It seems like everywhere you look these days there are billboards, advertisements and commercials for fancy coffee drinks. From grocery stores to malls there are lovely pictures incorporating whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate drizzle, and even candy toppings. These images make everyone do a double take and consider stopping for a delicious treat and caffeine pick-me-up. Sure, they look beautiful and taste amazing, but what actually makes up one of these specialty coffee drinks?
Let’s take a peek at the Starbucks Caffe Vanilla Frappucino. With ingredients like milk, sugar and vanilla flavoring, you are gaining numerous empty calories. This means you are eating sugar or fats with little to no important nutritional value. Add whipped cream and a 16 oz size offers 430 calories and 72 grams of carbohydrate! This is far more than the average person needs from a single beverage. There are much better ways to make healthy lifestyle choices without giving up taste and enjoyment!
Cutting out coffee is an option, but not always a desirable one. Besides increasing energy levels, coffee also has some other benefits. High in antioxidants, it helps our bodies fight free radicals. It is also a source of fiber and some studies have shown it may decrease the risk of colorectal cancer. These are great reasons to keep coffee as part of your healthy diet and find ways to avoid those sugar-packed specialty drinks. If coffee is your drink of choice, you could try a French Roast with a splash of skim milk.
Tea is also a great alternative. Warm or cold, it gives bold flavor without the added sugar. Tea also offers amazing health benefits including antioxidants that may reduce the risk of cancer, as well as possibly boosting the immune system. On its own, tea has zero calories and will not undo your healthy eating choices.
For a fun way to enjoy your caffeine, take a shot at being your own in-home barista! This allows you to treat yourself without putting a damper on your day’s calorie or carbohydrate intake. Try this refreshing recipe for an Iced Vanilla Latte.
Iced Vanilla Latte
- 1 cup freshly brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 3 tsp Nestle Coffee Mate French Vanilla Sugar Free
- ice cubes
Place ice cubes, milk and sugar-free vanilla flavoring into a large cup. Slowly add coffee, stir until it reaches desired temperature. Sip and enjoy! For an extra special spin, try throwing all of the ingredients into a blender. Yum!
Makes 1 serving
Calories: 60 calories, Protein: 8 grams, Carbohydrates: 14 grams, Fats: 1 gram.
Carbohydrate exchange: 0.5 exchanges.