Avoid Adding These 5 Extras to Your Coffee, and Stay Healthy
Coffee drinkers are in for a healthy treat because coffee itself is one of the healthiest beverages in the world, but that’s until people start adding unhealthy stuff into it. True, the add-ons are exciting, and they taste great too! But we’re going to be a little bit of the devil’s advocate here, and lure you into the healthier direction.
Whether you’re making your own coffee at home, or you’re ordering one from a coffee shop of your choice, there’s always a chance that you ask for add-ons. Coffee in itself is already healthy, but we know for sure that not everyone goes for pure black.
So if you’re not into black coffee, it’s best to make an effort to avoid the unhealthy add-ons because they can add up real quick. Here are 5 extras you should avoid adding to your coffee.
Sugar is up there on the list. Ironically, it’s also one of the most common things that people add to their coffee. Understandably, it’s the most accessible, and could be the cheapest.
Of course, a little sugar won’t hurt but if you’re the type who drinks coffee thrice a day or even more, then those bits of sugar and empty calories can easily pile up! Let’s say you drink three cups of coffee daily – 2 teaspoons of sugar per cup is about 48 grams in total. It’s more than the sugar content in most sodas. Double or triple that if you drink more than 3 cups a day, and if you usually add more than 2 teaspoons per cup.
Instead of sugar, you can add natural sweeteners such as a few dashes of cinnamon, a tablespoon of honey, or cardamom. Cardamom is a spice that’s common in the Middle East, and it gives more exotic flavor to your drink.
2. Non-Dairy Creamers
These are mostly corn syrup solids, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Corn syrup solids (and even liquids) are an added sugar and they contribute to obesity and heart diseases.
Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils have trans fats which can be the worst type of fats you can ever consume. Trans fats are artificial fatty acids created in an industrial setting process. Basically, hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.
Trans fats, along with corn syrup solids, are strongly linked to heart disease and diabetes.
To avoid non-dairy creamers, you can use coconut milk creamer instead. This contains organic coconut milk and is better for your health.
3. Skim Milk
For many years, you are probably going for skim milk or low-fat milk in favor of whole or full-fat milk. Skim milk isn’t at all bad but it does retain all the sugar. Research suggests that there’s no enough evidence backing the superior effects of skim milk.
Studies even showed that because people reduce the amount of fats they consume, they also tend to increase their sugar or carbohydrates intake which can have bad effects on insulin, and can eventually lead to diabetes.
In a separate study, respondents who consumed the most high-fat dairy products lowered their risk of obesity.
4. Flavor Shots or Syrups
Of course you love flavor! Syrups add taste to your beverage but consuming a lot of these doesn’t do any good to your health. Flavor shots such as caramel, vanilla, hazelnut, and even pumpkin spice contain lots of sugar!
Avoid these flavored syrups and opt for natural sugar-free add-ons. A few drops of vanilla, peppermint, or nut extracts such as that of hazelnut or almonds are good alternatives.
5. Other sugar substitutes / Artificial Sweeteners
Whipped cream is a common add-on to coffee but is one of the unhealthiest food items out there. Worse, using whipped cream in a can gives no nutritional value. It’s only loaded with high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.
A lot of the fats contained in cream are saturated fats which is associated with high cholesterol. So when you usually go overboard with your cream, it can have a negative impact to your waistline.
Now it might be hard for you to completely avoid these flavory add-ons especially when you’ve been ingesting them for quite some time, and you are already used to them. You can start by reducing the amounts before entirely eliminating them from your coffee.
If you really cannot eliminate them, then at least make sure that you are taking them in very modest amounts, and carefully take note of how much of those you include in your diet.