• coffee and carrot cake

Be Careful at the Coffee House

One of my favorite places to be in the world is in a coffee shop…comfy leather chairs, mellow music playing overhead, and the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans wafting thru the air. Add in some burning candles and a light rain outside and you have my ideal cozy afternoon scenario.

I am definitely a coffee person…I have coffee almost every morning and since Christmas have been enjoying a mid-afternoon espresso, thanks to my new espresso machine that was a gift from the hubby. However my standard coffee order is simple: black coffee in the morning and mid-day it’s either a single shot of espresso or a double shot with a splash of almond/soy milk. No fancy fraps or sugary coffee concoctions for me.

The excessively complicated menu at the coffee shop can be quite daunting and a calorie land-mine. So many choices, so many ways to add hidden calories and sugars. There’s just so many variables: size, milk type, whip or no whip, extra shots of syrup, and endless flavorings available.

I did a little comparison of some popular coffee beverage choices. Note that for the sake of making it easier, all drinks listed (unless otherwise noted) are calculated using 2% milk. The nutritional information comes straight from Starbucks’ website.

  • Cafe Latte (espresso, steamed milk and lightly topped with foam)
    • 12oz = 150 calories, 13 grams sugar
    • 16 oz = 190 calories, 17 grams sugar
    • 20oz = 240 calories, 22 grams sugar
  • Cappuccino (espresso with steamed milk and topped with thick layer foam)
    • 80z = 80 calories, 7 grams sugar
    • 120z = 90 calories, 8 grams sugar
    • 16oz = 120 calories, 10 grams sugar
    • 20oz = 150 calories, 14 grams sugar
  • Cafe Mocha (espresso with mocha sauce, steamed milk)
    • 80z with whipped cream = 200 calories, 18 grams sugar
    • 12oz with whipped cream = 290 calories, 28 grams sugar
    • 16oz with whipped cream = 360 calories, 35 grams sugar
    • 20oz with whipped cream = 450 calories, 45 grams sugar
  • Mocha Frappuccino (coffee with mocha flavored sauce, blended with milk and ice)
    • 12oz with whipped cream = 280 calories, 42 grams sugar
    • 160z with whipped cream = 400 calories, 61 grams sugar
    • 20oz with whipped cream = 500 calories, 80 grams sugar

Let’s visualize that for one moment…

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It’s easy to see how the sugar content in a lot of these drinks is equal or even exceeds that of a soda.

But have no fear, Beverage Bootcamp is all about giving you choices and suggestions. As I always say, everything in moderation. If every once in awhile you want a mocha…go for it. But daily or even weekly can be hurting your healthy living goals.

So some suggestions the next time you head into a coffee shop….

  1. Get the smallest size
  2. Consider some of the healthier options: regular coffee, cappuccino, espresso with a splash of milk, hot tea, unsweetened iced tea, etc.
  3. Watch out for all the add ons: flavors, syrups, sprinkle toppings, etc. Basically they’re just adding on sugar
  4. Be wary of “light” drinks, they have less calories and sugars but contain artificial sugars
  5. Hold the Whipped Cream

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