Latte, macchiato, cappuccino, espresso. However you say it, enjoying a cup of coffee is one of my favorite ways to pamper myself. Of course, not all coffee drinks are created equal. They may all taste delicious, but some are far healthier than others. In fact, next time you order a coffee drink you may want to check the calorie and fat count: some beverages with all the extras carry as many calories as a milkshake. Don’t worry; you don’t need to give up your favorite coffee drink. Just make a few small changes in how you enjoy it.
While I drink my morning coffee black, I prefer my afternoon coffee drinks light and sweet. Most of the coffee drinks you buy in a shop are made with whole milk. A blended drink may also use artificial non-dairy creamer. Try swapping it out with nonfat milk for less fat and calories. If you’re looking for an even healthier way to make your favorite coffee drink, you can substitute almond or coconut milk. If you choose soy milk, make sure it’s non-GMO.
Most coffee drinks you purchase in a shop are sweetened with flavored syrup, and chances are the base sweetener in the syrup is high fructose corn syrup. You can make your own coffee drink at home and sweeten it with honey, maple syrup, agave, or stevia.
Skip the Extras
Try cutting back on the extras you add to your coffee. Can you use less sweetener? Maybe skip the whipped cream? Leave off the extra chocolate drizzle or sprinkles of candy cane on top? When it comes to a healthy coffee drink, less is usually more.
You don’t need to purchase the largest coffee drink available to enjoy your favorite hot beverage. If you don’t want to give up the whole milk or the flavored syrup, choose a small instead of an extra-large. If you typically get a pastry or breakfast sandwich along with your favorite coffee drink, skip the food and just enjoy the blended beverage. You can eat something healthier at home.
If you want that extra large mocha peppermint full-fat latte and won’t be satisfied with anything else, go ahead and enjoy one. But enjoy just one. You don’t need to get that extravagant drink every day or even every week. If you consider it a treat (which it is) and indulge occasionally, you’ll likely enjoy it more.
You don’t need to deprive yourself to make healthier choices. I like to splurge a few times during the holiday season on my favorite hot coffee drinks. Sometimes I make these drinks at home, and use healthier ingredients. But I also give myself permission to enjoy a holiday splurge — or two!