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Food and nutrition, Health and happiness

Could your coffee be worse for you than a can of coke?

By Safia March 08, 2016
Cup of latte.jpg

Have you given up fizzy drinks in the hope of leading a healthier lifestyle? Great! But what if your morning coffee is sabotaging your efforts without you even knowing?

New research from Action on Sugar has found that some of the nation’s best loved drinks from Starbucks and Costa are very high in sugar - even the ones you least expect like that tasty chai latte!

The recent figures show that hot chocolates, chai lattes and Starbuck’s famous Hot Mulled Fruit drinks have up to three times the amount of sugar that’s in a can of Coca Cola. Okay so it might not come as much surprise to know that Starbucks’ White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream has 18 teaspoons of sugar in it, I mean it tastes sweet right? But Starbuck’s relatively healthy-sounding Grape with Chai, Orange and Cinnamon is the worst offender. Clocking in at 25 teaspoons of sugar per cup it has more than three times the recommended daily intake of free sugars for an adult. This is also equivalent to three cans of Coca Cola, so there’s no use in staying clear of the fizzy stuff if you’re opting for one of these hot drinks instead!

Action on Sugar found that of all the 131 hot flavoured drinks they analysed 98% of them would be labelled as red for their high sugar content if coffee shops were forced to label their drinks in this way. If you're also in the habit of picking up a quick treat with your coffee like a cookie or muffin, you could be unintentionally consuming a lot of extra calories and sugar. 

But don’t despair. You don’t have to cut out flavoured hot drinks altogether and you shouldn’t be expected to, because life is all about balance. If you grab a hot drink on your daily walk to work opt for a small cappuccino or latte instead which, at Starbucks, only have 1.75 teaspoons and 2 teaspoons of sugar respectively. The more you drink low sugar alternatives the more you’ll get used to them. 

If the thought of a life without your favourite naughty hot beverage is too much to bear then keep them as a treat every once in a while so that you don’t overload your body with too much sugar and suffer the consequences. Starbucks do clearly state their nutritional info online and sometimes in store so check these out so you can be mindful of what you’re buying. They also offer sugar free syrups which are slightly better than their normal sugary counterparts and you could even try one of my personal favourites from Starbucks, a coconut milk latte! Trust me it’s tastier than it sounds.

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