Let’s face it. For many of us, that cup of coffee in the morning is the only way to start the day. As the coffee market has diversified more and more, we have all turned our attention towards flavored coffee. But how safe is that sweet and flavorful beverage? The research comes from the University of Illinois, after a 12-year study, regarding coffee drinking habits in the US. As you will have the opportunity to see in the following paragraphs, the number of calories per cup increases significantly, when you add sweeteners, flavors, etc.
Coffee, from blessing to potential problem
A simple cup of coffee does not have too many calories, which makes it a perfect choice for those who are weight conscious. However, flavored coffee is another matter. When you add your favorites, such as sugar/sweeteners and cream, you are suddenly face-to-face with a beverage that contains a whooping amount of calories. The study undertaken by the specialists working at the University of Illinois confirmed that adding flavors to your coffee also means an additional intake of 69 calories per cup. Now comes the question: is it really worth it?
What did the study reveal?
We live in an age where obesity is a common problem, leading to life-threatening complications, such as heart attack, stroke, and even death. In such situations, more and more people turn to the best diet plan, to lose that extra weight and enjoy a good state of health. However, as it turns out, many of them have a hard time giving up their morning brew, not to mention the additional flavors used for its making.
Researchers at the University of Illinois analyzed 12 years worth of information, regarding coffee and tea drinking habits in the US. The data was provided by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, encompassing more than 20.000 people and their coffee/tea drinking habits. It was revealed that approximately 51% of the Americans drink coffee on a regular basis, while only 26% have tea as their daily preferred beverage.
As it was mentioned above, drinking plain coffee is good and even healthy. The problems appear when you add flavors and sweeteners, upping the calorie intake. Two-thirds of the response prefer flavored coffee, adding sugar/sweeteners, cream, and other flavors to their daily coffee. By comparison, only a third of those who drink tea have the same habits. For many people, coffee is a must in the morning; in fact, there are many women who swear that this beverage is their number one weapon against the nasty morning sickness.
Why should you never drink flavored coffee?
The reason why you should never drink flavored coffee is simple. There are simply too many hidden calories in such a beverage. Even if you use sweeteners, such as half-and-half and honey, you are still taking in more calories than normal (by comparison to plain, black coffee). You might be enjoying more flavors with your coffee, but, at the same time, you are increasing your risks for weight gain. Moreover, such a flavored beverage interferes with diets, affecting your overall ability to reach a certain weight-loss goal.
Many would argue that the milk or cream added to the coffee provides the body with calcium, but the quantity is limited, while the calories are not. Apart from that, many of the calories come from sugar, which we all know, is all about empty energy. Black coffee remains the best alternative for a healthy start in the morning, as it provides all the benefits of this delicious beverage, without any additional calories.
In recent years, there was a trend to add butter to one’s coffee, to enjoy a unique flavor. This is even more damaging, as, aside from the empty calories that come from sugar, you are also taking in more fat than it is necessary. The same is valid for cream, which has a high content of fat. At first, it might seem like the added intake is not that big but, if you are already battling with excess weight, it matters. Even if you do not have such problems, you might still find yourself gaining weight, as the intake is daily and the body cannot use such calories.
What is the solution?
The obvious solution to the problem is to quit adding all these things to your coffee. At first, it might seem impossible, especially if you have already formed a habit of ordering your coffee from one of those fancy places (you cannot even begin to imagine how many calories there are in those blended, flavorful drinks). However, if you are persistent and committed to maintaining a healthy weight, you will learn to reduce the daily intake of sugar/sweeteners, cream, and other flavors, little by little.
A plain cup of coffee can guarantee that you start your day in a healthy manner. Say goodbye to sugar, as it contains only empty calories and it strips away your energy, affecting the proper functioning of the body. Eliminate artificial sweeteners, as these are just as damaging to your health and, please, forget all about flavors that can be added to coffee or cream/butter, as you do not need those additional fats. If you want to stop gaining weight, remember that black coffee is the best way to go. No calories, only pure energy.
Tomorrow, when you wake up, try a black cup of coffee. Remember that you are taking in unnecessary calories, which will have a negative impact on the weight loss process. Keep your coffee simple and, soon, you will see a genuine difference. Your brain might be tempted to go back to its old habits, as sugar can be pretty addictive but you are stronger than that. Use your willpower in the right direction and learn how to say no to flavored coffee. On the long-term, this is one of the best decisions you can take for your body and health in general.