Coffee is a common start for most people’s day, but how healthy is your coffee, really? It is becoming more and more common to see cups of coffee with toppings of whipped cream, chocolate and even caramel. While these beverages may taste delicious, they are far from healthy. Here are four ways that you can reduce the number of calories in your morning cup of coffee.
Use Low Fat or Non Fat Milk
One of the easiest ways to reduce calories in your coffee is to skip the whole or two percent milk, and instead choose low or non-milk milk. You will still get the creaminess associated with milk, but will have fewer calories as well as fat grams. One gram of fat contains nine calories. If you can eliminate just a few grams of fat from your diet, you will be making a substantial change in the number of calories consumed.
Use Less Flavorings
Recently, high-end coffee houses have begun to add more and more flavorings to their coffee, and it’s not uncommon to see vanilla, raspberry or other similarly flavored coffees being touted on the menus at these locations. The syrups which are used to create these flavorful coffees are often loaded with sugar, fat and calories. If you are concerned about the number of calories that you’re getting in your diet, this is a good place to make some changes. Ask the barrista if they have a low or non fat flavoring available, and if they do, choose that. If the coffee house does not offer a low or reduced calorie equivalent, simply request that your coffee be made with half the flavoring, or even better, skip it altogether. Your waistline will thank you!
Avoid Chocolate or Carmel
Chocolate and caramel are becoming more and more common as a topping for coffee, and while they may be delicious, they are far from low in calories. Like with the syrups described above, you may be able to find a low calorie alternative. If there is no alternative, request a smaller amount of the chocolate or caramel be added. While dark chocolate has been found to be important for good health, chances are this is not the type of chocolate being used in the coffee house.
Drink Tea Instead of Coffee
One easy way to avoid excessive calories in your coffee is to simply skip the coffee altogether and drink tea instead. Not only is tea naturally low in both fat and calories, but it has a naturally sweet flavor and can be enjoyed plain without the addition of milk, sugar or cream. If you’re concerned that your tea won’t provide the same properties that coffee has in regards to keeping you awake and increasing energy levels, don’t worry. Tea naturally contains high amounts of caffeine, which is the ingredient found in coffee that makes it essential for many people in the morning. Check the labeling of the tea before purchasing to make sure it is not decaffeinated.