Coffee, a traditional drink with a long history, plays a significant role in conventional American society. From the prominence of massive, nationwide coffee chains to the prevalence of a shared office coffeepot, coffee is everywhere. But how do you go about consuming it responsibly, especially with holiday-themed specialty drinks, increasing numbers of creamer flavors, and an ever-changing diversity of coffee flavors? Read on!
If you’re ordering any coffee or specialty drink, skip the whip. Whipped cream, which contains almost exclusively cream and sugar, dissolves quickly into hot beverages and floats at the top of cold ones. Plus, the fat content in whipped cream (six-and-a-half grams in a half cup) makes it something to save for special occasions. Not to mention the over 75 calories in a half cup! Going whipped cream free can save you more than a few calories and grams of fat every morning!
Most of the calories in that latte come from the type of milk used. Whole milk, which has a whopping 150 calories per eight-ounce serving, also contains eight grams of total fat. If you compare that to skim milk, which has 90 calories and zero grams of fat in the same eight-ounce serving, skim seems like the logical choice! If you do decide to ask for fat-free milk, be sure to start out your order with your milk choice, as many hot espresso drinks rely on the milk base. This milk base can take time to prepare, so order up!
3.Try Sugar-Free Syrups
Although sugar-free syrups can contain chemicals like aspartame, they are lower in carbs and sugar than traditional syrups. Be warned, though– sugar-free syrups can make increase your appetite! If you want to give sugar-free syrups a try, you can order them at your local coffee shop or use them at home as a sugar substitute. Many coffee shops only have a few flavors, but if you can order your favorite flavors for at home! If you decide to order them at home, many of the major syrup brands (Tourani, DaVinci, and Monin, for example) sell their products on official websites as well as on Amazon.
In barista-speak, ordering a latte or other drink “dry” means you want it with extra foam. For drinks like a cappuccino or a latte, this means you get more of the decadent, fluffy part of the steamed milk and less of the warm milk. This decadence can lead you to believe that what you ordered is more extravagant than it is! More practically, it also cuts down on the volume of milk that is in the beverage, cutting calories out of your coffee. Although, if you decide to order your drink with skim milk, the ideal foam type for latte art, “microfoam,” is harder to achieve. Just something to keep in mind if you’re in line simply for that sweet latte art.
Trying an iced drink, or adding extra ice to your glass, reduces the amount of volume of milk or coffee in your beverage, cutting calories left and right. If you’re at home looking to brew iced coffee, you can brew a strong cup of coffee, preferably twice as concentrated as you brew it when hot, and add lots and lots of ice! When the ice melts, it adds zero calories to your brew, which should be right around as strong as it usually is. Everyone wins!
6.Try Non-Dairy Milk
If you are specifically looking to cut carbs and fats, look for non-dairy milk options to add to your coffee. Soy milk, as an example, contains fewer calories with the same amount of essential nutrients as cow’s milk. Soy also contains heart-healthy omega-3’s, unlike cow’s milk! The healthiest non-dairy milk option depends on what you are looking for in your milk substitute. Soy has lots of protein, almond milk is a good calcium substitute, but coconut milk is creamy, and resembles dairy milk. This diversity in choices means that the non-dairy debate is heavily reliant on personal preference.
Although many coffee drinkers avoid soy and other non-dairy milks because they look like they curdle, the drink is still perfectly healthy to drink. If you want to get rid of the “curdled milk look” with soy milk, try shaking up they soy, cooling the coffee, and slightly warming the milk to get rid of the weird curds.
7.Try Half-and-Half or Skim Milk Instead of Creamer
Non-dairy creamer, which comes in a variety of different flavors, sizes, and states (powdered creamer, anyone?) can contain artificial flavors and colors that are generally unhealthy. If you are going to consume any non-dairy creamer, be aware that the liquid version contains far fewer trans-fats compared to the powdered version. The liquid version does have two different added sugars, though, so keep that in mind before you pour.
Both half-and-half and skim milk (or any reduced-fat milk) is a better choice than any creamer. Dairy products undergo less processing while also containing fewer calories and grams of fat when compared to the heavily processed, calorically dense creamer options. Regarding the dairy products, 1% or skim milk comes out as the winner. Although it won’t add that creamy consistency to your milk like other creamers or the half-and-half would, it’s lower in calories and grams of fat.
Do you have any tips on how you lighten up your morning cup of joe or want to see any fitness topics covered? Let us know by leaving a comment below!