Choose your hot drinks wisely – the hidden calories in hot drinks
Enjoying a warming drink can be one of life’s greatest pleasures and a great way to unwind, but do you know how healthy your drink is? Often times when we think of a diet we tend to focus on food. Even if you pay meticulous attention to the calories consumed during meals, you may be ignoring the calories you are consuming. while drinking.
A quick glance at the average cafe menu board can have you unwittingly ordering a drink loaded with calories, fat, and sugar. For example, a small hot chocolate from a high street cafe can contain up to 20 g of sugar. Add whole milk to the mix topped with whipped cream and you might get over 400 calories in a single drink. Those extra calories will pose problems for your weight loss goals, not to mention increasing your chances of getting heart disease.
Coffee might seem like an innocent option, but order a large latte with whole milk and you’re looking for 300 calories – and that’s before you add any sugar or sweet syrup.
Smart choices when ordering a hot drink
Sure, milk is important for healthy teeth and bones, but if you’re looking to shed pounds, skipping whole milk is a good idea. If you prefer latte, go for a smaller size or upgrade to a lean version with low fat milk. Avoid flavored drinks such as gingerbread lattes that are loaded with sweet syrup.
You might naturally think that sugar-free varieties are by definition a better option, but that’s not always the case. Low in calories does not always translate into good health and can wreak havoc on your body.
My advice: if you want a little more flavor, sprinkle cinnamon on your drink for a touch of sweetness without the calories. Additionally, cinnamon is known for its insulin-regulating abilities.
Another thing to watch out for is creams. Often containing artificial flavors, sweeteners, and additives, they can ruin your good intentions. Instead, choose organic skim milk to whiten your coffee. Or, better yet, stick to black coffee. Even an Americano the size of a Starbucks has only 15-20 calories without sugar. And if that’s still too much, some teas without milk may actually contain zero calories.