Written by: Anielly Rocha – Intern for the Dietitians of Palm Valley
It’s officially fall you pumpkin spice loving, dry leaves crunching, fluffy blanket hugging people! Although, if you live in Florida, it still feels like mid August and it’s a struggle to fully enjoy all these things just yet. However, what’s something you never really stop enjoying but enjoy even more in the fall, particularly on a Monday morning…yes its your please-wake-me-up and make-me-feel-productive cup of of joe we all love.
Have you ever waited in line to get your favorite cup and noticed the three little digit number (calories) beside your regular drink and thought… ohh, this cant be the best for me, but because you love it you push that thought aside and order it anyway. Well we’re here to help you order a better coffee without sacrificing the flavor you love!
First things first, we get questions all time about whether coffee is “good” or “bad” for you. Well the good news about coffee just keeps on coming. Research has indeed found that coffee is a source of micronutrients and antioxidants, specifically polyphenols. In fact, a 2005 study identified coffee as Americans #1 source of dietary antioxidants. A Harvard study found that those who drink about three cups of coffee a day may be less likely to die prematurely from some diseases than those who drink less or no coffee because of its antioxidants. Consumption of caffeinated coffee has also been associated with better cognitive performance over time. Now that we know coffee can be good for us, we can go over what makes it “not the best” and how to order a “better” cup with all the benefits.
Bigger isn’t always better. By downsizing a latte youcould save 60-100 calories and more importantly cut the added sugars. Downsizing doesn’t always mean having less caffeine, you can still order the same amount of coffee/espresso in a smaller cup. A little tip, most coffee shops don’t add a third shot for the large drink, so stick the medium unless you want the extra milk.
Syrup, Syr-nope! Unfortunately, every time you add syrup to a coffee beverage, you’re adding sugar and calories. When ordering, a trick is to ask your barista how many pumps of syrup it has in the size you usually order and ask for 1 less or even half the amount. You still get flavor but significantly cut the amount of sugar! If you’re not a fan of sweetness, try skipping it altogether and sprinkle cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate powder or nutmeg for some added fall flavors. Another tip is to order your beverage with soy or coconut milk because it is naturally sweeter than regular milk.
Milk Matters. Unless specified, coffee shops give you 2% milk or whole milk. Using milk as a creamer is not a big deal because of the insignificant amount. However, when ordering a milk based drink like a latte, the calories start adding up depending on the size. Regular milk could add about 100-150 calories extra to a medium drink. So what are some other options? Soy milk has about the same amount of protein and has a lot less fat, it also foams well and tastes the most similar to regular milk. Also try giving almond milk or coconut milk a go! (coconut milk tastes great with a chocolate drink like mocha!).
Ditch the whip. Although whip is often associated with fall and the holidays it is just extra calories and fat. If consumed every time you drink your coffee it adds up!
Strive to keep your everyday cup of coffee no more than about 100 calories per cup, especially if you are drinking more than one per day. Enjoy racking up your calories through food (fuel) instead of drinking your calories. Keep it simple this fall–add an extra boost of antioxidants by sprinkling cinnamon, ginger, or turmeric on top!
Happy Fall Y’all! Want more tips and tricks on living a healthy lifestyle? Click here to contact us today and learn more helpful tips to stay healthy this holiday season!