Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coffee Talk

Having my nails done this week, I happened to overhear a patron next to me telling her nail girl how she should stop drinking coffee and switch to green tea because coffee is 'terrible' for you.

Nay not so - coffee CAN be terrible for you depending on what you put IN your coffee and how MUCH you drink for health reasons.  But coffee itself is not the issue in weight loss or health.

Ounce for ounce the average cups of black coffee and plain green tea contain almost the same amount of caffeine:
5 fl oz coffee: 65mg caffeine (depending on how strong it is made - more grounds can increase caffeine amounts
5 fl oz green tea: 48mg caffeine (depending on how long the tea bag is left in the cup - if it is left in longer, caffeine amounts can increase)

So where is the problem?

For one its caffeine in general.  Caffeine should be consumed in moderation - weather it comes from green tea or coffee.  Too much caffeine can cause irritability, anxiety and restlessness as well as heart palpitations and stomach/digestion issues.  A healthy amount of caffeine per day is around 200mg per day (2-3 small cups).

The problem lies in what is put IN your coffee – and even IN your tea!

Coffee shop menus are FULL of drinks that will add weight to your waistline in no time with excess sugars, calories and even fats!  A 12oz cup of black coffee contains no calories, fats, carbohydrates or sugar.  But a 12 oz Café Mocha from Starbucks – (even with no whip and non fat milk) contains 170 calories, 32g of carbs and 28g of sugar!!  Drink 2 a day and you can see where that goes.

‘Well I drink chai tea lattes because they are better for you’….WRONG!  A tall chai latte at Starbucks with no whip and non-fat milk is WORSE than a Café Mocha, Vanilla Cappuccino or Carmel Macchiato at 160 calories, 32g of carbs and 36g of sugar!!

Drink coffee at home?  Watch your additives like Coffeemate French Vanilla which adds 200 calories and 24g of sugar for just 2 Tablespoons!

The worst?  Blended beverages like ‘Frappachinos’ and ‘Frozen Blended Coffees’ – event the ‘Light version carries 36g of sugar for a 12oz serving!

So what’s your best bet?

Drink your coffee black with a little all natural stevia, cinnamon and a splash of skim or even better?  Unsweetened almond milk which carries ZERO sugar and healthy fats and proteins.  (Skim milk has 12.5g sugar per cup)

Need a flavored frothy fix?  Try a tall skinny latte at Starbucks for 60 calories and 8g of sugar (milk sugar).

Like your chai tea?  SKIP the latte and order a hot tea with a chai tea bag.  Add stevia or splenda, a little cinnamon and splash of milk and VIOLA!  You just saved over 30g of sugar and didn’t add calories to your day and your waistline.

Want a frozen drink?  Put a scoop of protein in the blender with ground coffee, cinnamon, vanilla extract, unsweetened almond milk and ice and you have a high protein, low calorie, blended Tiramisu shake with ZERO sugar!

Remember that extra calories are just that: extra calories.  Your body doesn’t need the excess calories sugars and chemicals from all the additives in your java. 

Be good to your body – it will thank you!

In Health,

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