How can you go wrong?