Latte Alert: What’s really in your favorite hot drink


November 29, 2012

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By Betty Murray

Your favorite hot holiday drink may be packed full of empty calories, in fact, you may be getting as many as a quarter of your daily caloric intake from one Starbucks drink. According to the Starbucks nutrition facts, one Grande Eggnog Latte has 460 calories, and 21 grams of fat. If you’re watching carbs, the Eggnog Latte won’t help you; it contains more than 50 grams of carbohydrates.

Sugary foods and drinks can be diet disasters, and can lead to weight gain and even type 2 Diabetes. Many people forget to count calories found in their beverage choices in their daily caloric intake. Sugary drinks can account for hundreds of unnecessary and unsatisfying calories each day. If you’re looking to lose weight or cut sugar out of your diet, start by eliminating sugary drinks, including soda, fruit juices and even your favorite espresso drink.

Did you know a Grande Starbucks latte made with nonfat milk contains 130 calories? A sweet Starbucks peppermint white chocolate mocha is loaded with as many as 430 calories. If you’re hitting up Starbucks each morning for your caffeine kick, stick with a plain black coffee, which only contains a mere 5 calories per 16-ounce cup.

Click here to view nutrition facts of all Starbucks beverages.

Before reaching for your favorite espresso drink this winter, switch to hot tea. Not only are there various flavorful hot tea options, there are numerous health benefits of hot tea. These are some of the primary benefits of drinking hot tea rather than coffee:
o Tea is a great source of antioxidants, which protect the body against illness and disease, as well as the effects of aging and pollution.
o Tea contains less caffeine than coffee, which can reduce coffee-induced headaches or sleep interruption.
o Tea can reduce risk of heart attack or stroke by keeping your arteries clean.
o Unsweetened tea contains fluoride and tannins that help promote healthy teeth.
o In addition to antioxidants, tea contains polyphenols, which may help fight or prevent cancer.
o Green tea can boost metabolism, aiding in weight loss.
o Tea (when not sweetened with sugar or milk) is calorie-free, which promotes a healthy weight.

Keep in mind that adding sweeteners or milk to your tea only adds calories and may reduce some of the other benefits of drinking tea. Rather than add flavor to your hot tea with milk or sugar, try a flavored tea instead. This holiday season, try cinnamon apple, peppermint or even honey-lemon tea.

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

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